The Thomas Adams

 Equality Scheme

             Updated January 2012

1.    Preamble

2.    Policy Statement

3.    Statutory requirements

4.    Community cohesion

5.    Responsibilities

6.    Staff awareness

7.    Publication and review

8.    Reporting on progress and impact

9.    Equality Impact Assessments

10.   Choosing our Equality Objectives

Annex A      Background to the Equality Act: ‘The Importance of Teaching’ White Paper –
             Equalities’ Impact Assessment

Annex B      Equality Act 2010: Briefing Paper

Annex C      Equality Act 2010: Definition of a Disability

Annex D      The Quality Act – What’s new for employers? (ACAS)

Annex E      Policy Statement: Race Equality

Annex F      Policy Statement: Gender Equality

Annex G      Policy Statement: Access to the School for Students with Disabilities
1.      Preamble

The School has produced this single scheme to cover and promote the equality
characteristics of disability, gender, race, age, religion or belief and sexual orientation and,
where appropriate, poverty.

The scheme builds on the foundations laid in our previous, separate schemes, in particular
those for disability, race and gender.

We look to the scheme as an important step towards achieving our strategic goals.

2.      Policy Statement

1.      In   accordance with the School’s aims we pledge:
             to respect the equal human rights of all our students;
             to educate them about equality; and
             to respect the equal rights of our staff and other members of the school

2.      We will look to monitor and assess our current school practices (“Equality Impact
        Assessment”) and implement all necessary resulting actions in relation to:
         ethnicity;
         religion or belief;
         socio-economic background;
         gender and gender identity;
         disability;
         sexual orientation; and
         age.

3.      We will promote community cohesion at school, locally, and beyond, comparing our
        school community to its local and national contexts and implementing all necessary
        actions in relation to:
         ethnicity;
         religion or belief; and
         socio-economic background.

3.      Statutory requirements

The equality objectives in Section 10 below address our duties under current equality
legislation, up to and including the Equality Act 2010.

4.      Community Cohesion

The following data sets the school within a national context:

    Ethnicity/culture context of the school

        o    % of pupils from minority ethnic groups

                                      2009     2010     2011
        Thomas Adams                   7.6      9.0      8.6
        National                      20.6     21.7     22.4
        In 2011:          91.1   White British
                           0.1   Irish
                           0.7   Gypsy
                           3.9   Other white background
                           4.0   Mixed, non-white

        o   % of pupils first language not/believed not to be English

                                      2009    2010     2011
        Thomas Adams                   2.9     2.7      2.7
        National                      11.4    11.7     12.3

    Socio-economic context of the school

        o   % of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals

                                      2009    2010     2011
        Thomas Adams                   8.6    10.0     11.3
        National                      14.5    15.4     15.9

        o   % stability

                                      2009    2010     2011
        Thomas Adams                   93.1    91.4    90.8
        National                      91.8    92.2     92.3

        o   School deprivation factor

                                      2009    2010     2011
        Thomas Adams                  0.12    0.12     0.12
        National                      0.22    0.22     0.22

5.      Responsibilities

The Chair of Governors takes the lead, but the governors as a whole are responsible for:
 drawing up, publishing and implementing the school’s equality objectives;
 making sure the school complies with the relevant equality legislation;
 making sure the school Equality Scheme and its procedures are followed;
 monitoring progress towards the equality objectives and reporting annually.

The headteacher is responsible for:
 making sure steps are taken to address the school’s stated equality objectives;
 making sure the equality, access and community cohesion plans are readily available and
   that the governors, staff, pupils and their parents and guardians know about them;
 producing regular information for staff and governors about the plans and how they are
 making sure all staff know their responsibilities and receive training and support in
   carrying these out; and
 taking appropriate action in cases of harassment and discrimination, including prejudice-
   related incidents;
 enabling reasonable adjustments to be made, in relation to disability, in regard to
   students, staff, parents/carers and visitors to the school.
All   staff are responsible for:
      promoting equality and community cohesion in their work;
      avoiding unlawful discrimination against anyone;
      fostering good relations between groups; and
      dealing with prejudice-related incidents;
      being able to recognise and tackle bias and stereotyping;
      taking up training and learning opportunities.

The headteacher is responsible overall for dealing with reports of prejudice-related incidents.

Visitors and contractors are responsible for following relevant school policy.

6.        Staff Awareness

Staff awareness in relation to equality and cohesion, both in terms of professional
responsibilities as well as statutory requirements, is achieved by:
 the process of drawing together and reviewing the Scheme;
 ongoing reference to the Scheme via our staff meeting structure and staff briefings;
 specific training provided to the whole staff and individual members of staff by outside

7.        Publication and Review

This Equality Scheme fulfils statutory requirements under the terms of legislation referred to
above. As it is a public document, the school governors publish it by making it available on

The scheme will be kept under regular review for three years and then replaced in
September 2014.

8.        Reporting on progress and impact

A report on progress with the actions listed below will be published each autumn term.
Evidence will also be kept of the impact of our action to promote community cohesion, in
respect of ethnicity, religion or belief and socio-economic background.

9.        ‘Equality Impact Assessments’

We monitor to establish the potential impact of school practice in terms of:
 ethnicity;
 religion or belief;
 socio-economic background;
 gender and gender identity;
 disability;
 sexual orientation; and
 age.

Our monitoring includes:
 analysis of outcomes – Raiseonline/FFT/Shropshire data against local and national data;
 student mentoring;
 student questionnaires;
    parent feedback;
    staff feedback;
    lesson observation.

10.      Choosing our Equality Objectives

We have used the evidence base provided by our monitoring to help choose objectives that
 promote equality of opportunity for members of identified groups;
 eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and;
 foster good relations between different groups in terms of:
      o ethnicity;
      o religion or belief;
      o socio-economic background;
      o gender and gender identity;
      o disability;
      o sexual orientation; and
      o age.

Equality Objectives
ISSUE                          ACTION                                     REPONSIBILITY    WHEN
1. Awareness raising:          Via staff briefings, assemblies, staff     NH               Ongoing
Ensuring that the Equality     meetings, SMT meetings, etc
Duty is at the heart of the
School’s ethos
2. Monitoring and review:      Analysis of outcomes, student              NH and line      Ongoing
Ensuring that the Equality     mentoring, student questionnaires,         managers as
Duty is at the heart of the    parent feedback, staff feedback, lesson    appropriate
School’s ethos                 observation
3. Intervention:               Follow on programme of positive action     NH and members   Ongoing
Ensuring that we respond to    to ensure that the Equality Duty           of SMT as
areas for development          remains at the heart of the School’s       appropriate
4.    Awareness raising and    Use of PD days to give training on:        ED/LE            Ongoing
     specific training among   - Aspergers                                                 via PD
     staff of different        - Dyslexia                                                  days/
     categories of SEND        - Speech and language                                       twilights
                               - MLD
                               Focus on deployment of TA support
5.  Awareness raising of       Delivery for PSHE programme and input      JM/EF            Timescale
   issues surrounding          from outside agencies including theatre                     according
   gender/gender identity      company                                                     to PSHE
   and sexual orientation                                                                  SoWs
6. Analysis of whole-          Data analysis within SEN with              ED/LE            Ongoing
   school performance          implementation of intervention support
   data and individual         as appropriate
   progress data from
   SEND to ensure
   appropriate intervention
7. Facilitating access to      Analysis of pupil needs and provision in   ED/LE            Ongoing
   the curriculum based on     order to draw up personalised
   SEND                        timetables
8. Further embedding the       Deployment of a well-trained Pastoral      NH/JM                 Ongoing
    work of the Pastoral       team to foster tolerance surrounding:
    team in fostering good     - ethnicity
    relations within the       - religion
    School, encouraging a      - gender
    supportive and tolerant    - sexual orientation
    ethos, while challenging   - socio-economic background
    discriminatory attitudes   - age
9. Continuous monitoring       SoWs are monitored and discussed with      Individual line       Line
    of SoWs and lessons to     departmental leaders                       managers              manager
    ensure that the Equality                                                                    review
    Duty is fulfilled                                                                           cycle
10. Ensure that the            To follow the criteria established by      NH in dialogue with   Ongoing
    admissions policy for      Shropshire Council as the School’s Local   Admissions team at
    the School fulfils the     Admissions Authority                       LA
    Equality Duty
11. Maintain a Hardship        Hardship Fund is used to help with         NH/PN                 Ongoing
    Fund in order to allow     regard to purchase of:
    students full access to    - uniform including PE kit
    curricular and extra-      - school equipment, including
    curricular activities           calculators, technology materials
                                    including for catering inter al
                               - plus the participation in school
                                    visits/events such as the Prom and
                                    school discos
                               Maintain links with the Drapers to
                               facilitate access to some funding
                               Maintain programme of events (discos/
                               FTA etc) for fundraising
                               Targeted use of Pupil Premium funding
                               with intervention
12. Staff employment           To follow rigorously the LA’s              NH/PN                 Ongoing
    policy                     employment policy and guidelines to
                               mitigate against discrimination
13. Consideration of needs     Nomination of staff/student champions      NH with SMT           From
    surrounding the            to highlight the needs of the diverse      champions             March
    Equality Duty              groups and to ensure their needs are                             2012
                               Ethnicity – staff and students (lower
                               school and 6th form)
                               Religion or belief – staff and students
                               (lower school and 6th form)
                               Socio-economic background – staff
                               Gender/gender identity – staff
                               Disability – staff and students (lower
                               school and 6th form)
                               Sexual orientation – staff and students
                               (6th form)
                               Age – staff
       ANNEX A

Background to the Equality Act:
 ‘The Importance of Teaching’
   White Paper – Equalities’
      Impact Assessment
                                       Annex A
Section 1: Background to the Equality Act: ‘The Importance of Teaching’
White Paper – Equalities Impact Assessment

What is the Government saying?

1.    It is unacceptable for educational attainment to be affected by gender, disability,
      race, social class or any other factor unrelated to ability. Every child deserves a good
      education and every child should achieve high standards.

2.    It is a unique sadness of our times that we have one of the most stratified and
      segregated school systems in the world, with a gap between our private schools and
      the state system wider than in almost any other developed country.

3.    On an ethical level this gap between the rich and poor is indefensible. But reducing
      inequality is not only the guiding ethical imperative of our education policy; it is an
      absolute necessity if we are to complete economically on the global stage.

4.    They will ensure that schools are sharply accountable for the progress and success of
      all their pupils.

5.    The wide and unacceptable gaps in achievement in our school system – between rich
      and poor children, between those from different ethnic backgrounds and between
      those who have Special Educational Needs and those who do not – were highlighted
      in the European Court of Human Rights report, How Fair is Britain?

6.    They are determined to raise the achievement and wellbeing of children with Special
      Educational Needs and disabled children.

7.    Put simply, the system is not working for some of our poorest and most
      disadvantaged children. Attainment remains pitifully low for too many children with
      Special Educational Needs and for some of those from particular ethnic backgrounds.
      There is no good reason for boys to continue to underachieve relative to girls.
      Tackling such inequality of opportunity is the fundamental driver of our reforms and
      the source of our urgency in doing so.

8.    In our education system, it is still far too often the case that deprivation is destiny.
      For after prior attainment and Special Educational Needs are taken into account,
      poverty is the best predictor of a child’s success, both up to the end of compulsory
      schooling and on into adult life.

9.    Using eligibility for free school meals (FSM) as a proxy for disadvantage, we see that
      at the national level, attainment gaps between FSM and non-FSM pupils have
      narrowed somewhat over the past ten years. Nevertheless, progress has been
      painfully slow and those gaps that remain are unacceptably large.

10.   Note:
       a child eligible for FSM was half as likely to achieve five or more GCSEs at grade
         A* to C, including English and Mathematics, than a child from a wealthier
         persistent absentees were nearly three times more likely to be eligible for FSM
          than pupils who attend school regularly;
         FSM pupils were around three times more likely to receive either a permanent or
          fixed period exclusion than children who were not eligible.

11.   Just as FSM children are, on average, failing to achieve their full potential, the same
      can be said of those children who have been identified as having a Special
      Educational Need, the best measure available to identify pupils with a disability.

12.   Note: in 2008/09, for example, just 16.5% of all pupils with SEN achieved five or
      more GCSEs at grades A* to C, including English and Mathematics. This compares to
      61.3% of pupils without any SEN who achieved this measure.

13.   Note: where a child has a Special Educational Need and is also eligible for free school
      meals, the equivalent figure was just 8.9%, making these pupils almost seven times
      less likely to achieve five good GCSEs than pupils who fall into neither category. In
      addition to poorer academic attainment, pupils with SEN who are also eligible for
      FSM are almost twice as likely to be permanently excluded as pupils with SEN from
      wealthier backgrounds.

14.   It means that the measures they are determined to implement to provide additional
      and tailored support to disadvantaged pupils – at the forefront of which is the Pupil
      Premium – it is hoped, will have a positive impact on a significant minority of poorer
      pupils with SEN.

15.   Currently, just over a fifth in secondary schools are from minority ethnic groups. And
      like SEN and FSM children, children from certain ethnic backgrounds face an uphill
      struggle in terms of their educational attainment and longer term life chances.
      Attainment gaps between all pupils and pupils from certain minority ethnic
      backgrounds are narrowing, but those gaps that remain are significant and a matter
      for ongoing concern.

16.   Note: of particular concern is that, even after controlling for FSM and SEN, African
      Caribbean pupils are 2.6 times more likely to be excluded than White pupils. The
      attainment of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children remains stubbornly at the wrong
      end of attainment tables grouped by ethnicity.

17.   Note: after Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children, the lowest GCSE performance of any
      group defined by gender, free school meals status and ethnicity is that of White
      British boys eligible for FSM.

18.   The gender attainment gap is a near-universal feature of all developed educational
      systems and has been roughly constant over several decades, with girls consistently
      achieving better results than boys. Gender differences are apparent throughout
      compulsory education and are reflected in attainment and exclusions data.

19.   Important gender differences also appear in subject choices. Girls are more likely to
      take arts, languages and humanities subjects and boys to take geography, physical
      education and information technology. Girls are subsequently more likely to stay on
      in full-time education, (82% of girls compared to 72% of boys). The greatest gender
      divide concerns exclusions, for which boys account for 80% of permanent exclusions,
      and 75% of temporary exclusions.
20.   Where FSM eligibility is a factor, they see that both boys and girls achieve less
      success than their peers, though the problem is more start for FSM boys. Boys are
      also more likely than girls to be identified as having SEN: 70% of children with
      identified SEN are boys; boys are four times more likely than girls to be identified as
      having a behavioural, emotional and social difficulty.

21.   They recognise and applaud the important and valued role schools have always
      played in supporting the wider health and wellbeing of every child in their care. They
      have every expectation that this vital role will continue as teachers recognise the
      need to deal with individual circumstances which can block a child’s readiness to
      learn and their ability to succeed.

22.   At the heart of our Coalition’s Programme for Government is a commitment to spend
      more money on the education of our poorest children. The Pupil Premium, as part of
      a fairer, more equitable and more transparent funding system, will give every school
      and teacher the resources they need to deliver excellence for the poorest pupils,
      without prescribing how.

23.   Because headteachers and teachers, rather than central government, are best placed
      to make the right decisions for their pupils, they will not tell schools how to use the
      Premium. Schools will decide how best to spend it based on their assessment of the
      specific needs of the disadvantaged pupils in their school. But they will expect
      schools to ensure that children struggling with the basics get the extra support they
      need, as soon as they need it, so that these pupils do not fall irretrievably behind
      their peers.

24.   Nothing makes more difference to the progress and attainment of any child or young
      person than good teachers and good teaching. That said, there is particularly strong
      evidence about which interventions and approaches are effective in supporting
      disadvantaged children to realise their potential. These include tracking the progress
      of individual pupils, one-to-one tuition, catch-up programmes in English and
      Mathematics and good parental engagement. So to aid schools in effectively
      targeting their Pupil Premium on the inequalities of opportunity that they experience,
      the Department for Education will make evidence available on its website about what
      works to raise the attainment of specific pupil groups, including different ethnic
      backgrounds, boys and girls, and those with Special Educational Needs.

25.   Schools should feel accountable to parents, pupils and communities for how well
      they serve their pupils – what we call democratic accountability.

26.   Schools will be held to account for every child’s attainment and progress as
      performance tables will include headline indicators that reflect the key priorities of
      raising the attainment threshold, improving progress for all pupils, and raising the
      attainment of disadvantaged children.

27.   The current accountability regime incentivises schools to focus on pupils at the
      borderline of particular performance indicators, at the expense of lower attainers.
      One study has shown, for instance, that as the number of borderline pupils in a
      school increased, the low and very low achieving pupils in that school –
      disproportionately represented by pupils eligible for FSM, with SEN or from particular
      ethnic groups – did worse on both value-added measures and the national
      assessments on which school league tables were based.

28.   They should expect schools to make as much effort with a lower achieving or higher
      achieving pupil as with one whose achievement means that they are close to a
      threshold. So, performance tables will show more clearly how well all pupils

29.   At the same time, they will seek to focus more firmly on how well the least
      advantaged do, and make sure that schools are fully held to account for using the
      Pupil Premium to raise the achievement of eligible children. So, they will report
      specifically in the performance tables on how well those eligible for the Pupil
      Premium do in the basics.

30.   We are particularly concerned about the progress that the lowest attaining 20% of
      pupils make at school.

31.   We know that pupils’ choices at age 14 lead to inequalities in later life. Too often
      girls opt out of science-based subjects and boys move away from humanities and

32.   Currently, a pitiful 3.8% of pupils eligible for FSM achieve this broad core (EBac),
      compared to 16.6% of wealthier pupils, so introducing it as a new performance
      measure is a significant raising of the bar for secondary schools. But it is right that
      we set out these aims for every pupil, because the evidence shows that a broad
      education and well-respected qualifications stand young people in good stead.

33.   Schools should not – and will not – be prevented from offering pupils suitable
      technical or vocational qualifications, as long as this is complemented by a base of
      core academic knowledge.

34.   They know that pupils from certain backgrounds are more likely to be excluded than
      others. The data show that children who are eligible for free school meals are around
      three times more likely to receive either a permanent or fixed period exclusion than
      children form wealthier backgrounds. Boys are also three and a half times more likely
      to be permanently excluded than girls. Pupils with SEN account for 72% of all
      exclusions. Certain ethnic groups appear to be disproportionately represented among
      excluded children.

35.   Over time, they think there is a strong case for organising exclusion and alternative
      provision differently. We want to make it clear that headteachers have the authority
      to exclude pupils where there is no other option. But they want to balance this
      authority with clear responsibility for both the quality of the education their excluded
      pupils receive and what they achieve. Schools will be free to exclude any pupil they
      wish. But they will then be responsible for finding and funding alternative provision

36.   In order to ensure the decision to exclude is never abused, schools will be held
      accountable for the pupils they exclude. The academic performance of excluded
      children would count in the school performance tables. This would create a strong
      incentive for schools to avoid exclusion where possible, and ensure that where it
      does happen it is appropriate and pupils receive good quality alternative provision.
37.   All pupils should be able to learn in safety, but we know that bullying is a significant
      problem for many children and young people: this is unacceptable. In a recent study,
      pupils who reported being bullied during a three year period did substantially worse
      in their GCSEs than those who reported no bullying.

38.   They are clear that a school’s anti-bullying approach must not be blind to race,
      gender, sexuality, faith or disability. A headteacher who is effective in handling
      bullying ought to know whether there is a particular prevalence of any types of
      prejudice-based bullying in the school, and be shaping his or her approach in
      response to make sure any such incidents are taken especially seriously.

Equality Act 2010 :
  Briefing Paper
Annex B
Equality Act 2010: Briefing Paper


Chapter 1       Overview of the Act
Who and what the Act applies to
Protected characteristics
Unlawful behaviour
Special provisions for disability
Definition of parents

Chapter 2      General Exceptions
Exceptions for: Single sex schools; Schools with a religious character; Curriculum; Acts of
How the Act affects policy on: Uniforms; Bullying

Chapter 3      Strand Specific Factors
Including: Single sex classes; Single sex sport; the relationship between Sexual Orientation
and Religion

Chapter 4       Disability
New provisions in relation to disability
Definition of disability
Unlawful behaviour with regard to disabled pupils
Reasonable adjustments and when they have to be made
Schools’ duties around accessibility

Chapter 5     Public Sector Equality Duty and Specific Duties
The new general duty
The new specific duties

Chapter 6     Local Authorities and Education Functions
How the Act applies to: The establishment and closure of schools; The School Curriculum;
School Admissions; School Transport; Acts of Worship
Reasonable Adjustments for Disabled Pupils

Chapter 7     Enforcement
How the Act is enforced: Court proceedings; Tribunal proceedings for disability cases
The burden of proof
The ‘Questions Procedure’

Chapter 8      Education-Specific Employment Provisions
What the Act covers
Reasonable Adjustments
Enquiries about health and disability
Exceptions for schools with a religious character
Chapter 1 - Overview of the Act
On 1 October 2010 the Equality Act 2010 replaced all existing equality legislation such as the
Race Relations Act, Disability Discrimination Act and Sex Discrimination Act.

The Equality Act 2010 provides a single, consolidated source of discrimination law. It
simplifies the law and it extends protection from discrimination in some areas.

For the most part the effect of the new law is the same as the previous legislation it
replaces – meaning that schools cannot unlawfully discriminate against pupils because of
their sex, race, disability, religion or belief or sexual orientation.

However, there are some changes that will have an impact on schools as follows:

New Protection in Schools

Protection against discrimination is now extended to pupils who are pregnant or have
recently given birth, or who are undergoing gender reassignment. As gender reassignment
is rare and a sensitive issue, schools may wish to view advice provided by a number of
transgender organisations; links to them can be found here:

Health Related Questions for Job Applicants

It is now unlawful for employers to ask health-related questions of applicants before job
offer, unless the questions are specifically related to an intrinsic function of the work. This
means that schools should no longer, as a matter of course, require job applicants to
complete a generic health questionnaire as part of the application procedure. There are
potential implications in relation to establishing teachers’ fitness and ability to teach (as
required by the Health Standards (England) Regulations 2003). Schools may decide to ask
necessary health questions after job offer. In any case, they should ensure that any health-
related questions are targeted, necessary and relevant to the job applied for.

Positive Action

New Positive Action provisions will allow schools to target measures that are designed to
alleviate disadvantages experienced by, or to meet the particular needs of, pupils with
particular protected characteristics. Such measures will need to be a proportionate way of
achieving the relevant aim. Previously a school providing – for example - special catch-up
classes for Roma children or a project to engage specifically with alienated Asian boys might
have been discriminating unlawfully by excluding children who didn’t belong to these


It is now unlawful to victimise a child for anything done in relation to the Act by their parent
or sibling.
Auxiliary Aids

The Act will extend the reasonable adjustment duty to require schools to provide auxiliary
aids and services to disabled pupils. However this duty is not due to come into effect until a
later date, following consultation on implementation and approach.

Equality Duties

The three existing general and specific equality duties on schools (race, disability and
gender) to eliminate discrimination and advance equality of opportunity have been
combined into a single, less bureaucratic and more outcome-focused duty extending to all of
the protected characteristics.

Schools: who and what the Act applies to

The Act makes it unlawful for the responsible body of a school to discriminate against,
harass or victimise a pupil or potential pupil
    in relation to admissions,
    in the way it provides education for pupils,
    in the way it provides pupils access to any benefit, facility or service, or
    by excluding a pupil or subjecting them to any other detriment.

The “responsible body” is the governing body or the local authority for maintained schools in
England and Wales. In practice, any persons acting on behalf of the responsible body –
including employees of the school – are liable for their own discriminatory actions, and the
responsible body is also liable unless it can show that it has taken all reasonable steps to
stop the individual from doing the discriminatory action or from doing anything of that kind.

The Act deals with the way in which schools treat their pupils and prospective pupils: the
relationship between one pupil and another is not within its scope. It does not therefore
bear directly on such issues as racist or homophobic bullying by pupils. However, if a school
treats bullying which relates to a protected ground less seriously than other forms of
bullying – for example dismissing complaints of homophobic bullying or failing to protect a
transgender pupil against bullying by classmates – then it may be guilty of unlawful

The school’s liability not to discriminate, harass or victimise does not end when a pupil has
left the school, but will apply to subsequent actions connected to the previous relationship
between school and pupil, such as the provision of references on former pupils or access to
“old pupils” communications and activities.

Protected Characteristics

It is unlawful for a school to discriminate against a pupil or prospective pupil by treating
them less favourably because of their
      sex,
      race,
      disability,
      religion or belief
      sexual orientation
      gender reassignment,
      pregnancy or maternity

It is also unlawful to discriminate because of the sex, race, disability, religion or belief,
sexual orientation or gender reassignment of another person with whom the pupil is
associated. So, for example, a school must not discriminate by refusing to admit a pupil
because his parents are gay men or lesbians. It would be race discrimination to treat a white
pupil less favourably because she has a black boyfriend.


It is also unlawful to discriminate because of a characteristic which you think a person has,
even if you are mistaken. So a teacher who consistently picks on a pupil for being gay will
be discriminating because of sexual orientation whether or not the pupil is in fact gay.

The new Act extends protection against discrimination on grounds of pregnancy or maternity
to pupils, so it will be unlawful – as well as against education policy – for a school to treat a
pupil unfavourably because she is pregnant or a new mother.

Protection for transgender pupils against gender reassignment discrimination is also new in
this Act.

A person’s age is also a protected characteristic in relation to employment and the Act will
extend this (except for children) to the provision of goods and services, but this does not
apply to pupils in schools. Schools therefore remain free to admit and organise children in
age groups and to treat pupils in ways appropriate to their age and stage of development
without risk of legal challenge, even in the case of pupils over the age of 18.

Unlawful behaviour

The Act defines four kinds of unlawful behaviour – direct discrimination; indirect
discrimination; harassment and victimisation.

Direct discrimination occurs when one person treats another less favourably, because of
a protected characteristic, than they treat – or would treat – other people. This describes
the most clear-cut and obvious examples of discrimination – for example if a school were to
refuse to let a pupil be a prefect because she is a lesbian.

Indirect discrimination occurs when a “provision, criterion or practice” is applied
generally but has the effect of putting people with a particular characteristic at a
disadvantage when compared to people without that characteristic. An example might be
holding a parents’ meeting on a Friday evening, which could make it difficult for observant
Jewish parents to attend. It is a defence against a claim of indirect discrimination if it can be
shown to be “a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim”. This means both that
the reason for the rule or practice is legitimate, and that it could not reasonably be achieved
in a different way which did not discriminate.

Harassment has a specific legal definition in the Act - it is “unwanted conduct, related to a
relevant protected characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating a person’s
dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment
for that person”. This covers unpleasant and bullying behaviour, but potentially extends also
to actions which, whether intentionally or unintentionally, cause offence to a person because
of a protected characteristic.
Thus, if a teacher belittles a pupil and holds her up to ridicule in class because of a disability
she has, this could lead to a court case alleging unlawful harassment. The same
unacceptable treatment directed at a lesbian pupil, or based on a pupil’s religion, could lead
to a case claiming direct discrimination. The practical consequences for the school, and the
penalties, would be no different.

Victimisation occurs when a person is treated less favourably than they otherwise would
have been because of something they have done (“a protected act”) in connection with the
Act. A protected act might involve, for example, making an allegation of discrimination or
bringing a case under the Act, or supporting another person’s complaint by giving evidence
or information, but it includes anything that is done under or in connection with the Act.
Even if what a person did or said was incorrect or misconceived, for example based on a
misunderstanding of the situation or of what the law provides, they are protected against
retaliation unless they were acting in bad faith. The reason for this is to ensure that people
are not afraid to raise genuine concerns about discrimination because of fear of retaliation.

As well as it being unlawful to victimise a person who does a protected act, a child must not
be victimised because of something done by their parent or a sibling in relation to the Act.
This means that a child must not be made to suffer in any way because, for example, her
mother has made a complaint of sex discrimination against the school, or her brother has
claimed that a teacher is bullying him because he is gay, whether or not the mother or
brother was acting in good faith.

If a pupil has himself or herself done a protected act – such as making a complaint of
discrimination against a teacher – then the child’s own good faith will be relevant. For
example, if the parent’s complaint is based on information from her son and the son was
deliberately lying, it is not victimisation for the school to punish him in the same way as it
might do any other dishonest pupil. Unless it can be clear that the mother was also acting in
bad faith (for example that she knew her son was lying) it would still be unlawful to
victimise her for pursuing the complaint.

Special provisions for Disability

The law on disability discrimination is different from the rest of the Act in a number of ways.
In particular, it works in only one direction – that is to say, it protects disabled people but
not people who are not disabled. This means that schools are allowed to treat disabled
pupils more favourably than non-disabled pupils, and in some cases are required to do so,
by making reasonable adjustments to put them on a more level footing with pupils without

Chapter 2 General Exceptions

The content of the school curriculum has never been caught by discrimination law, and this
Act now states explicitly that it is excluded. However the way in which a school provides
education – the delivery of the curriculum – is explicitly included.

Excluding the content of the curriculum ensures that schools are free to include a full range
of issues, ideas and materials in their syllabus, and to expose pupils to thoughts and ideas
of all kinds, however challenging or controversial, without fear of legal challenge based on a
protected characteristic. But schools will need to ensure that the way in which issues are
taught does not subject individual pupils to discrimination.

Some examples can best explain the distinction between content and delivery of the
curriculum as the Act applies:
 A boy complains that it is sex discrimination for him to be required to do a module on
    feminist thought.
 A girl complains that putting The Taming of the Shrew on the syllabus is discriminatory;
    or a Jewish pupil objects to having to study The Merchant of Venice.
 A fundamentalist Christian objects to the teaching of evolution in science lessons
    unbalanced by the teaching of “intelligent design”.
 A school does a project to mark Gay Pride Week. A heterosexual pupil claims that he
    finds this embarrassing and that it discriminates against him on grounds of his sexual
    orientation; a Christian or a Muslim pupil objects to it on religious grounds.
 A Muslim pupil objects to the works of Salman Rushdie being included on a reading list.

All of the above are examples of complaints against the content of the curriculum, and none
of them would give rise to a valid complaint under the Act.

However, valid complaints that the curriculum is being delivered in a discriminatory way
might well arise in situations such as the following:
 A teacher uses the fact that The Taming of the Shrew is a set book to make derogatory
   generalisations about the inferiority of women, in a way which makes the girls in the
   class feel belittled. Or, in teaching The Merchant of Venice, he encourages the class to
   laugh at a Jewish pupil.
 In class discussions, black pupils are never called on and the teacher makes it clear that
   she is not interested in their views.
 Girls are not allowed to do design technology or boys are discouraged from doing food
   technology. This is not intrinsic to the curriculum itself but to the way in which education
   is made available to pupils.
 The girls’ cricket team are not allowed equal access to the cricket nets, or the boys’
   hockey team is given far better resources than the girls’ team. This would be less
   favourable delivery of education rather than to do with the sports curriculum per se.

Acts of worship

There is a general exception, which applies to all schools, to the religion or belief provisions
which allows all schools to have acts of worship or other forms of collective religious
observance. This means the daily act of collective worship, which for maintained schools is
mandatory and should be of a broadly Christian nature, is not covered by the religion or
belief provisions. The exception means that schools will not be acting unlawfully if they do
not provide an equivalent act of worship for other faiths.

Schools are also free to celebrate religious festivals and could not be claimed to be
discriminating against children of other faiths if, for example, they put on a nativity play at
Christmas or hold a celebration to mark other religious festivals such as Diwali or Eid.

The Equality Act does not deal specifically with school uniform or other aspects of
appearance such as hair colour and style, and the wearing of jewellery and make-up, but
the general requirement not to discriminate in the treatment of pupils applies here as in
relation to other aspects of school policy. It is for the governing body of a school to decide
whether there should be a school uniform and other rules relating to appearance, and if so
what they should be. This flows from the duties placed upon the governing body by statute
to manage the school.

Long-standing guidance makes it clear that schools must have regard to their obligations
under the Human Rights Act 1998 (it is here rather than in relation to equality law that most
case law has been determined to date) as well as under equality law, and that they need to
be careful that blanket uniform policies do not discriminate because of race, religion or
belief, gender, disability, gender reassignment or sexual orientation. Consequently it will be
up to the individual school to consider the implications their uniform requirements have on
their pupils.

For example, differences in dress requirements for girls and boys are standard, and where
they don’t have significantly more detrimental effects on one sex or the other they are
unlikely to be regarded as discriminatory. But it might be unlawful if, for example, the
uniform was considerably more expensive for girls than for boys. Schools need also to
consider whether flexibility is needed in relation to uniform to meet the needs of a pupil who
is undergoing gender reassignment. It may also be discrimination because of disability if, for
example, a child who has a skin condition which means he cannot wear nylon is not allowed
to wear cotton trousers as part of the uniform.

There are potential issues around school uniform policies and religion and belief. Schools
should be sensitive to the needs of different cultures, races and religions and act reasonably
in accommodating these needs, without compromising important school policies, such as
school safety or discipline. It is well established that it would be race discrimination to refuse
to let a Sikh child wear a turban because of a school policy requiring that caps be worn, but
legal judgments have not supported the absolute right of people of faith to wear garments
or jewellery to indicate that faith.


The issue of bullying motivated by prejudice is a particularly sensitive issue. Although the
relationship between one pupil and another is not within the scope of the Act (see
paragraph 1.7), schools need to ensure that all forms of prejudice-motivated bullying are
taken seriously and dealt with equally and firmly.

The Department for Education has published specific advice for schools on bullying. There is
also advice available from a number of organisations on homophobic and transphobic
bullying. Stonewall have a wealth of material on homophobic bullying on their website:
and the Gender Identity Research and Education Society (GIRES) have published “Guidance
on Combating Transphobic Bullying in Schools”
Chapter 3 –Special issues for some protected characteristics
This chapter covers all protected characteristics apart from disability, which is covered
separately in Chapter 4. It outlines general concepts applicable to all or most characteristics
and specific exceptions where they apply. It also provides some definitions of protected
characteristics and the interaction between some of those characteristics.

Apart from those areas discussed in chapter 1 and highlighted again in this chapter, the Act
does not contain significant changes in the law with regard to the majority of discrimination
legislation applicable to schools. Schools that already employ non-discriminatory practices
and adhere to government guide lines should already be acting within the spirit and letter of
the Act and should need to make only minor adjustments, if any. However, it may be useful
to review the school’s compliance in the light of this guidance.

Gender reassignment

Protection from discrimination because of gender reassignment in schools is new for pupils
in the Equality Act, although school staff are already protected. This means that for the first
time it will be unlawful for schools to treat pupils less favourably because of their gender
reassignment and that schools will have to factor in gender reassignment when considering
their obligations under the new Equality Duty.

Gender reassignment is defined in the Equality Act as applying to anyone who is
undergoing, has undergone or is proposing to undergo a process (or part of a process) of
reassigning their sex by changing physiological or other attributes. This definition means
that in order to be protected under the Act, a pupil will not necessarily have to be
undertaking a medical procedure to change their sex but must be taking steps to live in the
opposite gender, or proposing to do so.

A glossary of terminology related to the transgender field can be found on the Gender
Identity Research and Education Society website, here:

The protection against discrimination because of gender reassignment now matches the
protection because of sexual orientation in schools. That is protection from direct and
indirect discrimination and victimisation, which includes discrimination based on perception
and on association. Schools need to make sure that all gender variant pupils, or the children
of transgender parents, are not singled out for different and less favourable treatment from
that given to other pupils. They should check that there are no practices which could result
in unfair, less favourable treatment of such pupils. For example, it would be unlawful
discrimination for a teacher to single out a pupil undergoing gender reassignment and
embarrass him in front of the class because of this characteristic.

It is relatively rare for pupils – particularly very young pupils – to want to undergo gender
reassignment, but when a pupil does so a number of issues will arise which will need to be
sensitively handled. There is evidence that the number of such cases is increasing and
schools should aim to address any issues early on and in a proactive way. Further guidance
is available from the GIRES website:

The definition of race includes colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins.

Schools need to make sure that pupils of all races are not singled out for different and less
favourable treatment from that given to other pupils. Schools should check that there are no
practices which could result in unfair, less favourable treatment of such pupils. For example,
it would be unlawful for a selective school to impose a higher standard for admission to
applicants from an ethnic minority background, or for a school to impose stricter disciplinary
penalties on African Caribbean boys than they do in similar circumstances to children from
other backgrounds.

Segregating pupils by race or ethnicity

Segregation of pupils by race is always direct discrimination. It would thus be unlawful for a
school to put children into sets, or into different sports in PE classes, according to their
ethnicity. This stipulation in the Act is to make it clear that claims that segregated treatment
is “separate but equal” cannot be sustained where race is concerned. It does not mean that
schools cannot take positive action to deal with particular disadvantages affecting children of
one racial or ethnic group, where this can be shown to be a proportionate way of dealing
with such issues.

Race Equality Duty – schools previously had a statutory duty which required them to take
proactive steps to tackle racial discrimination, and promote equality of opportunity and good
race relations. Under the Equality Act, this has been replaced by the general equality duty
and the new specific duties – covered in chapter 5 of this guidance.

Religion or Belief

Please also see the section on schools with a religious character in Chapter 2.

The Equality Act defines “religion” as being any religion, and “belief” as any religious or
philosophical belief. A lack of religion or a lack of belief are also protected characteristics.
These definitions are fairly broad and the concepts of religion and belief therefore must be
construed in accordance with Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights and
with existing case law. This means that to benefit from protection under the Act, a religion
or belief must have a clear structure and belief system, and should have a certain level of
cogency, seriousness and cohesion, and not be incompatible with human dignity.

“Religion” will include for example all the major faith groups and “belief” will include non-
religious worldviews such as humanism. Religion will also include denominations or sects
within a religion, such as Catholicism or Protestantism within Christianity. It is not however
intended to include political beliefs such as Communism or support for any particular political

Lack of religion or belief is also included in the definition of “religion or belief”. This means
it will be unlawful to discriminate against someone on the grounds that they do not adhere,
or sufficiently adhere, to a particular religion or belief (even one shared by the
discriminator), or indeed any religion or belief at all – such as, for example, an atheist.

Discrimination because of religion or belief means treating a person less favourably than
another person is or would be treated, because of their religion or belief, or the religion or
belief they are perceived to have, their lack of religion or belief, or the religion or belief, or
lack of it, of someone else with whom they are associated.

The Equality Act makes it clear that unlawful religious discrimination can include
discrimination against another person of the same religion or belief as the discriminator. This
is to ensure that any potential discrimination between, e.g. Orthodox and Reform Jews, or
Shia and Sunni Muslims, would also be unlawful. So if a Muslim pupil is not chosen for a part
in a school play because it is thought to be inappropriate for a girl of that faith, that will be
discrimination even if the decision was taken by a Muslim teacher. Nor could a Muslim
teacher choose one Muslim pupil over another for a part in the play because he thinks the
chosen pupil is a more observant member of his faith and should be rewarded.

The definition of discrimination on grounds of religion or belief does not address
discrimination on any other ground (such as race, sex or sexual orientation). The Act does
not allow a teacher to discriminate against a pupil because of his own personal religious
views about homosexuality or the role of women for example. This is explained more
thoroughly later in this chapter, in the section entitled Sexual Orientation and Religion or


Please also see the section on single sex schools in Chapter 2.

Schools need to make sure that pupils of one sex are not singled out for different and less
favourable treatment from that given to other pupils. They should check that there are no
practices which could result in unfair, less favourable treatment of boys or girls. For
example, it would be unlawful for a school to require girls to learn needlework while giving
boys the choice between needlework and woodwork classes.

Gender Equality Duty - Schools previously had a statutory duty to promote gender equality
and have a gender equality scheme in place. Under the Equality Act, this has been replaced
by the general equality duty and the new specific duties – this is covered in chapter 5 of this

Single sex classes

Whilst there is no express exemption in the same way that there is for same-sex schools, it
is not necessarily unlawful to have some single-sex classes in a mixed school, provided that
this does not give children in such classes an unfair advantage or disadvantage when
compared to children of the other sex in other classes. For example, it would be lawful to
teach sex education to single-sex classes, as long as the classes were provided to both boys
and girls, but unlawful to provide remedial classes just for boys who needed help with
reading without doing the same for girls in a similar position. A positive action initiative
specifically to help boys in such a position would not necessarily be unlawful but the school
would need to be able to show that this was a proportionate way of dealing with a specific
disadvantage experienced by boys and connected to their gender. It would not be
proportionate simply to refuse help to girls with reading difficulties in order to help boys as a
group catch up with the higher average attainment of girls. Pupils undergoing gender
reassignment should be allowed to attend the single sex class that accords with the gender
role in which they identify.
Single sex sport

Although the Equality Act forbids discrimination in access to benefits, facilities and services,
the Act does contain an exception which permits single-sex sports. It applies to participation
in any sport or game, or other activity of a competitive nature, where the physical strength,
stamina or physique of the average woman (or girl) would put her at a disadvantage in
competition with the average man (or boy). But while this exception might permit a mixed
school to have a boys-only football team, the school would still have to allow girls equal
opportunities to participate in comparable sporting activities. The judgment on whether girls
would be at a physical disadvantage needs to take into account the particular group in
question, so it is much less likely to justify segregated sports for younger children. Where
separate teams exist, it would be unlawful discrimination for a school to treat one group less
favourably – for example by providing the boys’ hockey or cricket team with much better
resources than the girls’.

Pregnancy and maternity

Protection for pupils from discrimination because of pregnancy and maternity in schools is
new in the Equality Act. This means that for the first time it will be unlawful for schools to
treat a pupil less favourably because she becomes pregnant or has recently had a baby.
Schools will also have to factor in pregnancy and maternity when considering their
obligations under the new Equality Duty (see chapter 5).

Although the specific provision in the Act is new, schools should already be aware of their
specific responsibilities to any pupils in their care who become pregnant or parents. Previous
government guidance issued in 2001 (DfES/0629/2001 on the ‘Education of School Age
Parents’) and in the Absence and Attendance Codes Guidance for Schools and Local
Authorities (January 2009, page 8), which is available on teachernet make it clear that
schools must not exclude a pupil simply on the grounds of her becoming pregnant but
should allow her no more than 18 calendar weeks authorised absence to cover the time
immediately before and after the birth of her child. This is in order to ensure that she is
reintegrated into education as quickly as possible.

Local Authorities have a duty under the Education Act 1996 to provide suitable education for
all pupils for whom they are responsible including pupils of compulsory school age who
become parents. ‘Suitable education’ must meet the needs of the pupil and should take
account of their age, ability, aptitude and individual needs including any special educational
needs they may have. The 2001 guidance emphasises the importance of support from re-
integration and education welfare officers to enable pregnant pupils and school age mothers
to complete their education.

Schools already have a duty of care to their pupils and we do not expect them to have to
alter their policies because of this new legal provision, providing they are not excluding
pregnant pupils or requiring them to study at home or in alternative provision when they
wish to remain in school, and are letting them return to education when they have had their
babies. Further guidance on dealing with issues arising from schoolgirls becoming pregnant
can be found here:
Sexual orientation

Schools need to make sure that all gay, lesbian or bi-sexual pupils, or the children of gay,
lesbian or bi-sexual parents, are not singled out for different and less favourable treatment
from that given to other pupils. They should check that there are no practices which could
result in unfair, less favourable treatment of such pupils. For example, it would be unlawful
for a school to refuse to let a gay pupil become a prefect because of his sexual orientation.

Sexual Orientation and Religion or Belief

There is a relationship between protection because of sexual orientation and protection of
religious freedom. Protection in the area of discrimination on grounds of religion or belief
and the right to manifest one’s religion or belief is set out earlier in this chapter.

Many people’s views on sexual orientation/sexual activity are themselves grounded in
religious belief. Some schools with a religious character have concerns that they may be
prevented from teaching in line with their religious ethos. Teachers have expressed concerns
that they may be subject to legal action if they do not voice positive views on same sex
relationships, whether or not this view accords with their faith. There are also concerns that
schools with a religious character may teach and act in ways unacceptable to lesbian, gay
and bisexual pupils and parents when same sex relationships are discussed because there
are no express provisions to prevent this occurring.

Schools with a religious character, like all schools, have a responsibility for the welfare of the
children in their care and to adhere to curriculum guidance. It is not the intention of the
Equality Act to undermine their position as long as they continue to uphold their
responsibilities in these areas. If their beliefs are explained in an appropriate way in an
educational context that takes into account existing guidance on the delivery of Sex and
Relationships Education (SRE) and Religious Education (RE), then schools should not be
acting unlawfully.

However, if a school conveyed its belief in a way that involved haranguing, harassing or
berating a particular pupil or group of pupils then this would be unacceptable in any
circumstances and is likely to constitute unlawful discrimination.

Where individual teachers are concerned, having a view about something does not amount
to discrimination. So it should not be unlawful for a teacher in any school to express
personal views on sexual orientation provided that it is done in an appropriate manner and
context (for example when responding to questions from pupils, or in an RE or Personal,
Social, Health and Economic education (PSHE) lesson). However, it should be remembered
that school teachers are in a very influential position and their actions and responsibilities
are bound by much wider duties than this legislation. A teacher’s ability to express his or her
views should not extend to allowing them to discriminate against others.

Chapter 4 - Disability
As mentioned in Chapter 1, and as in previous equality legislation, the disability provisions in
this Act are different from those for other protected characteristics in a number of ways.

The overriding principle of equality legislation is generally one of equal treatment - i.e. that
you must treat a black person no less well than a white person, or a man as favourably as a
woman. However, the provisions relating to disability discrimination are different in that you
may, and often must, treat a disabled person more favourably than a person who is not
disabled and may have to make changes to your practices to ensure, as far as is reasonably
possible, that a disabled person can benefit from what you offer to the same extent that a
person without that disability can. So in a school setting the general principle is that you
have to treat male and female, black and white, gay and straight pupils equally - but you
may be required to treat disabled pupils differently. Discrimination is also defined rather
differently in relation to disability

New provisions relating to disability

The disability provisions in the Equality Act mainly replicate those in the former Disability
Discrimination Act (DDA). There are some minor differences as follows:
 Unlike the DDA the Equality Act does not list the types of day to day activities which a
    disabled person must demonstrate that they cannot carry out, thus making the definition
    of disability less restrictive for disabled people to meet.
 Failure to make a reasonable adjustment can no longer be defended as justified. The
    fact that it must be reasonable provides the necessary test.
 Direct discrimination against a disabled person can no longer be defended as justified –
    bringing it into line with the definition of direct discrimination generally.
 Schools and local authorities will (when provisions are implemented) be under a duty to
    supply auxiliary aids and services as reasonable adjustments where these are not being
    supplied through Special Educational Needs (SEN) statements.

Definition of disability

The Act defines disability as when a person has a ‘physical or mental impairment which has
a substantial and long term adverse effect on that person’s ability to carry out normal day to
day activities.’ Some specified medical conditions, HIV, multiple sclerosis and cancer are all
considered as disabilities, regardless of their effect.

The Act sets out details of matters that may be relevant when determining whether a person
meets the definition of disability. Long term is defined as lasting, or likely to last, for at least
12 months.

Unlawful behaviour with regard to disabled pupils

Chapter 1 explains the general definitions in the Act of direct discrimination, indirect
discrimination, victimisation and harassment. The rather different and more complex
provisions that apply in the case of disability are set out here.

Direct Discrimination: A school must not treat a disabled pupil less favourably simply
because that pupil is disabled – for example by having an admission bar on disabled

A change for schools in this Act is that there can no longer be justification for direct
discrimination in any circumstances. Under the DDA schools could justify some direct
discrimination – if was a proportionate means of meeting a legitimate aim. What the
change means is that if a school discriminates against a person purely because of his or her
disability (even if they are trying to achieve a legitimate aim) then it would be unlawful
discrimination as there can be no justification for their actions.
Indirect Discrimination: A school must not do something which applies to all pupils but
which is more likely to have an adverse effect on disabled pupils only – for example having a
rule that all pupils must demonstrate physical fitness levels before being admitted to the
school – unless they can show that it is done for a legitimate reason, and is a proportionate
way of achieving that legitimate aim.

Discrimination arising from disability: A school must not discriminate against a disabled
pupil because of something that is a consequence of their disability – for example by not
allowing a disabled pupil on crutches outside at break time because it would take too long
for her to get out and back. Like indirect discrimination, discrimination arising from disability
can potentially be justified.

Harassment: A school must not harass a pupil because of his disability – for example, a
teacher shouting at the pupil because the disability means that he is constantly struggling
with class-work or unable to concentrate.

Disability Equality Duty – schools previously had a statutory duty which required them to
take proactive steps to tackle disability discrimination, and promote equality of opportunity
for disabled pupils. Under the Equality Act, this has been replaced by the general equality
duty and the new specific duties – covered in chapter 5 of this guidance.

Reasonable adjustments and when they have to be made

The duty to make reasonable adjustments applies only to disabled people. For schools the
duty is summarised as follows:
 Where something a school does places a disabled pupil at a disadvantage compared to
   other pupils then the school must take reasonable steps to try and avoid that
 Schools will be expected to provide an auxiliary aid or service for a disabled pupil when it
   would be reasonable to do so and if such an aid would alleviate any substantial
   disadvantage that the pupil faces in comparison to non-disabled pupils.

Schools are not subject to the other reasonable adjustment duty to make alterations to
physical features because this is already considered as part of their planning duties.

(Please note : the duty to provide auxiliary aids is new to schools and will not be
introduced until a later date to allow time for planning and informed

A minor change for schools is that a failure to make a reasonable adjustment cannot now be
justified, whereas under the DDA it could be. However this change should not have any
practical effect due to the application of the reasonableness test – i.e. if an adjustment is
reasonable then it should be made and there can be no justification for why it is not made.
Schools will not be expected to make adjustments that are not reasonable.

In addition to having a duty to consider reasonable adjustments for particular individual
disabled pupils, schools will also have to consider potential adjustments which may be
needed for disabled pupils generally as it is likely that any school will have a disabled pupil
at some point. However, schools are not obliged to anticipate and make adjustments for
every imaginable disability and need only consider general reasonable adjustments - e.g.
being prepared to produce large font papers for pupils with a visual impairment even though
there are no such pupils currently admitted to the school. Such a strategic and wider view
of the school’s approach to planning for disabled pupils will also link closely with its planning

The Act does not set out what would be a reasonable adjustment or a list of factors to
consider in determining what is reasonable although a code of practice produced by the
Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) will include factors that should be taken into
account. It will be for schools to consider the reasonableness of adjustments based on the
circumstances of each case. However, factors a school may consider when assessing the
reasonableness of an adjustment may include the financial or other resources required for
the adjustment, its effectiveness, its effect on other pupils, health and safety requirements
and whether aids have been made available through the Special Educational Needs route.

Cost will inevitably play a major part in determining what is reasonable and it is more likely
to be reasonable for a school with substantial financial resources to have to make an
adjustment with a significant cost, than for a school with fewer resources. For example, a
small rural primary school may not be able to provide specialised IT equipment for any
disabled pupils who may need it and it may not be reasonable for the school to provide that
equipment. On the other hand, a much larger school might reasonably be expected to
provide it.

Often, though, effective and practicable adjustments for disabled pupils will involve little or
no cost or disruption and are therefore very likely to be reasonable for a school to have to

Schools generally will try to ensure that disabled pupils can play as full a part as possible in
school life and the reasonable adjustments duty will help support that. However, there will
be times when adjustments cannot be made because to do so would have a detrimental
effect on other pupils and would therefore not be reasonable – for example, if a school put
on a geology field trip which necessarily involved climbing and walking over rough ground
and after fully considering alternatives to accommodate a disabled pupil in a wheelchair who
could not take part it determined that there was no viable alternative or way of enabling the
disabled pupil to participate or be involved, it would not have to cancel the trip as originally
planned. This is unlikely to constitute direct discrimination or failure to make a reasonable

The reasonable adjustments duties on schools are intended to complement the accessibility
planning duties and the existing SEN statement provisions which are part of education
legislation, under which Local Authorities have to provide auxiliary aids to pupils with a
statement of special educational need.

The duty applies in respect of all disabled pupils but many will have an SEN statement and
auxiliary aids provided by the LA and so may not require anything further. However, if the
disabled pupil does not have a statement (or the statement doesn’t provide the necessary
aid) then the duty to consider reasonable adjustments and provide such auxiliary aids will
fall to the school (after the relevant provisions come into force).

Schools’ duties around accessibility for disabled pupils

Schools and LAs need to carry out accessibility planning for disabled pupils. These are the
same duties as previously existed under the DDA and have been replicated in the Equality
Act 2010.
Schools must implement accessibility plans which are aimed at:
 increasing the extent to which disabled pupils can participate in the curriculum;
 improving the physical environment of schools to enable disabled pupils to take better
   advantage of education, benefits, facilities and services provided; and
 improving the availability of accessible information to disabled pupils.

Schools will also need to have regard to the need to provide adequate resources for
implementing plans and must regularly review them. An accessibility plan may be a
freestanding document but may also be published as part of another document such as the
school development plan.

OFSTED inspections may include a school’s accessibility plan as part of their review.

Local Authorities’ duties around accessibility for disabled pupils

LAs must, for the schools for which they are responsible, prepare accessibility strategies
based on the same principle as the access plans for schools.

Guidance on the planning duties, which offers advice to schools and LAs on how to develop
plans and strategies and gives examples on approach, was published in 2002 and can be
accessed at:

Further guidance on this and all other areas of disability in schools is available in the
“Implementing Disability Discrimination Act in Schools and Early Years Settings” pack, which
although it refers to the repealed DDA, contains helpful advice for schools in the area of
disability and is still currently available at:

Chapter 5 - The Public Sector Equality Duty
The Equality Act 2010 introduced a single Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) (sometimes
also referred to as the ‘general duty’) that applies to public bodies, including maintained
schools and Academies, and which extends to all protected characteristics - race, disability,
sex, age, religion or belief, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity and gender
reassignment. This combined equality duty came into effect in April 2011. It has three main
elements. In carrying out their functions, public bodies are required to have due regard to
the need to:

   Eliminate discrimination and other conduct that is prohibited by the Act,
   Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic
    and people who do not share it,
   Foster good relations across all characteristics - between people who share a protected
    characteristic and people who do not share it.
Where schools are concerned, age will be a relevant characteristic in considering their duties
in their role as an employer but not in relation to pupils.

All public bodies were previously bound by three separate sets of duties to promote
disability, race and gender equality. The new simpler, less bureaucratic, PSED has replaced
those three duties.

With the new PSED, as with the previous general duties, schools are subject to the need to
have due regard to the three elements outlined above. What having “due regard” means in
practice has been defined in case law and means giving relevant and proportionate
consideration to the duty. For schools this means:

   Decision makers in schools must be aware of the duty to have “due regard” when
    making a decision or taking an action and must assess whether it may have implications
    for people with particular protected characteristics.
   Schools should consider equality implications before and at the time that they develop
    policy and take decisions, not as an afterthought, and they need to keep them under
    review on a continuing basis.
   The PSED has to be integrated into the carrying out of the school’s functions, and the
    analysis necessary to comply with the duty has to be carried out seriously, rigorously
    and with an open mind – it is not just a question of ticking boxes or following a
    particular process.
   Schools can’t delegate responsibility for carrying out the duty to anyone else.

Having “due regard”

The duty to have “due regard” to equality considerations means that whenever significant
decisions are being made or policies developed, thought must be given to the equality
implications. The significance of those implications – and the amount of thought that needs
to be devoted to them - will vary depending on the nature of the decision. For example, a
decision to change the time of school assembly is unlikely to have a significant impact on
any particular group. On the other hand, deciding when and where to have a school trip
may raise a range of considerations: are the facilities for boys and girls equivalent; are they
accessible to disabled pupils; does the date cut across any religious holidays and so exclude
some pupils, and so on. An initiative to raise pupil attainment in a single sex school might
not have any gender implications, but there could be race issues that need to be considered.

It is good practice for schools to keep a written record to show that they have actively
considered their equality duties and asked themselves relevant questions. Publishing it will
help to demonstrate that the due regard duty is being fulfilled. There is no legal requirement
to produce a formal equality analysis document, although for key decisions this might be a
helpful tool.

If a school does not record its consideration of the general equality duty when making a
decision or carrying out a particular function, this does not automatically mean that the duty
to have ‘due regard’ has not been met. However, if challenged, it will be easier for a school
to demonstrate that the duty has been met if a record has been made at the time. The duty
only needs to be implemented in a light-touch way, proportionate to the issue being

The Government has also introduced new specific duties, which are intended to help public
authorities to meet their obligations under the PSED. The PSED is set out on the face of the
Act, while the specific duties are set out in secondary legislation (the Equality Act 2010
(Specific Duties) Regulations 2011).

What compliance with the specific duties will mean for schools

This section is intended to provide schools with practical advice on what is expected of them
under the specific duties regulations. Nothing in this advice is intended to be prescriptive –
schools have freedom to meet the duties in ways appropriate to their own set of
circumstances. Rather, this section should be used as a helpful guide to what schools might
wish to do to demonstrate that they are complying with the Equality Duties.

The specific duties are meant to help public bodies fulfil their obligations under the general
duty. They are designed to be flexible, light-touch and proportionate rather than being
bureaucratic or a “tick-box” exercise. The emphasis is on transparency - making information
available so that the school’s local community can see how the school is advancing equality
in line with the PSED, and what objectives it is using to make this happen.

The specific duties regulations require schools:

(a) to publish information to demonstrate how they are complying with the Public Sector
    Equality Duty, and
(b) to prepare and publish equality objectives.

Schools have until 6 April 2012 to publish their initial information and first set of objectives.
They will then need to update the published information at least annually and to publish
objectives at least once every four years.

The Equality Duty is proportionate, and complying with it will look different for organisations
of different sizes and with different levels of resources. Therefore, in terms of publishing
information and setting equality objectives, the requirements of the duty will not be the
same for a small primary school as they are for a large secondary school.

Data about employees will not need to be published where a public authority has fewer than
150 employees. This means that for the great majority of schools, only pupil-related data
will need to be published. However, if a school decides that making public some employee-
related statistics would help them to demonstrate that they are complying with the general
duty they may choose to do so, so long as this does not conflict with principles of data
protection. Broadly speaking, schools must ensure that individuals are not able to be
identified through the publication of data. The Department for Education does not generally
publish information which relates to fewer than 3 people (school staff or pupils) but it will be
for schools to determine whether the data they wish to publish will be suitable or not. The
full rules to which DfE adheres on the publication of data can be viewed here:

The government is clear that the new duties should not be overly burdensome on schools.
Schools will not be required to collect any statistical data which they do not already collect
routinely. A large amount of data is already collected by schools - RAISE online, which
presents performance data for individual schools broken down by a number of relevant
characteristics (sex, race, and also SEN which can be seen as a rough proxy for disability)
and which includes comparative analysis with national statistics and with comparable
schools, will be a particularly useful source.
It is also important to note that the published information does not necessarily have to be
statistical data. Many other kinds of information can be used to show how the school is
promoting equality, such as publishing its policies online, or publishing minutes of
Governors’ meetings (see “Publishing Information” below).

Under specific duties set out in previous equality legislation, schools were required to
produce equality schemes in relation to race, disability and gender. Under the new specific
duties there are no requirements to create equality schemes. But schools may choose to
continue producing such a scheme, if it helps them to comply with the Equality Duty, and
they can expand it to cover the additional protected characteristics.

Publishing Information

It is probably helpful to consider what kind of information will be relevant to showing how
each of the three limbs of the duty is being addressed.

Eliminating discrimination and other conduct that is prohibited by the Act

Evidence that the school is aware of the requirements of the Act and determined to comply
with the non-discrimination provisions will be relevant here. This might include copies of any
of a range of policies (for example, the behaviour policy or anti-bullying policy, or the
recruitment or pay policies) where the importance of avoiding discrimination and other
prohibited conduct is expressly noted. If there has been a meeting of staff or of Governors
where they are reminded of their responsibilities under the Act, a note of that meeting could
also be useful evidence that due regard is being had to this part of the duty. Evidence of
staff training on the Equality Act would also be appropriate, as would a note of how the
school monitors equality issues.

Advancing equality of opportunity between people who share a protected
characteristic and people who do not share it

Advancing equality of opportunity involves, in particular:-

(a)   removing or minimising disadvantages suffered by people which are connected to a
      particular characteristic they have (for example disabled pupils, or gay pupils who are
      being subjected to homophobic bullying);
(b)   taking steps to meet the particular needs of people who have a particular characteristic
      (for example enabling Muslim pupils to pray at prescribed times) and
(c)   encouraging people who have a particular characteristic to participate fully in any
      activities (for example encouraging both boys and girls, and pupils from different
      ethnic backgrounds, to be involved in the full range of school societies).

Attainment data which shows how pupils with different characteristics (eg boys or girls) are
performing will obviously be relevant here, in particular in helping to identify whether there
are areas of inequality which may need to be addressed. RAISE online contains much
detailed analysis by relevant characteristics.

To show that due regard is being had to the importance of advancing equality of
opportunity, schools will also need to include information about the steps they have taken in
response to their analysis of the available data – for example, work being done to support
disabled children, or special steps taken to help boys improve their performance in writing or
girls to catch up in science, or to boost the English language skills of bi-lingual children from
certain minority ethnic groups. None of this needs to be complicated; most of the
information will already be contained in easily available documents such as reports to the
governing body. Evidence which shows e.g. a decline in bullying of disabled children, or a
decrease in homophobic or transphobic bullying, would also be relevant here.

For some protected characteristics – religion, and particularly sexual orientation, for example
- statistical data about pupils is less likely to be available, and it may well not be considered
appropriate to try to obtain it. More general data about the issues associated with these
particular protected characteristics, from which schools should be able to identify possible
issues which may affect their own pupils, will be easily available however. For example,
information from groups such as Stonewall or GIRES about the experience of gay or
transgender pupils in schools generally may help schools to understand how best to support
their own LGBT pupils. Such information (or links to/extracts from it) may be included
among a school’s published material, alongside information about any initiatives taken, or
policies developed, to promote equality for particular groups (such as measures to address
racist or homophobic bullying).

Fostering good relations across all characteristics - between people who share a
protected characteristic and people who do not share it

It should be particularly easy for schools to demonstrate that they are fostering good
relations since promoting good relations between people and groups of all kinds is inherent
in many things which they do as a matter of course. It may be shown through – for example
- aspects of the curriculum which promote tolerance and friendship, or which share
understanding of a range of religions or cultures; the behaviour and anti-bullying policies;
assemblies dealing with relevant issues; involvement with the local communities; twinning
arrangements with other schools which enable pupils to meet and exchange experiences
with children from different backgrounds, or initiatives to deal with tensions between
different groups of pupils within the school itself.


When deciding what to do to tackle equality issues, schools may want to consult and engage
both with people affected by their decisions - parents, pupils, staff, members of the local
community – and with people who have special knowledge which can inform the school’s
approach, such as disability equality groups and other relevant special interest
organisations. Evidence of this engagement can also usefully be included in the published
material showing how the duty has been addressed.

How to Publish Information

It will be up to schools themselves to decide in what format they publish equality
information. For most schools, the simplest approach may be to set up an equalities page
on their website where all this information is present or links to it are available. The
regulations are not prescriptive and it will be entirely up to schools to decide how they
publish the information, so long as it is accessible to those members of the school
community and the public who want to see it.

Equality Objectives

Schools are free to choose the equality objectives that best suit their individual
circumstances and contribute to the welfare of their pupils and the school community.
Objectives are not intended to be burdensome or a ‘tick box’ exercise, but they do need to
be specific and measurable. They should be used as a tool to help improve the school
experience of a range of different pupils. A school should set as many objectives as it
believes are appropriate to its size and circumstances; the objectives should fit the school’s
needs and should be achievable.

Although it is no longer a requirement for schools to have an equality action plan, those
schools which do already have one (or more) of these in place, may find it helpful to
continue with this approach and adapt it to take into account the new extent of the duty.

Equality objectives may arise from analysis schools have carried out on their published data
or other information, where they have identified an area where there is potential for
improvement on equalities, or they may – for example - be set in anticipation of a change in
local circumstances. Some examples might be:

-    to increase participation by black pupils in after school activities;
-    to narrow the gap in performance of disabled pupils;
-    to increase understanding between religious groups;
-    to reduce the number of homophobic incidents;
-    to raise attainment in English for boys;
-    to encourage girls to consider non-stereotyped career options;
-    to anticipate the needs of incoming pupils from a new group, such as traveller

Publication of information in future years should include evidence of the steps being taken
and progress made towards meeting the equality objectives that the school has already set

Chapter 6 - Local Authorities and Education Functions
The provisions in the Act extend to Local Authorities (LAs) generally in relation to their
functions as a public body but this guidance does not explain those general provisions and
LAs should refer to the EHRC guidance on service provision here for more details of how
they will be affected. However, there are some specific provisions and implications in
respect of their education functions and these are covered in this chapter.

Establishment and closure of schools

As with schools generally, the provisions on age discrimination do not apply to LAs in
relation to their functions in the provision of schools under section 14 of the Education Act
1996 and in the establishment, alteration and closure of schools. This means that, for
example, an LA would not be acting unlawfully by closing a secondary school when it leaves
the nearby primary school open.

Similarly, the sex and religion or belief discrimination provisions do not extend to LAs in
relation to establishing schools – so for example, it would not be unlawful if an LA
establishes a school for girls, following local demand, without at the same time also
establishing a school for boys for which there is no demand - or similarly, if it establishes a
school of one religion but not another. However, this exemption does not override an LA’s
duties under section 14 of the Education Act – that it must ensure that there are sufficient
schools providing appropriate education to meet demand.
School Curriculum

The discrimination provisions on age and religion or belief do not extend to anything an LA
does in relation to the school curriculum – so, for example, an LA would not be unlawfully
discriminating on religion or belief grounds if it provided curriculum support/advice to
schools in its area in subjects which some parents, due to their religion, may object to such
as history or science – or on age grounds if (for instance) the LA support for primary schools
is more varied and comprehensive than that for secondary schools.

School Admissions

LAs play a key role in the school admissions process in maintained schools. The
discrimination provisions on age do not extend to anything an LA does in relation to school
admissions, so existing approaches in which admissions and transition between schools are
determined by a child’s age will not be open to challenge.

The discrimination provisions on religion or belief also do not extend to anything an LA does
in relation to admissions to a school with a religious character. For example, a discrimination
claim against an LA in respect of its role in the admissions process of a school with a
religious character would fail, provided the school was over-subscribed and therefore
lawfully prioritising places to children of its religion.

School Transport

LAs are responsible for the provision of transport to schools for pupils living in their
authorities and the discrimination provisions on age and religion or belief do not extend to
these transport arrangements. So, for example, an LA would not be unlawfully
discriminating simply if it arranges a school bus to a faith school on the outskirts of town but
not to another maintained school in the area – or if it lays on transport to a primary school
but not to the nearby secondary school.

Whilst the discrimination provisions in the above two equality areas do not extend to school
transport, LAs still need to ensure that their transport polices do not unlawfully discriminate
in relation to other protected characteristics or contravene the Human Rights Act and also
that they comply with the statutory school transport guidance issued in 2007 following the
Education and Inspections Act 2006. This makes clear, for example, that the same provision
for transport should be made to enable the child of non-religious parents to attend a
maintained school if the parent feels that this is important in view of his own belief system,
as is made to enable the child of religious parents to attend a faith school which is not the
nearest to their home.

Acts of Worship

The discrimination provisions on religion or belief do not extend to an LA’s involvement in or
arrangement of acts of worship or other religious observance in or on behalf of schools for
which it is responsible.

Reasonable Adjustments for Disabled Pupils

Chapter 4 covered the responsibility on schools in relation to providing reasonable
adjustments for disabled pupils. LAs, in relation to their education functions, are under the
same duty - to have accessibility strategies, provide reasonable adjustments for school
pupils, with the aim of avoiding disadvantage, and providing auxiliary aids and services
(when introduced).

Chapter 7 – How the Act is enforced
The enforcement mechanisms contained in this Act are similar to those under existing
legislation. This chapter summarises very briefly how they work in relation to the education
provisions of the Act.

Discrimination claims – court proceedings

Proceedings in relation to a contravention of the education provisions of this Act (other than
disability – see below) will be brought in a county court by the pupil (or in the pupil’s name).

Proceedings must be brought within 6 months of the date of the act to which the claim
relates, although the county court has power to extend this period if it considers it just and
equitable to do so.

If the court rules that there has been a contravention then it has the power to award an
appropriate remedy including an award of damages.

Discrimination claims - tribunal proceedings for disability cases

Specialist tribunals which have experience and knowledge of disability issues will hear cases
of contravention of the education provisions on grounds of disability. In England this will be
the First-tier Tribunal.

Claims of discrimination or harassment against a pupil by a school will be made to the
tribunal by the parent of the pupil.

As with the county court for other types of discrimination, claims have to be brought within
6 months of the act to which the claim relates and the tribunal has the power to consider
claims after that time has passed if it considers it just and equitable to do so.

If the tribunal rules that there has been a contravention then it has the power to make an
order of a remedy which it sees as appropriate. Such a remedy will be with a view to
removing or reducing the adverse effect on the pupil concerned. However, the remedy in a
disability case will not include payment of compensation. It is expected that an education
remedy will be the most appropriate – for example, if the tribunal finds that a school has
discriminated against a disabled pupil by failing to provide extra help needed to compensate
for her disability, it may order the school to put in place the necessary measures to meet her
needs and help her to catch up with other pupils.

Burden of proof

A new provision for schools is the reversal of the burden of proof in cases of contravention
of the Act’s provisions in both court and tribunal cases. This brings education cases into line
with the rest of the legislation. It means that if a complainant can establish facts which
could lead to the conclusion that an act of discrimination has taken place, then it will be
down to the respondent (in this case the school) to show that the reason for what happened
was something other than discrimination. However, such defensive reasoning will only be
necessary if a case is brought and schools are not expected to develop a body of evidence
to justify their everyday actions.

The ‘Questions Procedure’

The Act extends to schools procedures which already exist elsewhere for complainants to
ask questions in respect of a contravention of the Act before a formal case is taken to the
County Court. This means that if a pupil believes that he/she has been discriminated
against or harassed by their school then, before deciding whether to bring a case, they can
ask questions of the school about their treatment. Special forms have been developed for
this purpose and these, together with advice on using them, are available here.

It is hoped that this procedure will help to establish the facts in a way which may make it
possible to address problems at local level and reduce the number of cases going to a court
or an employment tribunal. Where cases do go further, it will be helpful to have a common
understanding of the issues involved, and this can speed up the process.

Questions asked by a pupil (either on the prescribed forms or otherwise) and the answer by
the school can be used as part of evidence in any subsequent court or tribunal case.

A court or tribunal can draw an adverse inference from a lack of a response after eight
weeks or from a vague or evasive answer by the school – which means that giving such a
response, or none, would not be in the school’s best interests. The only exception to this
would be if the school can show that giving a different response would have an effect on
any criminal matters or proceedings.

Chapter 8 – Education Specific Employment Provisions
The general provisions on employment apply to schools in their role as employers and this is
briefly summarised below. However, schools should consult the EHRC’s guidance and Codes
of Practice for Employers for more detailed information on the employment provisions of the
Act and how they will be affected as an employer (see links at the end of this chapter). In
addition, there are some specific employment issues just for schools and a new employment
provision on health questioning which will affect schools and these are summarised below.

What the Act covers

All of the protected characteristics, including age, are covered by the employment provisions
of the Act.

As an employer, a school must not discriminate against a potential employee in respect of
whether to offer a job or the terms on which it offers a job, and it must not discriminate
against an existing employee in respect of the benefits, facilities and services it offers to its
employees including training opportunities, promotion or dismissal. For example, a school
must not demand higher/better qualifications from female applicants for teaching posts than
it does for male applicants. It could not dismiss a black teacher who was discovered using
school facilities for personal use if it also discovered a white teacher using the same facilities
but did not dismiss him – unless the reason for the different treatment could be
demonstrated to be something other than their race. Harassment against potential or
existing employees in relation to any of the protected characteristics is also unlawful, as is
victimisation of any person who has done a protected act.
Reasonable Adjustments

Schools as employers are under the same duties to make reasonable adjustments in relation
to disability for their employees or potential employees as they are for their pupils, as set
out in Chapter 4. They must make reasonable adjustments to arrangements or practices to
alleviate disadvantage and must also take reasonable steps to provide any necessary
auxiliary aids and services. They are also under the duty to consider alterations to physical
features of the school where that is reasonable to avoid disadvantage caused by disability.

Enquiries about health and disability

A new provision introduced by the Act makes it unlawful for an employer to enquire about
the health of an applicant for a job until a job offer has been made, unless the questions are
specifically related to an intrinsic function of the work - for example ensuring that applicants
for a PE teaching post have the physical capability to carry out the duties. There are
potential implications in relation to establishing teachers’ fitness and ability to teach (as
required by the Health Standards (England) Regulations 2003). Schools are advised to
review their existing practices to ensure they are complying with both the Health Standards
Regulations and Section 60 of the Equality Act.

Schools should no longer, as a matter of course, require job applicants to complete a
generic ‘all encompassing’ health questionnaire as part of the application procedure.
Instead schools should ask any health questions which are necessary to ensure that the
applicant can carry out an intrinsic function of the work for the post they have applied for.
Schools may decide to ask necessary health questions after job offer. In either case, they
should ensure that any health-related questions are targeted, necessary and relevant to the
job applied for.

In addition, these provisions will also affect recruitment practices under the Safeguarding
Children and Safer Recruitment in Education Guidance, section 4.34 of which advises schools
to seek out past sickness records of candidates before interview. In order to ensure
compliance with these new provisions, schools are advised not to seek out past sickness
records until they have made a conditional job offer.

Employment exceptions for schools with a religious character

There are some specific exceptions to the religion or belief provisions of the Equality Act for
employment by schools designated as having a religious character.

For the purposes of legislation, these schools fall into two broad categories – Voluntary
Aided (VA) is one category and Voluntary Controlled (VC) and Foundation schools together
form the other. VA schools have more autonomy than VC/ Foundation schools, especially in
terms of employment. Academies, free schools and independent schools with a religious
character generally operate under conditions which mirror those in VA schools.

All of the situations described here are provided for by existing legislation which has not
been changed by the Equality Act.
Voluntary Controlled and Foundation Schools with a religious character


At VC and foundation schools, when appointing a head teacher the governing body may
take into account any candidate’s suitability and ability to preserve and develop the religious
character of the school. The head may also be a reserved teacher – see below.

Reserved Teachers

VC and foundation schools must include reserved teachers where the number of teaching
staff is more than two. Reserved teachers are selected according to their competence to
teach RE according to the tenets of the school’s faith and are specifically appointed to do so.
This may include the headteacher.

The number of reserved teachers must not exceed one-fifth of the teaching staff (including
the headteacher). For these purposes, where the total number of teaching staff is not a
multiple of five, it will be deemed to be the next higher multiple of five. For example, if
there were eight teachers at a school, for this purpose the total number would be deemed
to be ten and the maximum number of reserved teachers would be two.

These teachers must not be appointed unless the foundation governors are satisfied that
they are suitable and competent to give religious education. The foundation governors can
insist on dismissing a reserved teacher who fails to give suitable and efficient religious

Other Teachers and Non-teaching Staff

Non-teaching staff and teachers other than those appointed as reserved teachers must not
be treated unfavourably in any way because of their religion. This means they cannot be
dismissed because of their religious opinions or attendance at religious worship, they cannot
be required to deliver RE and cannot be subjected to a detriment for not giving RE or
attending worship.

VC/Foundation Schools with a religious character becoming Academies

A VC school or a foundation school with a religious character which chooses to convert to
Academy status will continue to be governed by the provisions described above which apply
to VC and foundation schools.

Voluntary Aided schools, Independent schools, Academies and Free Schools with
a religious character

Teaching Staff (including Headteachers)

Voluntary Aided schools may apply religious criteria when recruiting or dismissing any
member of their teaching staff. In recruitment, remuneration and promotion they may give
preference to persons:

      whose religious opinions are in accordance with the tenets of the religion of the
      who attend religious worship in accordance with those tenets; or
      who give, or are willing to give, religious education in accordance with those tenets.

In considering dismissals, the governing body may have regard to any conduct that is
incompatible with the precepts, or with the upholding of the tenets, of the religion of the
school. A teacher appointed to teach RE may be dismissed by the governing body without
the consent of the local authority if he fails to give such education efficiently and suitably.

Non-teaching staff

Religious criteria may not be applied to any other posts in a VA school unless there is a
genuine occupational requirement. This would need to be justified but might, for example,
apply to a member of staff required to give pastoral care to pupils.

Further information

Detailed guidance on the employment provisions of the Act can be found here and the
statutory Code of Practice on employment here.

  Equality Act 2010 :
Definition of a Disability
Annex C
The Equality Act – What’s new for employers?

Acas can help with your employment relations
Every year Acas helps employers and employees from thousands of workplaces. That
means we keep right up to date with today’s employment relations issues – such as
discipline and grievance handling, preventing discrimination and communicating effectively
in workplaces. Make the most of our practical experience for your organisation – find out
what we can do for you.
We inform
We answer your questions, give you the facts you need and talk through your options. You
can then make informed decisions. Contact us to keep on top of what employment rights
legislation means in practice – before it gets on top of you. Call our helpline
08457474747or visit our website

We advise and guide
We give you practical know-how on setting up and keeping good relations in your
organisation. Look at our publications on the website or ask our helpline to put you in
touch with your local Acas adviser. Our Equality Direct helpline 08456003444advises on
equality issues, such as discrimination.

We train
From a two-hour session on the key points of new legislation or employing people to
courses specially designed for people in your organisation, we offer training to suit you.
Look on the website for what is coming up in your area and to book a place or talk to your
local Acas office about our tailored services.

We work with you
We offer hands-on practical help and support to tackle issues in your business with you. This
might be through one of our well-known problem-solving services. Or a programme we have
worked out together to put your business firmly on track for effective employment relations.
You will meet your Acas adviser and discuss exactly what is needed before giving any go-

Introduction– what’s new intheEqualityAct2010?
This guide covers the provisions of the Equality Act which will become law in October 2010.
As an employer, your obligations remain largely the same. The Act harmonises and replaces
previous legislation (such as the Race Relations Act 1976 and the Disability Discrimination
Act 1995) and ensures consistency in what you need to do to make your workplace a fair
environment and to comply with the law.

The Equality Act covers the same groups that were protected by existing equality
legislation – age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual
orientation, marriage and civil partnership and pregnancy and maternity. These are now
called ‘protected characteristics’ and are described on pages 5-7 of this guide.

The Act extends some protections to characteristics that were not previously covered, and
also strengthens particular aspects of equality law. As a result, you may need to review and
change some of your policies and practices. This guide will help you to identify where you
need to take action.
What’s new & what’s changed: at a glance
Characteristic covered in existing legislation
– no changes
Characteristic covered in existing legislation
– but some changes
Characteristic not covered in existing
legislation – now covered
Characteristic not covered in existing
legislation – still not covered
                                                                           Protected characteristics (PC)

                                                                                                                                                                         Marriage & Civil

                                                                                                                                                                                             Pregnancy &
                                                                                                                                 Religion or




Types of discrimination
Someone is treated less favourably than another person because of a
protected characteristic (PC)
Direct discrimination against someone because they associate with              New       New            New                                     New
another person who possesses a PC
Direct discrimination against someone because the others think they                      New            New                                     New
possess a particular PC
Can occur when you have a rule or policy that applies to everyone but                    New            New
disadvantages a particular PC
Employees can now complain of behaviour they find offensive even if it       Changes   Changes        Changes         Changes   Changes                  Changes
is not directed at them
Employers are potentially liable for harassment of their staff by people       New       New            New            New        New                      New
they don’t employ
Someone is treated badly because they have made/supported a                  Changes   Changes        Changes         Changes   Changes        Changes   Changes        Changes             Changes
complaint or grievance under the Act
Types of discrimination: definitions
Direct discrimination
Direct discrimination occurs when someone is treated less favourably than another person
because of a protected characteristic they have or are thought to have (see perception
discrimination below), or because they associate with someone who has a protected
characteristic (see discrimination by association below). Annex 1 contains an example of
direct discrimination.

Discrimination by association
Already applies to race, religion or belief and sexual orientation. Now extended to cover age,
disability, gender reassignment and sex. This is direct discrimination against someone
because they associate with another person who possesses a protected characteristic. See
Annex 1 for an example of discrimination by association.

Perception discrimination
Already applies to age, race, religion or belief and sexual orientation. Now extended to cover
disability, gender reassignment and sex. This is direct discrimination against an individual
because others think they possess a particular protected characteristic. It applies even if the
person does not actually possess that characteristic. See Annex 1 for an example of
perception discrimination.

Indirect discrimination
Already applies to age, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation and marriage and
civil partnership. Now extended to cover disability and gender reassignment.

Indirect discrimination can occur when you have a condition, rule, policy or even a
practice in your company that applies to everyone but particularly disadvantages people
who share a protected characteristic. Indirect discrimination can be justified if you can
show that you acted reasonably in managing your business, ie that it is ‘a proportionate
means of achieving a legitimate aim’. A legitimate aim might be any lawful decision you
make in running your business or organisation, but if there is a discriminatory effect, the
sole aim of reducing costs is likely to be unlawful.

Being proportionate really means being fair and reasonable, including showing that you’ve
looked at ‘less discriminatory’ alternatives to any decision you make. Annex 1 contains an
example of indirect discrimination.

Harassment is “unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic, which has
the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile,
degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual”.

Harassment applies to all protected characteristics except for pregnancy and maternity and
marriage and civil partnership. Employees will now be able to complain of behaviour that
they find offensive even if it is not directed at them, and the complainant need not possess
the relevant characteristic themselves. Employees are also protected from harassment
because of perception and association (see page 3).

Third party harassment
Already applies to sex. Now extended to cover age, disability, gender reassignment, race,
religion or belief and sexual orientation.
The Equality Act makes you potentially liable for harassment of your employees by people
(third parties) who are not employees of your company, such as customers or clients. You
will only be liable when harassment has occurred on at least two previous occasions, you
are aware that it has taken place, and have not taken reasonable steps to prevent it from
happening again. See Annex 1 for an example of third party harassment.

Victimisation occurs when an employee is treated badly because they have made or
supported a complaint or raised a grievance under the Equality Act; or because they are
suspected of doing so. An employee is not protected from victimisation if they have
maliciously made or supported an untrue complaint.

There is no longer a need to compare treatment of a complainant with that of a person
who has not made or supported a complaint under the Act. See Annex 1 for an example of

The Protected Characteristics: key points
•      Age
•      Disability
•      Gender Reassignment
•      Marriage and Civil Partnership
•      Pregnancy and Maternity
•      Race
•      Religion or Belief
•      Sex
•      Sexual Orientation

The table in this guide shows the forms of discrimination which apply to each protected

Age (no change)
The Act protects people of all ages. However, different treatment because of age is not
unlawful direct or indirect discrimination if you can justify it, ie if you can demonstrate that it
is a proportionate means of meeting a legitimate aim. Age is the only protected
characteristic that allows employers to justify direct discrimination.

The Act continues to allow employers to have a default retirement age of 65 until April

Disability (new definition and changes)
The Act has made it easier for a person to show that they are disabled and protected from
disability discrimination. Under the Act, a person is disabled if they have a physical or mental
impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out
normal day-to-day activities, which would include things like using a telephone, reading a
book or using public transport.

As before, the Act puts a duty on you as an employer to make reasonable adjustments for
your staff to help them overcome disadvantage resulting from an impairment (eg by
providing assistive technologies to help visually impaired staff use computers effectively).
The Act includes a new protection from discrimination arising from disability. This states
that it is discrimination to treat a disabled person unfavourably because of something
connected with their disability (eg a tendency to make spelling mistakes arising from
dyslexia). This type of discrimination is unlawful where the employer or other person acting
for the employer knows, or could reasonably be expected to know, that the person has a
disability. This type of discrimination is only justifiable if an employer can show that it is a
proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.

Additionally, indirect discrimination now covers disabled people. This means that a job
applicant or employee could claim that a particular rule or requirement you have in place
disadvantages people with the same disability. Unless you could justify this, it would be

The Act also includes a new provision which makes it unlawful, except in certain
circumstances, for employers to ask about a candidate’s health before offering them

Gender reassignment (new definition)
The Act provides protection for transsexual people. A transsexual person is someone who
proposes to, starts or has completed a process to change his or her gender. The Act no
longer requires a person to be under medical supervision to be protected – so a woman
who decides to live as a man but does not undergo any medical procedures would be

It is discrimination to treat transsexual people less favourably for being absent from work
because they propose to undergo, are undergoing or have undergone gender reassignment
than they would be treated if they were absent because they were ill or injured.

Marriage and civil partnership (no change)
The Act protects employees who are married or in a civil partnership against discrimination.
Single people are not protected.

Pregnancy and maternity (no change)
A woman is protected against discrimination on the grounds of pregnancy and maternity
during the period of her pregnancy and any statutory maternity leave to which she is
entitled. During this period, pregnancy and maternity discrimination cannot be treated as
sex discrimination. See Annex 1 for an example.

You must not take into account an employee’s period of absence due to pregnancy-related
illness when making a decision about her employment.

Race (no change)
For the purposes of the Act ‘race’ includes colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins.

Religion or belief (no change)
In the Equality Act, religion includes any religion. It also includes a lack of religion, in other
words employees or jobseekers are protected if they do not follow a certain religion or have
no religion at all. Additionally, a religion must have a clear structure and belief system.
Belief means any religious or philosophical belief or a lack of such belief. To be protected, a
belief must satisfy various criteria, including that it is a weighty and substantial aspect of
human life and behaviour. Denominations or sects within a religion can be considered a
protected religion or religious belief.
Discrimination because of religion or belief can occur even where both the discriminator and
recipient are of the same religion or belief.

Sex (no change)
Both men and women are protected under the Act.

Sexual orientation (no change)
The Act protects bisexual, gay, heterosexual and lesbian people.

Equality Act - Some key changes you need to know about
Positive action
As with previous equality legislation, the Equality Act allows you to take positive action if
you think that employees or job applicants who share a particular protected characteristic
suffer a disadvantage connected to that characteristic, or if their participation in an activity
is disproportionately low. Annex 2 gives an example of positive action.

The Equality Act 2010 from April 2011 allows you, if you want to, to take a protected
characteristic into consideration when deciding who to recruit or promote. However, you can
only do this when you have candidates who are “as qualified as” each other for a particular
vacancy. This does not mean they have to have exactly the same qualifications as each
other, it means that your selection assessment on a range of criteria rates them as equally
capable of doing the job.

You would also need some evidence to show that people with that characteristic face
particular difficulties in the workplace or are disproportionately under-represented in your
workforce or in the particular job for which there is a vacancy. In these circumstances, you
can choose to use the fact that a candidate has a protected characteristic as a ‘tie-breaker’
when determining which one to appoint.

You must not have a policy of automatically treating job applicants who share a protected
characteristic more favourably in recruitment and promotion. This means you must always
consider the abilities, merits, and qualifications of all of the candidates in each recruitment or
promotion exercise. Otherwise, your actions would be unlawful and discriminatory – an
example is given in Annex 2.

Pre-employment health-related checks
The Equality Act limits the circumstances when you can ask health-related questions before
you have offered the individual a job. Up to this point, you can only ask health-related
questions to help you to:

•       decide whether you need to make any reasonable adjustments for the person to the
        selection process
The Holmwood Gazette is recruiting for a receptionist. The newspaper’s application form asks
health questions. These are removed to prevent them being considered at this stage. The
newspaper still asks applicants if they require any reasonable adjustments to the interview
process to ensure everyone can give of their best during the meeting. However they do not
take this information into account when deciding who to employ.
•       decide whether an applicant can carry out a function that is essential (‘intrinsic’) to
        the job
If the newspaper has a job that requires a lot of heavy manual handling, they could ask a
candidate with a mobility impairment whether they could manage handling heavy goods.
However, the newspaper would not be able to ask the person how their impairment would
affect them in getting to the workplace, because this is not something that is intrinsic to the
job itself.

•       monitor diversity among people making applications for jobs
The Gazette, which has a small proportion of disabled people working for it, may decide to
ask applicants to state whether they have a disability, so that it can see whether its
advertisements are reaching disabled people.

•      take positive action to assist disabled people
The Gazette wishes to improve disabled people’s chances of being selected for its vacancies.
Therefore it offers guaranteed interviews to disabled people. In order to identify disabled
people, it asks on the application form whether the candidate has a disability, and makes
clear why the question is being asked.

•      assure yourself that a candidate has the disability where the job genuinely requires
       the jobholder to have a disability
A counselling service for people with mental health conditions requires a counsellor who has
personal experience of mental health conditions. The Service advertises for candidates who
have such a condition, it is allowed to ask at interview for the person to confirm that they
have the condition.

A jobseeker cannot take you to an Employment Tribunal if they think you are acting
unlawfully by asking questions that are prohibited, though they can complain to the Equality
and Human Rights Commission. However, if you do ask these prohibited questions, and not
employ the applicant, they may bring a claim of discrimination against you and the burden
of proof would be on you to demonstrate that you had not discriminated.

Once a person has passed the interview and you have offered them a job (whether this is
an unconditional or conditional job offer) you are permitted to ask appropriate health-related

Extension of employment tribunal powers
Under previous legislation, an employment tribunal could make a recommendation that an
employer must eliminate or reduce the effect on the claimant of any discrimination. The Act
extends this power so that it will now be possible for a tribunal to make recommendations
that an organisation takes steps to eliminate or reduce the effect of discrimination on other
employees, not only on the claimant. For example, the tribunal might specify that an
employer needs to train all staff about the organisation’s bullying and harassment policy.
This power does not apply to equal pay cases. See Annex 2 for an example of how Tribunal
recommendations may affect you.

Equal pay – direct discrimination
The Equality Act retains the framework that was previously in place. This means that in
most circumstances a challenge to pay inequality and other contractual terms and
conditions still has to be made by comparison with a real person of the opposite sex in the
same employment.
However, a change in the Equality Act allows a claim of direct pay discrimination to be
made, even if no real person comparator can be found. This means that a claimant who
can show evidence that they would have received better remuneration from their
employer if they were of a different sex may have a claim, even if there is no-one of the
opposite sex doing equal work in the organisation. This would be a claim under sex

Pay secrecy
The Act makes it unlawful for you to prevent or restrict your employees from having a
discussion to establish if differences in pay exist that are related to protected characteristics.
It also makes terms of the contract of employment that require pay secrecy unenforceable
because of these discussions. See Annex 2 for an example. An employer can require their
employees to keep pay rates confidential from some people outside the workplace, for
example a competitor organisation.
Annex1 – Examples of types of discrimination
Direct discrimination
Paul, a senior manager, turns down Angela’s application for promotion to a supervisor
position. Angela, who is a lesbian, learns that Paul did this because he believes the team
that she applied to manage are homophobic. Paul thought that Angela’s sexual orientation
would prevent her from gaining the team’s respect and managing them effectively. This is
direct sexual orientation discrimination against Angela.

Discrimination by association
June works as a project manager and is looking forward to a promised promotion. However,
after she tells her boss that her mother, who lives at home, has had a stroke, the promotion
is withdrawn. This may be discrimination against June because of her association with a
disabled person.

Perception discrimination
Jim is 45 but looks much younger. Many people assume that he is in his mid 20s. He is not
allowed to represent his company at an international meeting because the Managing
Director thinks that he is too young. Jim has been discriminated against on the perception of
a protected characteristic.

Indirect discrimination
A small finance company needs its staff to work late on a Friday afternoon to analyse stock
prices in the American finance market. The figures arrive late on Friday because of the
global time differences. During the winter some staff would like to be released early on
Friday aftenoon in order to be home before sunset – a requirement of their religion. They
propose to make the time up later during the remainder of the week.

The company is not able to agree to this request because the American figures are
necessary to the business, they need to be worked on immediately and the company is too
small to have anyone else able to do the work.

The requirement to work on Friday afternoon is not unlawful indirect discrimination as it
meets a legitimate business aim and there is no alternative means to available.

Paul is disabled and is claiming harassment against his line manager after she frequently
teased and humiliated him about his disability. Richard shares an office with Paul and he too
is claiming harassment, even though he is not disabled, as the manager’s behaviour has also
created an offensive environment for him.

Steve is continually being called gay and other related names by a group of employees at
his work. Homophobic comments have been posted on the staff noticeboard about him by
people from this group. Steve was recently physically pushed to the floor by one member of
the group but is too scared to take action. Steve is not gay but heterosexual; furthermore
the group know he isn’t gay. This is harassment because of sexual orientation.
Third party harassment
Chris manages a Council Benefits Office. One of his staff, Frank, is gay. Frank mentions to
Chris that he is feeling unhappy after a claimant made homophobic remarks in his hearing.
Chris is concerned and monitors the situation. Within a few days the claimant makes further
offensive remarks. Chris reacts by having a word with the claimant, pointing out that this
behaviour is unacceptable. He considers following it up with a letter to him pointing out that
he will ban him if this happens again. Chris keeps Frank in the picture with the actions he is
taking and believes he is taking reasonable steps to protect Frank from third party

Anne makes a formal complaint against her manager because she feels that she has been
discriminated against because of marriage. Although the complaint is resolved through the
organisation’s grievance procedures, Anne is subsequently ostracised by her colleagues,
including her manager. She could claim victimisation.

Pregnancy and maternity
Lydia is pregnant and works at a call centre. The manager knows Lydia is pregnant but still
disciplines her for taking too many toilet breaks as the manager would for any other
member of staff. This is discrimination because of pregnancy and maternity as this
characteristic doesn’t require the normal comparison of treatment with other employees.
      ANNEX D

The Quality Act – What’s new
   for employers? (ACAS)
Annex 2 – Examples of some changes in the Equality Act
Positive action
Marina and Co are manufacturers of bathroom taps and showers. They notice that they
have no female sales representatives compared to men and find out that female employees
are put off because of the apparent ‘all male environment’ in the sales team, many of whom
are former plumbers. Marina reckons from its market research that the sales team will be
more profitable with female representatives because the purchasers of taps and showers are
often women who would appreciate a more representative sales team. The company sets up
a programme of training and development for female employees where they can develop
their skills and knowledge to become proficient in this area. At the subsequent recruitment
of sales representatives, nearly half of new recruits were female and early sales returns for
the last quarter are up.

Positive action in recruitment and selection
Loughton on Sea, a London commuter town and seaside resort has a population of some
75,000 of which around 15% at the last Census were from minority ethnic groups. The local
High School has 1500 pupils that reflect the Census demographics and 80 teachers. The
school has clear equality policies in place and has trained staff in these issues including the
Equality Act 2010. Furthermore it has robust anti bullying policies for all staff to identify and
tackle inappropriate harassing behaviour.

The school is recruiting for a new Head of Department. None of the existing 10 departmental
heads are from minority communities. The school runs an interview selection process where
all candidates are scored against a range of job based questions. The selection panel also
objectively assess the experience and qualifications of each candidate.

At the end of the selection process, two candidates have equal scores. Both are women. One
of the women is black. The head thinks it important that the School’s senior leadership
reflects the population of Loughton and the school, and so decides to use this provision in
the Equality Act to appoint the black candidate. The Head gives feedback to the unsuccessful
candidate and explains the position the School has taken and why.

Employment Tribunal recommendations
Simon is being harassed at work because he is undergoing gender reassignment. Simon
complains and uses the company grievance procedures but nothing happens. Simon makes a
claim to an Employment Tribunal who find in his favour. The Tribunal also make
recommendations that the employer publishes an anti-harassment policy and trains all staff
to understand it.

Before the case came to Tribunal Simon leaves the company. Under the old legislation, the
Tribunal could not make recommendations as Simon had left the employer. Now, even
though Simon no longer works there, the Tribunal can make recommendations and the
employer is still required to act on them for the benefit of other employees in the

Pay secrecy in the workplace
Rashid works in a small fabrication company assembling motorcycle seats. The owner of the
company decides on pay for each employee and Rashid, who is disabled, reckons he is
being paid less than George because of this. Rashid asks George how much he earns. The
owner learns of this discussion and disciplines Rashid; this is unlawful and Rashid may have
a claim for victimisation.
Further information
Acas website

The Equalities and Human Rights Commission

The Government Equalities Office

Business Link


Information in this booklet has been revised up to the date of the last reprint
– see date below. For more up-to-date information, please check the Acas website at

Legal information is provided for guidance only and should not be regarded as an
authoritative statement of the law, which can only be made by reference to the particular
circumstances which apply. It may, therefore, be wise to seek legal advice. Acas aims to
improve organisations and working life through better employment relations. We provide up-
to-date information, independent advice, high quality training and we work with employers
and employees to solve problems and improve performance. We are an independent,
publicly-funded organisation and many of our services are free. January 2011

Acas’ main offices:
• National - London
• East Midlands - Nottingham
• East of England - Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
• London
• North East - Newcastle upon Tyne
• North West - Manchester
• North West - Liverpool
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• South East - Fleet, Hampshire
• South West - Bristol
• West Midlands - Birmingham
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• Scotland - Glasgow
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Helpline 08457 47 47 47
To view a full list of Acas publications go to
08457 38 37 36 - Acas Customer Services Team who can provide details of services and
training in your area or visit
08456 00 34 44 - for questions on managing equality in the workplace

Policy Statement:
  Race Equality
The Thomas Adams

  Policy Statement

   Race Equality

                   Updated August 2011

This policy has been produced in relation to the Equality Act (2010). The policy exists to
help us systematically establish, implement, monitor and evaluate equality good practice
across all areas of school life including racial equality.

This policy reflects the “Every Child Matters” agenda which states that all pupils should:

                  Be Healthy
                  Stay Safe
                  Enjoy and Achieve
                  Achieve Economic Well-being
                  Make a Positive Contribution

and with the recognised Safeguarding Procedures within school, including Child Protection
and Health and Safety. These highlight the need for this policy to take into account the
Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL):

                   Self awareness
                   Managing feelings
                   Motivation
                   Empathy
                   Social Skills

for all those working and learning within our school.

The school is committed to:
 Promoting racial equality, good race relations and challenging racial discrimination. This
   is reflected in all school policies, procedures, processes and practices.
 Ensuring that it is a place where everyone, irrespective of their race, colour, ethnic or
   national origin or their citizenship, feels welcome and valued and able to achieve their
   full potential.
 Protecting the rights of all pupils, staff, parents, governors and visitors to the school.
 Respecting and valuing differences between people.
 Meeting the diverse needs of pupils.
 Preparing pupils for life in a multiethnic society.
 Acknowledging the existence of racism and being proactive in tackling and eliminating
   racial discrimination.

The school will implement the policy:
  By embedding the “Every Child Matters” qgenda in all areas of school life..
  Through the inclusion of a race equality perspective in the School Development Plan
    and other appropriate strategic plans.
  By ensuring that a concern for race equality underpins every aspect of school life.
  By providing appropriate training for staff and governors.
  By ensuring that the whole school community is aware of, and understands, the need to
    promote race equality, develop good race relations and challenge discrimination.

The school will monitor, review and evaluate the effectiveness of the Race Equality Policy
against identified success criteria, in line with the school's overall monitoring, review and
evaluation policy.
Policy Planning and Review
Policy Planning
The school will ensure that:
 Questions to assess race equality impact and related targets will be built into school
    development planning.
 Ethnic monitoring data is used to monitor the attainment and progress of pupils, and to
    set targets for removing any identified disparities between different groups of pupils.
 Ethnic monitoring data on admissions, attendance, exclusions, sanctions and rewards,
    participation in educational visits, residential experiences and other extra-curricular
    activities, will be used to inform planning and decision making.
Reviewing and Evaluating Policies
The school will ensure that racial equality issues arising from reviews and evaluations will be
used to inform planning and decision-making.


The governing body is responsible:                   The governing body will:
 For ensuring that the school fulfils its legal      Maintain an overview of implementation of
   responsibilities including those arising from        the race equality policy and racial equality
   the Race Relations Amendment Act and that            will be a regular agenda item at governor
   the school complies with Race Relations              meetings.
   legislation, including the general and specific    In participation with school management,
   duties arising from the Equality Act 2010.           will be proactive in promoting racial equality
 With the assistance of the Headteacher, for           and good race relations and tackling
   ensuring that the policy and its related             unlawful racial discrimination.
   procedures and strategies, are implemented.        In collaboration with school managers, will
                                                        encourage, support and enable all pupils and
                                                        staff to reach their full potential.
                                                     The Headteacher, with the support of the
The Headteacher is responsible:                      Senior Management Team, will:
 With the governing body, for ensuring that          Co-ordinate racial equality work.
   the policy and its related procedures and          Deal with reported incidents of racism and
   strategies are implemented.                          racial harassment.
 For ensuring that all staff are aware of their      Ensure compliance with the Race Equality
   responsibilities under the policy and that           Policy and Equal Opportunities Policy.
   they are given appropriate training and
   support to enable them to fulfil these
 For taking disciplinary action against staff or
   pupils who racially discriminate.
Teaching staff are responsible for:                  All staff are aware of:
 Ensuring that pupils from all racial groups         How to deal with racial incidents, and how to
   are included in all activities and have full          identify and challenge racial bias and
   access to the curriculum.                             stereotyping.
 Promoting racial equality and diversity             Their duty to promote race equality, promote
   through teaching and the relationships they           good race relations and challenge
   develop with pupils, staff and the wider              discrimination.
   community.                                         The need to keep themselves up to date
                                                         with Race Relations legislation.

Visitors and contractors are responsible for complying with the school's race equality policy.
Racism, Racial Harassment and School Ethos
The school:
 Opposes all form of racism, racial prejudice, racial harassment and racial discrimination.
 Publicly values and supports diversity through a range of activities including the PSHE
   and Citizenship curriculum, assemblies and performances.
 Caters for the dietary and dress requirements of different religious groups and enables
   pupils to observe festivals and events relevant to their faith.
 Will actively promote good personal and community relations by fostering a positive
   atmosphere of mutual respect and trust among pupils from all racial groups.
 Has procedures for dealing with, recording and reporting incidents of racial harassment
   and bullying that are consistent with LEA policies and guidance.
 Will ensure that incidents of racial discrimination or racial harassment involving pupils
   will be dealt with promptly, firmly and consistently and in accordance with the school's
   disciplinary procedures for pupils, and that action will be taken to support victims.
 Will work with the LEA and other partners to tackle racism and racial harassment.
 Will ensure that all staff will be given appropriate training and support to enable them to
   deal effectively with racist incidents, racial harassment and bullying.
 Will ensure that all pupils, staff and parents are made aware of the procedures for
   dealing with racism and racial harassment and that such behaviour is always
 Will ensure that incidents of racial discrimination or racial harassment involving staff will
   be dealt with in accordance with the school's discipline and grievance procedures.

Admission and Attendance
This complements the Admissions and Attendance Policy.

The school will ensure that:
 Admissions policy and criteria do not disadvantage pupils from particular racial groups
   and that action will be taken to remove any inequalities that are identified.
 Comprehensive information about the pupils' ethnicity, first language, and religion will be
   included in all admissions forms.
 The admissions process will be monitored by ethnicity to ensure that it is administered
   consistently and fairly to all pupils.
 Parents/guardians are aware of their responsibilities in relation to pupil attendance and
   absence as indicated in the Home School Agreement.
 Staff who follow up absence are aware of and sensitive to relevant community issues.
 Provision will be made for leave of absence for religious observance and this includes
   staff as well as pupils.
 Provision will be made for pupils on extended leave to cover missed work.

Attainment, Progress and Assessment
This complements the Teaching and Learning Policy.

The school:
 Has high expectations of all pupils and is committed to encouraging and enabling all
   pupils to achieve the highest standards.
 Will ensure that pupil attainment and progress will be monitored by ethnicity and gender
   and evaluated to identify trends and patterns of underachievement.
 Will take action to remove any disparities in performance between different groups of
 Recognises and values all forms of achievement and gives recognition to children who
   achieve their full potential.
   Will monitor assessments to ensure that they are, as far as possible, free of cultural or
    linguistic bias.
   Will ensure that all pupils are appropriately supported in assessments and that particular
    attention will be paid to identifying and meeting any support needs for groups that are
    particularly disadvantaged (e.g. Travellers, refugees and asylum seekers, pupils for
    whom English is an Additional Language).

Behaviour, Discipline and Exclusions
This complements the Behaviour Policy.

The school will:
 Monitor exclusions by ethnicity.
 Take appropriate action to remove any disparities in rates of exclusion between pupils
   from different racial groups.
 Recognise and take into account that cultural background may affect behaviour.

The school will ensure that:
 The curriculum is planned to incorporate the principles of racial equality, challenging
   racism and promote positive attitudes towards diversity.
 All pupils have access to the curriculum.
 Resources and displays portray positive images of different people and cultures.
 Extra-curricular activities and events will cater for the interests and capabilities of all
   pupils and take account of parental concerns related to religion and culture.

Staff Recruitment and Professional Development
 All staff are encouraged to develop and achieve their full potential.
 The school has procedures to ensure that applicants for jobs, promotion or professional
   development opportunities are not discriminated against on racial grounds.
 All those involved in recruitment and selection will be trained and aware of what they
   should do to avoid racial discrimination.
 Applications for posts will be monitored by ethnicity and that the information will be
   supplied to the LEA on an annual basis.
 Professional development opportunities and promotions will be monitored by the

Breaches of this policy by staff or governors will be dealt with in accordance with the
school's discipline and grievance procedures.

Partnerships with Parents and Communities
 All parents are encouraged to participate at all levels in the full life of the school and
   steps are taken to encourage the involvement of under-represented groups.
 Information and material for parents is accessible in user friendly language and will be
   available in languages and formats other than English as appropriate.
Appendix 1

                  Handling, Monitoring and Reporting Racist Incidents

Racial harassment results from racist behaviour. Racist behaviour can be defined as any
hostile or offensive act or expression by a person or persons of one racial group and ethnic
origin against a person or persons of another racial group or ethnic origin or any incitement
to commit such an act where there is an indication that the motivation is racial dislike or

The following are examples of racist behaviour which may occur in all schools:

a) Physical assault against a person or group because of colour and/or ethnicity.
b) Derogatory name-calling, insults and racial jokes.
c) Verbal abuse and threats.
d) Racist comments in the course of discussion in lessons.
e) Ridicule and individual for 'cultural' differences, e.g. language, dress, food, music etc.
f) Refusal to co-operate with other people because of their ethnic origins.
g) Racist graffiti.
h) Provocative behaviour such as wearing racist badges and insignia.
i)   Bringing racist materials such as leaflets, comics or magazines into the school.
j) Attempts to recruit other students to racist organisations and groups.
k) Incitement of others to behave in a racist way.

Action to be taken when racist behaviour is suspected

Racist behaviour will never go unchallenged and will be referred to the pastoral system for
immediate action.

If racism is suspected we talk to the suspected victim, the suspected racist and any
witnesses. If any degree of racism is identified, the following action will be taken:

Help, support and counselling will be given as is appropriate to both the victims and the
racists. We support the victims in the following ways:

    By offering them an immediate opportunity to talk about the experience with their tutor,
     or another teacher if they choose.
    Informing the victim's parents/guardians.
    By offering continuing support when they feel they need it.
    By taking one or more of the five disciplinary steps described below to prevent more
    We also discipline, yet try to help the racists in the following ways:
      By talking about what happened, to discover why they became involved.
      Informing the racist's parents/guardians.
      By continuing to work with the racists in order to get rid of prejudiced attitudes as
       far as possible.
      By taking one or more of the five disciplinary steps described below to prevent more

Disciplinary Steps
1) They will be warned officially to stop offending.
2) Informing the racist's parents/guardians.
3) If they do not stop the racist behaviour they will be suspended for a minor fixed period.
4) If they then carry on they will be recommended for suspension for a major fixed period.
5) If they will not end such behaviour, they will be recommended for permanent exclusion

Monitoring and Reporting Racist Incidents
All racist incidents are recorded on a standard form. A report of all such incidents is made to
the Local Authority on an annual basis.
                         REPORT FORM - RACIST INCIDENTS

Was there a victim (name)?:                                       Form:

Name(s) of perpetrator(s):                                        Form:


Where did the incident take place? _____________________________________________

What happened? ___________________________________________________________





Reported by:                                              Date:

Action taken and by whom:







Please indicate if any of the following were contacted:           School         
                                                                  Parent/carer   
                                                                  SMDS           
                                                                  LEA            
                                                                  Police         
                                                                  Other          

Form to be passed to Belinda Howells.

Policy Statement:
 Gender Equality
The Thomas Adams

   Policy Statement

Gender Equality Scheme

                      Updated August 2011
Gender Equality

This policy reflects the “Every Child Matters” agenda which states that all pupils should:
                 Be Healthy
                 Stay Safe
                 Enjoy and Achieve
                 Achieve Economic Well-being
                 Make a Positive Contribution

and with the recognised Safeguarding Procedures within school, including Child Protection
and Health and Safety. These highlight the need for this policy to take into account the
Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL):

                  Self awareness
                  Managing feelings
                  Motivation
                  Empathy
                  Social Skills

for all those working and learning within our school.

The General Duty

The Thomas Adams School will actively seek to:

      Eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment.
      Promote equality of opportunity between men and women.

School Ethos, Vision and Values

The School stands against sexism.

The Thomas Adams School is committed to ensuring equal treatment of all its employees,
pupils and any others involved in the school community, regardless of gender. We will
ensure that neither males nor females are treated less favourably in any procedures,
practices or aspects of service delivery.

We will not tolerate harassment of people based on their gender or transgender status.

We are committed to ensuring equality of education and opportunity for staff, pupils and all
those receiving services from the school, irrespective of gender. The achievement of all
pupils and students will be monitored on the basis of gender and we will use this data to
raise standards and ensure inclusive teaching. We will aim to provide our pupils with a firm
foundation which will enable them to fulfil their potential, regardless of gender or
stereotypes. We will seek to eliminate unlawful discrimination against pupils and staff by
adhering to our duties as an employer under the legislation. At The Thomas Adams School
we believe that diversity is a strength, which should be respected and celebrated by all
those who learn, teach and visit here.
What do we understand by ‘gender’?

Sex and gender are terms often used interchangeably. Sex more properly refers to biological
differences of male and female; gender refers to society’s construction of a system which
identifies what is masculine and feminine. Individuals incorporate this system to develop
their gender identities.

Aims of the Policy

At Thomas Adams we are committed to ensuring equality of education and opportunity for
staff, pupils and all those receiving services from the school irrespective of gender.

Under the gender equality duty all schools now need to take action to:

   Eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment.
   Promote equality of opportunity between men and women.

Although at Thomas Adams we take positive steps to address gender inequality, we
understand that there are many barriers that prevent pupils and staff from achieving and
making the most of the opportunities we make available.

To promote gender equality it is vital that the differences between boys’ and girls’, male and
female experiences, attitudes and achievements in schools are understood so that our
policies and practices can begin to break down these barriers.

However, we are aware of how factors such as ethnicity and social class also impact on the
achievement of boys and girls. This scheme supports our work in trying to tackle all those
factors which impact on pupil attainment.

Key Aims

   To promote justice, equality of opportunity and fair treatment for all and thereby allow
    all students, irrespective of their gender, to achieve the level of success and self respect
    which they deserve.
   To instil in students an awareness of sexism and to establish an environment where
    school becomes effective in reducing prejudice and raising self esteem.
   To provide a safe and welcoming place for all of its members.
   To provide an environment where sexist assumptions, attitudes and behaviour are
    continually challenged.
   To provide a curriculum which gives children the confidence that sexism can and must
    be eradicated.
   To take appropriate action to deal with any form of sexism within the School.
   To recognise in our teaching the contributions to the development of Science,
    Technology and the Arts which have been made by both genders.
   The teachers will, by careful use of language and choice of resources, avoid reinforcing
    stereotypical views of society.
   To use self-evaluation by whole school discussion to assess the implementation of this
   All subject co-ordinators will continually review their schemes of work in the light of this
    policy with respect to content, methodology, aims and resources.
Key gender issues for all those working with young people at Thomas Adams

We identify five areas of outcomes in which we can seek to improve the life chances for all
children and young people. These outcomes have significantly different dimensions for girls
and for boys.

   Be Healthy
    There are particular issues for girls and boys in their attitudes to sport, exercise and
    sexual health.
   Stay safe
    Differences in the ways boys and girls bully or are bullies need to be examined. The link
    between homophobic bullying and suicide for boys has been highlighted through
    national research.
   Enjoy and achieve
    Boys are behind girls in overall levels of attainment. Girls’ educational achievements,
    although higher than boys’, are not necessarily helping them to take up non-
    stereotypical employment opportunities.
   Make a positive contribution
    Sexist stereotyping, bullying and sexual forms of harassment can result in behaviours
    which have a negative effect on pupils’ developing positive relationships and on their
    skills and willingness to participate in school and community life.
   Achieve economic well being
    Stereotyping contributes to the gender pay gap.

For us at Thomas Adams this means that we will build on our existing practice by:
 continuing to take a key role in shaping the values and attitudes of children and young
    people and take a lead in challenging gender based harassment, bullying and violence
    and stereotyping
 taking action to challenge gender stereotyping in subject choice and careers advice as a
    key part of our whole school curriculum
 including the gender equality duty in the way we plan for school improvement
 building on our positive work around the Healthy Schools initiative
 investigating and addressing complaints of sexual and sexist bullying and harassment.

Gender in the Curriculum

The School always seeks to develop positive attitudes in its students by challenging
stereotypes and promoting positive role models.

We challenge gender stereotyping within the curriculum i.e. the belief that at secondary
level it is more appropriate for girls to study subjects such as English, food technology and
languages whereas boys should study science and technology but not drama.

Our objectives

We will do this by:
 using our staff and curriculum to encourage boys’ reading
 gathering relevant information and using to inform gender equality actions
 analysing pupil achievement data by gender
 consulting with relevant people and using that information to identify gender equality
       raising awareness of this policy and its aims through training, parents’ meetings, our
        newsletter, staff meetings and curriculum
       nominating a senior member of staff to co-ordinate the monitoring of sexist bullying.

Monitoring, review and evaluation

Evaluation and review of this scheme will be carried out in line with our school improvement
plan as part of the annual review cycle and will be reviewed by the Monitoring Committee of
the governing body.

Gender equality will be monitored in a range of areas including:

        pupil achievement/attainment
        rewards and sanctions including exclusions
        participation
Appendix 1

Check list for school staff and governors

Service Provision –

 Is information collected on gender with regards to both pupils and staff? Is this
information used to improve the provision of services?

 Is pupil achievement monitored by gender? Are there trends or patterns in the data that
may require additional action?

 Are pupils of both sexes encouraged to participate in school life? How is this shown
through representation in school events such as class assemblies and the school council?

 Are pupils of both sexes given the same opportunities to participate in physical activity,
both in and outside of school hours?

 Is bullying and harassment of pupils monitored and is this information used to make a

 Are stereotypes in terms of gender actively challenged in both the class-room
environment and in the playground?

 Are pupils encouraged to consider career paths/occupations that are traditionally gender

 Is the school environment as accessible and welcoming as possible to visitors of both
sexes e.g. accessible to pushchairs? Are open evenings and other events which parents or
carers attend held in an accessible part of the school?

 Are parents of both sexes encouraged to participate in their child’s education e.g.
attending parents’ evening, taking up parent/family learning courses, and assemblies?

 Are governing bodies representative of the pupils, staff and local community that they

Employer duties:

As an employer you will need to ensure that you eliminate discrimination and harassment in
your employment practice and actively promote gender equality within your workforce.

 Are gender aspects considered when appointing staff and particularly when allocating
Teaching and Learning Responsibilities (TLR) or re-evaluating staff structures, to ensure
decisions are free of discrimination?

 Is bullying and harassment of staff monitored and is this information used to make a
NOTE: The EOC Code of Practice on the Duty lists key employment issues that are usually
the most common ones to be considered, these include:

                    Recruitment
                    Managing flexible working
                    Managing parental and carers leave
                    Managing pregnancy and return from maternity leave
                    Sexual and sexist harassment
                    Transsexual staff
                    Grievance and disciplinary procedures
                    Equal pay
                    Work based training opportunities

It is a specific requirement of the duty that an equal pay policy is in place.
Appendix 2

Guidelines for Policy Implementation

a) Documentation and Communication
   All documentation and communication will stress equality and the similarities of
   experiences, abilities and problems rather than the differences between the sexes.
   Images of girls and boys will be equally represented.

b) Student Lists
   All student lists shall be in alphabetical order without gender discrimination. Mixed
   activities shall be offered as the norm where appropriate.

c) Seating Arrangements
   Seating arrangements in classrooms shall be such as to allow girls and boys equal
   access to equipment, teacher attention and written guidance or visual aids.

d) Tasks around School
   Boys and girls shall participate equally in the various tasks around school, e.g. making
   refreshments at parents' evenings; escorting visitors around school, clearing up, moving
   furniture etc.

e) Visitors
   Visitors to the school who work with students should include a balance of positive
   female and male role models. They should be informed of the school's policy and
   practices (particularly if they are to speak publicly to the school).

f) Staff Assemblies
   Female and male staff should be equally represented in conducting assemblies and
   supervising the arrival and dismissal of students.

g) Assembly and Act of Worship
   Assembly content should celebrate the similarities of experiences as well as the different
   interests and experiences of the sexes.

h) Sanctions and Referrals
   Staff shall ensure that they apply sanctions and referral policy equally to students of
   both sexes.

i) Counselling
   Staff shall ensure that equal time and opportunity for counselling is given to both sexes.

j) Meetings
   Composition of staff at meetings shall reflect a balance of the sexes.

Individual conduct at meetings shall reflect an awareness and sensitivity to the existence of
the differences in power differentials particularly between male/female staff. All members of
the meetings shall have equal access to time to express their opinions and receive equal
value and recognition for their contributions.
k) Language and behaviour
   a) Language shall be used, to promote a positive self image of staff/students.
      Stereotypical language and sexist humour/innuendo shall be avoided.
   b) Incidents of sexual harassment e.g. touching without consent and verbal abuse (e.g.
      bitch/cow) shall be challenged by staff.
   c) Sexist graffiti shall be removed as quickly as possible and the perpetrators sought so
      that they may be challenged.

l) Staff
   It is fully accepted that this policy applies equally to staff as well as students.

  a) A supportive climate must be established where staff can voice their concerns
     regarding sexist behaviour and attitudes.
  b) Assertiveness training should be offered to staff and opportunities for discussing and
     analysing interpersonal behaviour should be provided as an INSET opportunity
     including ways of dealing with unacceptable sexist behaviour/language.
  c) We should aim for a staffing structure which more genuinely reflects the gender
     balance particularly at senior level where the shortage of women staff is particularly
  d) Positive action should be taken to encourage and promote the career development of
     women through IN SERVICE Training to include teaching and non-teaching staff
     employed in the school.
  e) Governors involved in interviewing candidates for appointments will be made aware of
     possible bias in questions and assumptions made in relation to the sexes.

m) Curriculum
   The whole school curriculum policy of equal access shall be supported through this
   policy in the following ways:

 a) Subject stereotyping should be discouraged through personal counselling, group
    construction and monitoring of option choices.
 b) Written materials produced by the school about the curriculum e.g. School Prospectus
    and Guided Choice shall include guidance to parents/students which will encourage
    non-stereotypical assumptions about subjects.
 c) Work schemes in appropriate curriculum areas should address equal opportunities
    legislation and the issues of women and men in society.
 d) Girls and boys should be given the same range of learning experiences and have equal
    access to topics taught within subjects.

n) Choice of reading schemes, books and other literary resources
   Choose resources which:

1. Portray a world view as seen from male and female perspectives and thereby
   communicate how it may feel to be of another gender,
2. Are factually accurate and use up-to-date text, illustrations and maps.
3. Do not:            a) stereotype individuals or groups
                      b) equate men with being the dominant gender or women the
                         subservient gender
4. Show the achievements and attributes of both genders, both past and present.
5. Show children of both sexes involved in the activities such as physics, design, music,
6. In which both boys and girls can find characters which enhance their self esteem, where
   males and females have important roles and hold positions of authority.
7. Show characters not having to justify their gender by being exceptionally virtuous or
   brave etc.
8. Where illustrations avoid caricature.

Monitoring and Review

 i)    The Head
       The Head will be responsible to the Governing Body for promoting, monitoring and
       maintaining the implementation of this policy.
ii)    Staff with Curricular and Pastoral Responsibility
       Will be directly responsible to the Head for promoting, monitoring and maintaining
       the implementation of this policy.

There will be a regular school-based evaluation of the effective implementation of this
     ANNEX G

    Policy Statement:
 Access to the School for
Students with Disabilities
   The Thomas Adams

        Policy Statement

Access to the School for Students
        with Disabilities

                           Updated May 2011
            Access to the School for Students with Disabilities Statement

This policy reflects “Every Child Matters” which states that all pupils should:

                  Be Healthy
                  Stay Safe
                  Enjoy and Achieve
                  Achieve Economic Well-being
                  Make a Positive Contribution

and with the recognised Safeguarding Procedures within school, including Child Protection
and Health and Safety. These highlight the need for this policy to take into account the
Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL):

                   Self awareness
                   Managing feelings
                   Motivation
                   Empathy
                   Social Skills

for all those working and learning within our school.

Thomas Adams School has high ambitions for all its pupils, including any students with
particular physical, learning and emotional needs, thus identifying them as ‘disabled’ in
relation to their peers. (Please see appendix).

Thomas Adams School’s commitment to equal opportunities for all students is dictated by
the school’s inclusive philosophy, and the agreement within our school that Every Child
DOES Matter. This commitment is supported by the School’s Inclusion Statement, which is
subject to thorough regular review.

A fundamental principle is for all students to have equal opportunities to access a broad and
balanced curriculum that takes account of individual needs.

We hope and expect that all our disabled students will participate and achieve in every
aspect of school life, given appropriate support and encouragement from all those involved
with them.

The Year 6/7 transition process is carefully monitored in order to make sure that:
    All students who will require support in Year 7 have been identified prior to transfer.
    All information regarding the individual student is transferred to establish needs and
      appropriate strategies.
    All students who require additional visits to familiarise themselves with the school
      systems of e.g. lesson changeover/moving around the large building/dinner queues,
      are able to take advantage of individual sessions.
    All students who require specialised intervention are able to meet TAs who will be
      their Key Workers on entry to Thomas Adams.

The school endeavours to:
    Set suitable learning challenges.
    Respond appropriately to the diverse needs of all students.
      Overcome potential barriers to learning and assessment for individuals and groups of
       students through regular reviews of school data and personal contact with disabled
       students and their families.
      Eliminate harassment and promote positive attitudes to disability.

With regard to the wider curriculum, we believe we need to:
    Make reasonable adjustments to ensure access to all physical areas of the school.
    Make reasonable adjustments to ensure access to recreation.
    Make reasonable adjustments to ensure access to educational visits, trips, extra-
       curricular activities and special events.
    Promote equality of participation.

Thomas Adams aims to identify and remove barriers to disabled students in every area of
school life, and to make all young people, and those who support them, valued and

Admissions to Thomas Adams School for students with disabilities follows DFE Guidance,
which states that Children with a Statement of Special Educational Needs which name a
particular school, will be allocated places.

Regular SEN monitoring acknowledges that students who are identified as having special
educational needs/learning difficulties continue to achieve above nationally expected levels.

The nature of the intake at Thomas Adams School and Adams College is contained in the
School Evaluation Form (SEF).

In addition:
Thomas Adams regularly reviews Reward and Sanction information for all disabled students
in order to:
     Review individual progress.
     Identify areas of success and celebrate achievement.
     Identify areas that require continued or improved support.
     Identify areas that might require input from external agencies.

The School gathers information on participation in extra-curricular and out-of-school
activities in order to:
     Identify areas of success and celebrate achievement.
     Review provision.

We continue to review examination entries and results at Key Stages 2, 3, 4 and 5 in order
     Review individual progress and set suitable targets for individual academic
     Identify areas of success and celebrate achievement.
     Identify departmental success and strategies which could be developed in different
      curriculum areas in which disabled students make less progress, using this as
      information to target support and Continuing Professional Development.

We regularly review attendance statistics for disabled students in order to:
    Target EWO support where applicable.
    Review individual timetables and provision.
    Review curricular provision.
Thomas Adams School regularly reviews its policy and practice on inclusion, and acts on its
findings, to increase the range and diversity of the support for disabled students, and to
assure they all achieve both their academic targets and their personal goals.

Ongoing consultation includes:
    The views and aspirations of the disabled young people themselves.
    The views and aspirations of their parents/carers.
    The views and aspirations of other disabled people or voluntary organisations.
    The priorities of the Local Authority.
Consultation takes place through:
    Questionnaires.
    Parents’ evenings.
    Phone calls.
    Regular student reviews.
    Regular mentoring with students.

and has also included reviews with outside agencies including:
    Sensory Impaired Service (SIS).
    CAMHS.
    Education Psychologist.
    LA Inclusion Officer.
    LA Officer with responsibility for Looked After Children.
    LA Monitoring Officer.
    Family Support Worker.
    Safeguarding Team.
    Multi Agency Team.

Thomas Adams continues to make reasonable adjustments for disabled students at different
levels of school life:
     For the individual disabled student.
     In our practices and procedures.
     In our policies.

Reasonable adjustments meet the statutory requirements when they:
    Act to prevent disabled students being placed at a substantial disadvantage.
    Are aimed at all disabled students.
    Are anticipatory.
    Enable students to participate in education and associated services.

When deciding if a reasonable adjustment is necessary to avoid placing students at a
substantial disadvantage, we will need to consider the potential impact on disabled students
in terms of:
      Time and effort.
      Inconvenience.

The school continually reviews how information is provided to disabled
students/parents/carers, and how other methods could improve that delivery through:
     Continued consultation with students/parents/carers.
     Continued liaison with primary schools.
     Continued liaison with outside agencies.

Identifying the appropriate format must take account of:
      Student’s impairments: access to information may be improved for particular groups
       of students by particular approaches, for example: students with learning difficulties
       may be able to access information more easily where it is provided in simplified
       language; students with language and communication difficulties may be able to
       access information more easily where it is provided in picture/symbol systems;
       students with a visual impairment may be able to access information where it has
       been pre-recorded onto a CD or pod-cast.
      Preferences expressed by students or parents: consideration of a variety of different
       formats should be built into the design of information produced for students.

Management, co-ordination and implementation

The governing body, as the responsible body, will continue to take responsibility for:
    Ongoing liaison with the school’s leadership team.
    Involvement of a designated governor in target setting and review on a regular

Disability and the Equality Act 2010

From 1 October 2010, the Equality Act replaced most of the Disability Discrimination Act

Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010 aims to protect disabled people and prevent disability discrimination.
It provides legal rights for disabled people in the areas of:
         employment
         education
         access to goods, services and facilities including larger private clubs and land
            based transport services
         buying and renting land or property
         functions of public bodies, for example the issuing of licences

The Equality Act also provides rights for people not to be directly discriminated against or
harassed because they have an association with a disabled person. This can apply to a carer
or parent of a disabled person. In addition, people must not be directly discriminated against
or harassed because they are wrongly perceived to be disabled.

(More information about the Equality Act, and how you can obtain copies of the Act, can be
found on the Government Equalities Office website.)

The definition of ‘disability’ under the Equality Act 2010

In the Act, a person has a disability if:
        they have a physical or mental impairment
        the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to
            perform normal day-to-day activities

For the purposes of the Act, these words have the following meanings:
        'substantial' means more than minor or trivial
        'long-term' means that the effect of the impairment has lasted or is likely to last
           for at least twelve months (there are special rules covering recurring or
           fluctuating conditions)
        'normal day-to-day activities' include everyday things like eating, washing,
           walking and going shopping

People who have had a disability in the past that meets this definition are also protected by
the Act.

Progressive conditions considered to be a disability
There are additional provisions relating to people with progressive conditions. People with
HIV, cancer or multiple sclerosis are protected by the Act from the point of diagnosis. People
with some visual impairments are automatically deemed to be disabled.

Conditions that are specifically excluded
Some conditions are specifically excluded from being covered by the disability definition,
such as a tendency to set fires or addictions to non–prescribed substances.
Where to get more guidance on definition of disability

The government has published statutory guidance, to assist adjudicating bodies like courts
and tribunals in deciding whether a person is a disabled person. This guidance is called
“Guidance on matters to be taken into account in determining questions relating to the
definition of disability”.

It was published for the purposes of the Disability Discrimination Act, but continues to apply
under the Equality Act 2010, where appropriate.

You can read the current guidance on the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s (EHRC)

Disability rights in everyday life

The 'Disabled people's rights in everyday life' page is about the parts of the Equality Act
2010 that provide protection from disability discrimination. There is separate information
about how the Act affects your rights in different areas of life, including accessing and using
the services of shops, cafes and banks.

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