Equality at Isebrook
What is the equality duty?
Previously public bodies were bound by three sets of duties to promote disability, race and gender equality. In April 2011 these were replaced by a single public sector equality duty [known as the PSED or the equality duty].
This new duty extends to all the aspects of a person’s identity — known as ‘protected characteristics’ — that are protected under the Equality Act 2010.
These are race, disability, sex, age, religion or belief, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity and gender reassignment.
The equality duty has two main parts: the ‘general’ equality duty and ‘specific duties’.
The general equality duty sets out the equality matters that as a school, Isebrook needs to consider when making decisions that affect students or staff with different protected characteristics. This duty has three elements.
In carrying out our duties, Isebrook is required to have ‘due regard’ when making decisions and developing policies, to the need to:
- Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and other conduct that is prohibited by the Equality Act 2010.
- Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
- Foster good relations across all protected characteristics — between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
Having due regard to the need to advance equality of opportunity is defined further in the Equality Act 2010 as having due regard to the need to:
- Remove or minimise disadvantages
- Take steps to meet different needs
- Encourage participation when it is disproportionately low
In order to help Isebrook meet the general equality duty, there are two specific duties that we are required to carry out. These are:
- To publish information to demonstrate how we are complying with the equality duty.
- To prepare and publish one or more specific and measurable equality objective.
[Schools need to comply with these duties from 6 April 2012 and update yearly].
What does this mean for Isebrook?
For Isebrook, having ‘due regard’ means:
- When making a decision or taking an action, Isebrook must assess whether it may have implications for people with particular protected characteristics.
- Isebrook should consider equality implications before and at the time that we develop policies and take decisions; not as an afterthought, and that we need to keep them under review.
- Isebrook should consciously consider each aspect of the duty [having due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination is not the same thing as having due regard to the need to advance equality of opportunity].
- Isebrook should assess the risk and extent of any adverse impact that might result from a policy or decision and the ways in which the risk may be eliminated before the adoption of a proposed policy.
- The equality duty has to be integrated into the carrying out of Isebrook’s functions. The analysis necessary to comply with the duty is carried out rigorously and with an open mind — it is not a question of just ticking boxes.
- Isebrook does this as an organisation and does not delegate responsibility for carrying out the duty to anyone else. The steps we have taken to meet the duty are recorded.
What information does Isebrook publish?
Isebrook publishes the following information to demonstrate that we meet the equality duty:
- Performance data
- Anti-bullying and behaviour policies
- A school development plan
- Curriculum materials
- Governing body minutes
- Equality training materials
- Parent/carer and student surveys.
Isebrook also liaises with and participates with the DfE, OFSTED, teaching and support staff unions and the voluntary sector.