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Elm Tree Primary School

'Growing Enquiring Minds'

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Public Sector Equality Duty

Public Sector Equality Duty


What is the Public Sector Equality 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 replaces 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.


Protected Characteristics

The Department of 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, 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.


Due regard

Paragraph 5.4 of the DfE's advice that 'due regard' has been defined in case law and means 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. 


Specific Duties 

The PSED introduces secondary legislation in the form of specific duties.  The duties require schools to:

  • publish information to demonstrate how they are complying with the PSED.  This information must include, in particular, information relating to people who share a protected characteristic
  • prepare and publish equality objectives
  • schools are required to update this published information at least annually and to publish objectives at least once every four years.


What does our school do to eliminate discrimination?

We have set a clear vision and values which we expect all of our staff to act in a non-discriminating manner and be mindful to avoid actions that will be deemed as such to the public or our wider community. 


We have an policies that set out a clear message that discrimination is not tolerated.


Our PSHE provision is key and in conjunction with assemblies, workshops and visits equalities will be discussed with and taught to the children.  Pupils are taught respect, tolerance and empathy. 


We understand that it is unlawful to fail to make reasonable adjustments to overcome barriers to using services caused by disability. The Trustees, governing body and school leaders involved in recruitment will avoid unlawful discrimination in all aspects of employment including recruitment, promotion, opportunities for training, pay and benefits, discipline and selection for redundancy. 


Equality of opportunity and non-discrimination extends to the treatment of all members of the school community.  All staff members are obliged to act in accordance with the school's various policies relating to equality. 


Prejudice is not tolerated and we are continuously working to promote an accepting and respectful environment for our school community. 


January 2024