What is the Public Sector Equalities Duty?
The single Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) came into effect in April 2011 as a result of the Equality Act 2010. It requires public bodies to promote equality and replaced three pre-existing duties relating to disability, race and gender equality.
The PSED applies to all maintained and independent schools, including academies, and maintained and non-maintained special schools.
The Department for Education (DfE) has published non-statutory advice that sets out schools' obligations under the PSED.
Paragraph 5.1 explains that the PSED extends to the following protected characteristics:
Race, disability, gender, sex, age, religion or belief, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity, gender reassignment
Three Main Elements
Paragraph 5.1 of the document explains that the PSED has three main elements. In carrying out their functions, public bodies are required to have due regard to the need to:
Eliminate discrimination 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 characteristics, and between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it
We meet the PSED in the following ways:
We eliminate discrimination by:
Adoption of the The Partnership Trust Equalities policy
Our behaviour policy ensures that all children feel safe at school and addresses prejudicial bullying
Reporting, responding to and monitoring all racist incidents
Regularly monitoring the curriculum to ensure that the curriculum meets the needs of our pupils and that it promotes respect for diversity and challenges negative stereotyping
Teaching is of the highest quality to ensure children reach their potential and all pupils are given equal entitlement to success
Tracking pupil progress to ensure that all children make rapid progress, and intervening when necessary
Ensuring that all pupils have the opportunity to access extra-curricular provision
Listening to and monitoring views and experiences of pupils and adults to evaluate the effectiveness of our policies and procedures.
We advance equality of opportunity by:
Using the information we gather to identify underachieving groups or individuals and plan targeted intervention
Ensuring participation of parents/carers and pupils in school development
Listening to parents/carers
Listening to pupils at all times
We foster good relations by:
Ensuring that Paulton Infant School is seen as a community school within our local community
Ensuring that equality and diversity are embedded in the curriculum and our assemblies
Paragraph 5.4 of the DfE's advice says that 'due regard' has been defined as giving "relevant and proportionate consideration to the duty".
For schools, this means:
Decision makers must be aware of the duty to have due regard when making a decision or taking an action, and must assess whether it may have implications for people with particular protected characteristics
Schools should consider equality implications before and at the time that they develop policy and take decisions, not as an afterthought, and they need to keep them under review on a continuing basis
The PSED has to be integrated into the carrying out of the school’s functions, and the analysis necessary to comply with the duty has to be carried out seriously, rigorously and with an open mind
Schools are expected to report on how they meet the PSED and this includes setting objectives (which should be reviewed at least every four years). At Paulton Infant School, we are committed to ensuring equality of education and opportunity for all pupils, staff, parents and carers, irrespective of race, gender, disability, belief, religion or socio-economic background.
In order to further support pupils, raise standards and ensure inclusive teaching, we
have set the following equality objectives:
We are committed to improving the attainment and raising the aspiration of all groups of pupils
Teaching and Learning:
We will ensure that our curriculum promotes understanding between different groups of people, cultures and societies, tackles stereotypes, challenges pupil’s perceptions and promotes British values.
Behaviour and safety:
We will maintain a rigorous anti-bullying stance so that all pupils are protected from harassment and discrimination, and deal with the use of discriminatory, homophobic or otherwise offensive language in line with our behaviour policy.
Leadership and Management:
Consistent application of our policies and procedures, ensuring that our systems for recruiting, retaining and managing staff support all those in groups protected by the Equalities Act.
We will endeavour to raise levels of parental and pupil engagement in learning and school life, across all activities, including regular attendance.
Click here to see how we meet these objectives in practice at Paulton Infant School