Equality Act Issues for Education service providers. Paul Johnstone Wednesday 3 October 2012

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1 Equality Act Issues for Education service providers Paul Johnstone Wednesday 3 October 2012

2 Equality Act 2010 Consolidation of discrimination law Protected characteristics age race sex disability gender reassignment sexual orientation religious and philosophical belief pregnancy and maternity marriage and civil partnership

3 Equality Act 2010 Applies not only A: in the workplace (including applicants for jobs and opportunities for training and promotion) but also B: in relation to the services provided to the community This includes education services

4 Equality Act 2010 Types of discrimination direct indirect victimisation harassment

5 Direct discrimination Section 13 (1) a person (A) discriminates against another (B) if, because of a protected characteristic, A treats B less favourably than A treats or would treat others

6 Indirect discrimination Section 19 (1) a person (A) discriminates against another (B) if A applies to B a provision, criterion or practice which is discriminatory in relation to a relevant protected characteristic of B s

7 Joint and several liability for Employer and Employee Direct discrimination defence all reasonable steps to prevent Indirect discrimination defence a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim

8 Victimisation A person (A) victimises another person (B) if A subjects B to a detriment because a) B does a protected act or b) A believes that B has done or may do a protected act

9 Harassment A person (A) harasses another (B) if (A) engages in unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic; and the conduct has the purpose or effect of violating B s dignity creating an intimidating hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for B

10 Objective test In deciding whether conduct has such an effect... each of the following must be taken into account a) the perception of B b) the other circumstances of the case c) whether it is reasonable for the conduct to have that effect

11 New concepts? Discrimination by association Discrimination by perception Third party harassment

12 Disability discrimination Duty to make reasonable adjustments provision, criterion or practice physical features or premises working environment ancillary aids But not reasonable to lower educational standards

13 Equality Act 2010 Public Sector Equality Duty

14 Public Sector Equality Duty Section 149 (1) a school must, in the exercise of its functions, have due regard to the need to (a) eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other prohibited conduct (b) advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it (c) foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it

15 Public Sector Equality Duty Section 149 (3) having due regard to advance equality of opportunity (a) remove or minimise disadvantages. (b) take steps to meet the needs of persons

16 Public Sector Equality Duty Section 149 (5) having due regard to the need to foster good relations (a) tackle prejudice (b) promote understanding

17 Public Sector Equality Duty Section 149 (6) compliance with these duties may involve treating some persons more favourably than others

18 Equality Act 2010 Part 6 - Education Chapter 1 Schools Chapter 2 FE and HE colleges The school / college must not discriminate: admissions policy terms offered to students access to education services and facilities conferment of qualifications recreational or training facilities

19 Equality Act 2010 Part 6 - Education NB Part 6 of Equality Act does not apply to a) age b) marriage and civil partnership

20 Equality Act 2010 applies to: A school maintained by a local authority An independent school A special school (not maintained by a local authority) Academies

21 Schedule 10 Accessibility for disabled pupils accessibility strategy accessibility plans (responsible body of the school) improving physical environment increase disabled pupils participation in schools curriculum increase opportunity for disabled pupils to take advantage of education and benefits, facilities or services

22 Schedule 11 Schools: Exceptions Single sex schools not discrimination on ground of sex School with religious character not discrimination on ground of religion or belief Selective admissions policy for maintained or independent schools (ability and aptitude) not discrimination on the grounds of disability

23 Schedule 13 Education: reasonable adjustments admissions policy provision of education services access to a benefit, facility or service Confidentiality request by a parent or the disabled pupil

24 Equality issues for schools Evidence of involvement of individuals and groups in the development and implementation of equality strategies Nothing about us, without us

25 Equality issues for schools Gender based stereotyping still a major problem affecting both boys and girls (e.g. poor levels of participation by girls in sports and under-representation of both in certain subject areas)

26 Equality issues for schools Ofsted Common Inspection Framework Limiting grade Overall effectiveness Leadership and management But - change of emphasis under new Education Act 2011

27 Ofsted Inspectors new evaluation criteria How well does the school manage and actively promote equality and diversity amongst staff, learners, employers, parents and other partners provide effective training ensure all learners and staff are protected from harassment, bullying and discrimination manage incidents and complaints

28 Ofsted Inspectors new evaluation criteria actively reduce any significant variation in outcomes (based on protected characteristics) for different groups of learners to maximise potential set challenging targets use data to monitor, analyse and improve engagement and performance by different groups of learners

29 Equality issues for schools Inspection framework under Education Act 2011 Ofsted report must cover 1. achievement of pupils 2. quality of teaching 3. quality of leadership and management 4. behaviour and safety of pupils

30 Equality issues for schools And consider spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils And consider the extent to which the education meets the needs of the range of pupils in particular disabled pupils and pupils with Special Educational Needs

31 Equality issues for schools And Ofsted will be subject to the PSED 1. Eliminate discrimination 2. Advance equality of opportunity 3. Foster good relations

32 Equality issues for schools Specific duties to enhance PSED annual publication of information on workforce (for employer with > 150 staff) specific and measurable Equality objectives every 4 years Implementation date for schools 6 April 2012

33 Equality issues for schools Purpose of the specific duties assist compliance with the general duty improve focus and transparency of activities assess relevance identify equality objectives monitor progress / improvement assist with business planning and reporting

34 Equality issues for schools Change in terminology Equality Impact Assessments = Out Analysis of the effect on equality = In Purpose focus more on the equality of the analysis to improve decision-making focus less on the production of a document (EIA) which some have seen as an end in itself

35 Part 9 Enforcement Chapter 2 A claim may be made to County Court The Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal And, for employees Employment Tribunal

36 Contact details Paul Johnstone Tel:

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