Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)
Landmark ruling on exclusion of disabled pupils from schools
Thousands of children whose disability means that they have ‘a tendency to physically abuse’ will now be properly protected from discrimination in schools after a landmark ruling in the Upper Tribunal.
We used our powers under Section 28 of the Equality Act 2006 to fund an appeal brought by the parents of a 13-year-old boy with special educational needs, known as ‘L’, who was excluded from school due to behaviour which was linked to his autism.
The Upper Tribunal has now ruled that provisions in the Equality Act, which meant that schools were not required to make reasonable adjustments to support children in these circumstances, are unlawful.
Responding to the judgment, Melanie Field, Executive Director at the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said:
'The level of exclusions of pupils with a special educational need or disability has risen dramatically in the last few years and they are now almost seven times more likely to be permanently excluded than other pupils. We funded this case as we were concerned that children whose disability can result in them being more likely to be aggressive were being unfairly denied access to education.
'We are delighted with this judgment which will require schools to make reasonable adjustments to try to prevent or manage challenging behaviour and justify that any exclusion in these circumstances is proportionate. This is a positive step towards ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to reach their potential through education and increasing the inclusion of disabled children in mainstream education.'
Press contact details
For more press information contact the Commission's media office on:
0161 829 8102
07767 272 818 (out of hours)
Advice And Guidance
Latest News from
Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)
Human rights and equality considerations in responding to the coronavirus pandemic20/03/2020 15:25:00
Chair David Isaac wrote to Prime Minister Boris Johnson about the human rights and equality considerations in responding to the coronavirus pandemic.
Facial recognition technology and predictive policing algorithms out-pacing the law12/03/2020 13:25:00
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has called for the suspension of the use of automated facial recognition (AFR) and predictive algorithms in policing in England and Wales, until their impact has been independently scrutinised and laws are improved.
Public Sector Equality Duty: enhancing equality in education in Scotland05/03/2020 16:20:00
The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) and the Equality and Human Rights Commission have today, 5 March 2020, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which underlines their shared aspirations to strengthen and reinforce compliance with Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) in colleges and universities.
Health Secretary faces legal challenge for failing patients with learning disabilities and autism12/02/2020 15:25:00
Today we have launched a legal challenge against the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care over the repeated failure to move people with learning disabilities and autism into appropriate accommodation.
Schools targeted with inquiry into use of restraint12/02/2020 09:25:00
EHRC have launched a formal inquiry into how schools are monitoring and recording their use of restraint, following widespread concerns about its use and the lack of data available.
New guidance calls for employers to step up and protect staff from harassment15/01/2020 15:10:00
As the Equality Act enters its second decade, employers are being given support in protecting their workforces in the shape of new guidance published by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
Queen's Speech: response from David Isaac20/12/2019 15:43:00
Equality and Human Rights Commission Chair David Isaac yesterday responded to the Queen's Speech.
Manders win race adoption case06/12/2019 16:05:00
Berkshire based adoption agency found to have discriminated against a British born couple of Sikh Indian heritage.
Universities oblivious to scale of racial abuse on campus23/10/2019 13:25:00
Our inquiry report Tackling racial harassment: universities challenged has revealed that with racial harassment occurring at an alarmingly high rate across British universities, many Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are not only unaware of the scale of the issue but are overconfident in their ability to handle it.