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The Equality Act (2010)

The Equality Act (2010) represents a single piece of legislation regarding the equalities agendas.  The Equality Act received royal assent on 8 April 2010, with cross party support.  It aims to harmonise and extend piece-meal discrimination law by replacing around 116 different acts of Parliament. 

An initial and useful summary for schools, compiled by the Department of Education is available at: www.education.gov.uk/schools/pupilsupport/inclusionandlearnersupport/inclusion/equalityanddiversity/a0064570/the-equality-act-2010.

Since April 2011 all public bodies, including schools, are bound by the public sector equality duty, which places a duty to:

  • Eliminate discrimination
  • Advance equality of opportunity
  • Foster good relations.

Summarising the Act, it consists of nine Strands, including those most relevant to schools:

  • Age                                                    
  • Disability
  • Ethnicity and Race               
  • Gender
  • Sexual orientation

The similarities to the Community Cohesion agenda are clear. 

Further advice and guidance can be found at: www.insted.co.uk/equalities.html