We seek to be a community that places learning at the centre of all its activities and a school that offers achievement, success and recognition. We will treat everyone at Quest Academy fairly, celebrating difference and meeting different needs so that all members of our school community are free to live, learn and enjoy.
At Quest Academy we aim to promote equality and diversity and tackle any form of discrimination. We seek to remove any barriers to access, participation, attainment and achievement.
The Equality Act 2010 replaces all previous equality legislation, including the Race Relations Act, Disability Discrimination Act and Sex Discrimination Act.
Equality schemes: changes in legislation
The Equality Act 2010 introduced a single Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED), which came into effect in April 2011. It applies to public bodies, including maintained schools and academies.
Equality documents required for schools
Schools are no longer required to produce single equality schemes, although under the PSED we are required to publish information demonstrating compliance with the PSED, as well as a set of equality targets.
The PSED also requires that schools publish an Accessibility Plan: here we set out how we adjust for those with disabilities.
Statement of Accessibility
The Single Equality Scheme requires an Accessibility Plan as a standalone document. This is a statement of present provision within the three required areas:
1. Increasing the extent to which disabled pupils can participate in the school’s curriculum
2. Improving the physical environment of the school for the purpose of increasing the extent to which disabled learners are able to take advantage of education and benefits, facilities or services provided or offered by the school
3. Improving the delivery to disabled learners of information which is readily accessible to learners who are not disabled
The Public Sector Equality Duty: overview
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.
Characteristics protected by the PSED
The Department for Education (DfE) has published non-statutory advice on the Equality Act 2010 which sets out schools' obligations under the PSED.
Paragraph 5.1 explains that the PSED extends to the following protected characteristics:
- Religion or belief
- Sexual orientation
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Gender reassignment
However, paragraph 5.2 notes that, for schools, age is "a relevant characteristic in considering their duties in their role as an employer but not in relation to pupils".
Quest equality objectives
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
Paragraph 5.4 of the DfE's advice says that 'due regard' has been defined in case law and means giving "relevant and proportionate consideration to the duty".
For Quest, this means:
Leadership, including our LAB, are aware of the duty and have due regard when making a decision or taking an action, and we assess whether it may have implications for people with particular protected characteristics
Consulting and involving those affected by inequality, in the decisions your school or college takes to promote equality and eliminate discrimination, including families, learners, staff and members of the local community
We consider equality implications before and at the time we develop policy and take decisions, not as an afterthought, and that we keep policies and practice under review on a continuing basis
The PSED is integrated into the way we carry out the school’s functions, and the analysis necessary to comply with the duty is carried out seriously, rigorously and with an open mind
In line with DfE requirements, Quest does not delegate responsibility for carrying out the duty to anyone else.