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Warwickshire County Council
Warwickshire County Council

Equality and diversity for schools

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) for Schools

Equality, diversity and inclusion in education is essential for both teachers and students. Every school, college or setting wants to make sure all their learners can thrive and reach their full potential. By raising awareness of all strands of diversity, how to eliminate discrimination, promote equality of opportunity and foster good relations, we are preparing our children and young people to become good global citizens and to appreciate and celebrate the diverse society in which we live. 

Additionally, this important agenda will ensure we have a workforce which reflects the differences of our learners which in turn will help to shape a responsive and tailored service. We appreciate that talents reside in people of all backgrounds and a diverse workforce can harness this. 

Legislation

Equality Act 2010 

The Equality Act 2010 came into force on 1 October 2010 and replaced all previous equality legislation. It legally protects aspects of our identity, known as ‘protected characteristics’, from discrimination in the workplace and wider society. Employers are obliged to protect people from discrimination from anyone they encounter as part of their work, including fellow workers, customers and suppliers. 

Who is protected?

The nine protected characteristics are as follows:

  • Age 
  • Disability 
  • Gender reassignment 
  • Marriage and civil partnership 
  • Pregnancy and maternity 
  • Race 
  • Religion or belief 
  • Sex 
  • Sexual orientation 

What does the law prohibit?

  • Direct discrimination - treating someone differently and worse than someone else because of who they are. 
  • Indirect discrimination - when there's a practice, policy or rule which applies to everyone in the same way, but it has a worse effect on some people than others because of who they are. 
  • Discrimination by association - protects a person from being discriminated against because of a third-party's protected characteristic. 
  • Discrimination by perception - discrimination against someone because they are wrongly perceived to have a certain protected characteristic, for example, where an employer believes an employee is gay, or is of a particular race, and treats them less favourably as a result. 
  • Harassment - unwanted behaviour with the purpose or effect of violating your dignity, or creating a degrading, humiliating, hostile, intimidating or offensive environment. 
  • Victimisation - the action of singling someone out for cruel or unjust treatment. 

Public Sector Equality Duty 

The Equality Act also established the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED). As a public body we must: 

  • Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation.  
  • Advance equality of opportunity. 

This involves having due regard to the need to:

  • Remove or minimise disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics. 
  • Take steps to meet the needs of people with certain protected characteristics where these are different from the needs of other people, for example, taking steps to take account of people with disabilities. 
  • Encourage people with certain protected characteristics to participate in public life or in other activities where their participation is disproportionately low.  
  • Foster good relations between those who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.

This means tackling prejudice and promoting understanding between people from different groups and communities. 

Ofsted 

Under the Ofsted Education Inspection Framework (2019) inspectors will assess the extent to which the school complies with the relevant legal duties under the Equality Act 2010, including, where relevant, the Public Sector Equality Duty and the Human Rights Act 1998. Schools must “promote an inclusive environment that meets the needs of all pupils, irrespective of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion, belief, sex or sexual orientation". 

Guidance and Advice 

The following documents have been developed as part of our school's support, to help you meet your equality duties: 

We have signposted to external additional resources below. 

Prejudice Related Incidents 

Please use this form to report prejudice related incidents within your education setting: - 

This will enable us to gain data on behaviour and target work accordingly as part of Warwickshire’s Hate Crime Partnership. More information on the Warwickshire Hate Crime Partnership

Useful Resources

Overarching

Disability 

LGBT+ 

Race 

Religion and Belief