Britain’s equality watchdog, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, has today updated its technical guidance for schools in England and Scotland.
Schools have legal obligations under the Equality Act 2010 not to discriminate against, harass or victimise pupils in relation to the characteristics protected by the Act, which include disability, race and sex.
The technical guidance outlines the obligations the Equality Act places upon schools regarding pupils with protected characteristics and the provision of their education. It helps school leaders to understand and comply with the Act and suggests steps schools can take to ensure they are meeting their obligations. Examples from across the protected characteristics are provided, in areas such as admissions, exclusions and access to facilities and services.
The guidance has been reviewed to ensure its references to the protected characteristics of sex and gender reassignment reflect developments in this complex area of policy and law, which continues to evolve.
The Department for Education will be issuing separate guidance for schools in England on supporting transgender students and they are expected to consult on this in due course. The EHRC has urged the Department for Education to bring forward their guidance as soon as possible, to help provide much-needed clarity for schools and families.
Baroness Kishwer Falkner, Chairwoman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said: