Public Sector Equality Duty

The Equality Act 2010 introduced a single Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) 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.

Schools are required to meet significant ‘positive statutory duties’ in the area of equality, which require schools to promote equality in everything that they do. The PSED means that schools may not take a reactive approach to equality, but a proactive approach to equality must be adopted. In practice this requires each school to:

– Take positive and proactive steps to identify areas of potential inequality before they have the chance to have an impact on people;

– Make changes to ensure that any area of potential inequality are eliminated.

As of the 6th April 2012, the Equality Act requires schools to publish equality information to demonstrate its compliance with the general equality duty which encompasses the following 8 protected characteristics:

1) Age

2) Disability

3) Gender Reassignment

4) Race

5) Religion or Belief

6) Sex

7) Sexual Orientation

8) Pregnancy and maternity

The Duty states that a school must, in the exercise of its functions, have due regard to the need to:

– Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by the equality Act 2010;

– Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not;

– Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.

Co-op Academy Failsworth welcomes the implementation of the Public Sector Equality Duty and is committed to promoting and embedding equality and diversity and preventing discrimination in all areas of its work.