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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 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:

  • age
  • disability,
  • gender reassignment
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race
  • religion or belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation

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 says 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 expect all our staff to act in a non-discriminating manner and be mindful to avoid actions that will be deemed as such to the public and our wider community.
  • We have up-to-date and ratified policies that set out a clear message that discrimination is not tolerated: behaviour, anti-bullying, safeguarding and child protection.
  • We understand that it is unlawful to fail to make reasonable adjustments to overcome barriers to using services caused by disability and one of our equalities objectives addresses this.
  • The 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. 
  • Through a structured PSHE curriculum offer, assemblies, workshops and visits, equalities will be discussed with and taught to the children, exemplifying the British Values and School Values.
  • 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 will the school’s various policies relating to equality.
  • We will guarantee that no redundancy is the result of direct or indirect prejudice. All disciplinary procedures are non-prejudicial, whether they result in warnings, dismissal, or any other disciplinary action.
  • Prejudice is not tolerated and we are continuously working to promote an accepting and respectful environment for our school community.

Our School

Walton on the Hill Primary School is a multi-cultural, multi-racial community and we believe that everyone in the school is of equal value and should have equal opportunities in school, the community and in life.

Many people in our society are discriminated against and treated as if they are worth less than others because of their race, religion or language; because of their gender or sexuality; because of their class or because of a disability. This will not happen in our school.

People are individuals and therefore different. They have different needs and different contributions to make to the life of our school and of the community. The staff and governors, for their part strive to give unconditional trust and ask pupils that they endeavour to be honest and give respect to other people and their property. There may be times when the relationship between staff and a pupil breaks down. In such cases the school will give all the support it can to the pupil concerned and his or her parents even though redress to exclusion may be necessary.

Equal Opportunities is not about treating everybody the same. It is about meeting people's individual needs and appreciating their individual strengths and gifts. We are all different and should all be equally valued. Everything that follows in this statement is to help everyone involved make Walton on the Hill a truly Equal Opportunities and Inclusive school.

Acceptance and Celebration of Different Faiths and Beliefs

Our school motto, ‘Global School Vision - Village School Values’, outlines our vision to ensure that the children of Walton on the Hill Primary School become valued and successful members of the global community. We live in a culturally diverse society and it is imperative that all children establish an understanding and tolerance for those within our local and wider community who may have a different faith or belief. Our humanities' curriculum outlines the background and cultures from around the world, and promotes the benefits of the global community we live in. By following the Surrey Standing Advice Council on Religious Education (SACRE) syllabus, all children learn about a wide range of religions, and the belief structures they follow. Additionally, we promote children from within our school community to share their beliefs with their peers. Equality and tolerance are fundamental elements of our school ethos.

The Governing Body, and the Senior Leadership Team (as appropriate) will keep written records of all relevant decisions and actions where equality issues have arisen. This will help us to show that equality implications have been considered and that the school’s equality duties have been actively considered before, and at the time decisions have been made.

Please note we have further information and policies and action plans to add to this page which are currently going through our Governors' ratification process.