Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED)

The Equality Act 2010 says public authorities, such as schools, must comply with the public sector equality duty. This is in addition to their duty not to discriminate against you.

The duty aims to make sure schools think about things like discrimination and the needs of people who are disadvantaged or suffer inequality, when they make decisions about how they provide their services and implement policies.

What’s the public sector equality duty?

The public sector equality duty is a duty on public authorities to consider or think about how their policies or decisions affect people who are protected under the Equality Act. Our school follows guidance to ensure we comply with this duty.

Who is protected under the Equality Act?

People who are protected under the Act have what’s called protected characteristics.

The characteristics that are protected in relation to the public sector equality duty are:

-gender reassignment
-marriage and civil partnership
-pregnancy and maternity
-religion or belief
-sexual orientation
Marriage and civil partnership are also protected characteristics under the Equality Act but it's not covered by the public sector equality duty.

What must public authorities do to comply with the duty?

When public authorities, such as our school, carry out their functions, the Equality Act says they must have due regard or think about the need to:

eliminate unlawful discrimination
advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who don’t
foster or encourage good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who don’t
Having due regard means the school must consciously consider or think about the need to do the three things set out in the public sector equality duty.

What’s meant by advancing equality of opportunity?

Some groups of people who share a protected characteristic, like race or sexual orientation, may suffer a particular disadvantage or have particular needs.

The public sector equality duty means our school must think about whether they should take action to meet these needs or reduce the inequalities. In doing this, public authorities are allowed to treat some groups more favourably than others.

The Equality Act says the school should think about the need to:

remove or reduce disadvantages suffered by people because of a protected characteristic
meet the needs of people with protected characteristics
encourage people with protected characteristics to participate in public life and other activities

How our school will comply with this (July 2022):

Advancing equality of opportunity – between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it: At St Bridget’s, a key school value is celebrating diversity. In our school we ensure that the curriculum is inclusive for all of our children, making adjustments to support all pupils to equality of access to the full curriculum. Celebrating diversity of one of the key drivers underpinning our curriculum. We ensure that areas such as swmimming, PE, access to the playground are equitable and that pupils who need extra support in English and Maths don't miss out of the wider curriculum. We use a range of resources in our teaching to include people who have protected characteristics so that our children experience those from protected groups in their learning. We ensure that school trips are inclusive, offering a range of cultural experiences to all pupils. 

Consulting and involving those affected by inequality, in the decisions our school takes to promote equality and eliminate discrimination (affected people could include parents, pupils, staff and members of the local community):

We work with our families and the community to promote equality in our school community. We use outside agencies such as OTs, advisory teachers and physiotherapists to ensure our school environment allows for equal access. We invite members of the community from protected groups into school to volunteer or lead assemblies. We seek to bring the views and thoughts of those affected by inequality to the decision making process. Our staff are undergoing EDI (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion) training and support this.

Please find our equality objectives in the school's Equality Policy. This is reviewed every four years.