Ensuring your school meets the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 and does not discriminate against pupils is vital. Legal expert Amanda Lyons looks at some key areas.

All schools, whether maintained or independent, are subject to the provisions of the Equality Act 2010. Every school is therefore under a duty not to discriminate against pupils (or indeed prospective and former pupils) in relation to:

Pupils with any of the “protected characteristics” set out within the Equality Act and relating to education fall within its protection. These protected characteristics are: sex, race, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, and pregnancy or maternity.

It is unlawful for schools to discriminate against pupils (whether directly or indirectly), harass or victimise them because of any of the above characteristics. In addition, schools also have a duty to make reasonable adjustments in relation to any disabled pupils where a “provision criterion or practice” applied by the school or any physical features of the premises places them at a substantial disadvantage. This is in addition of course to the duties under the SEN framework and to prepare accessibility plans and strategies.

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