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The Equality Duty for Schools

There can be no fair society if age, disability, race, religion and belief, sexual orientation and gender reassignment remain as markers of disadvantage; and there can be no lasting or deep-rooted progress for disadvantaged groups unless we make a robust case for fairness which involves everyone. (Equality and Human Rights Commission, 2012.)

Public Sector Equality Duty

The Equality Act 2010 contains a general duty known as the public sector equality duty (PSED). Since 5 April 2011, public sector organisations (including maintained schools and Academies) must comply with a key aspect of the Equality Act 2010, which requires schools to have due regard to the need to:

Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under the Act; by removing or minimising disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristic;

Advance equality of opportunity between different groups/people, who share a relevant protected characteristic and groups/people who do not; by taking steps to meet the needs of people from protected groups where these are different from the needs of other people;

Foster good relations between different groups/people who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it; by encouraging people from protected groups to participate in public life or in other activities where their participation is disproportionately low.

Having due regard involves thinking consciously about how the schools existing and proposed policies and decisions impact on equality.

Specific Statutory Duties

The Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) Regulations 2011 requires schools to comply with two specific duties, which are intended to help them comply with the Public Sector Equality Duty. These are:

  • Publication of information Since 6 April 2012 - every school has had to publish information to show that it is complying with the duty and at least on an annual basis after that.
  • Equality objectives Schools must prepare and publish one or more objectives which further the three aims of the equality duty. Any objective must be specific and measurable.

Much of the information and analysis will relate to the school improvement plan, evaluations and student data – we intend to use the information to improve education for all groups in our Trust.  We want to make sure we know which pupils are doing well and less well so we can plan and improve. The same applies to our employees.

We work hard to gather this information and it is already being used by our academies to develop their practice and improve outcomes for our pupils.  We will use information which tells us we could be doing better to plan for the future and include these actions in our Equalities Objectives.

GNSA MAT Trust Equality Objectives

As a whole Trust we aim to:

  • Provide a secure environment in which all our children can flourish and achieve under the five outcomes of: be healthy, stay safe, enjoy and achieve, make a positive contribution, and enjoy economic well-being;
  • Include and value the contribution of all families to demonstrate our understanding of equality and diversity;
  • Provide positive non-stereotyping information about gender roles, diverse ethnic and cultural groups and people with disabilities;
  • Improve our knowledge and understanding of issues of anti-discriminatory practice, promoting equality and valuing diversity;
  • Make inclusion a thread that runs through all of the activities of the setting;
  • Prepare children for life in a diverse society in which children are able to see their place in the local, regional, national and international community;
  • Plan systematically to improve our understanding and promotion of diversity;
  • Actively challenge discrimination and disadvantage;