The Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) 2016

The Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) 2016

Truro Nursery School

The Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) 2016

Approved by Governors: September 2016

Review date: September 2019

The Equality Act 2010 introduced a single Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) which applies to all public bodies including schools and academies.

This new duty extends to all the aspects of a person’s identity – known as ‘protected characteristics’ – that are protected under the Equality Act 2010. These are:

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

There are a further 2 protected characteristics (Age and Marriage and civil partnership). Age is a relevant characteristics for schools only in relation to our duty as employers and not in relation to the children.

It is unlawful to discriminate because of the sex, race, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation or gender reassignment of another person with whom the pupil is associated e.g family members.

The equality duty has two main parts: the ‘general’ equality duty and ‘specific duties’.

The general equality duty sets out the equality matters that schools need to consider when making decisions that affect pupils or staff with different protected characteristics. This duty has three elements. Schools must have due regard to:

  • Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation 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.(Meaning to remove or minimise disadvantages; take steps to meet different needs and encourage participation when it is disproportionately low).
  • Foster good relations across all protected characteristics – between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.

When making a decision or taking an action a school must assess whether it may have implications for people with particular protected characteristics.

It should consider equality implications before and at the time that it develops policy and takes decisions; not as an afterthought, and it needs to keep them under review.

The equality duty has to be integrated into the carrying out of a school’s functions. The analysis necessary to comply with the duty should be carried out rigorously and with an open mind – it is not a question of just ticking boxes.

The specific equality duties require schools to:

  • Publish information to demonstrate how they are complying with the Public Sector Equality Duty and
  • To prepare and publish equality objectives

Schools need to do this themselves and cannot delegate responsibility for carrying out the duty to anyone else.

Truro Nursery School is an inclusive Nursery School. Our curriculum follows the Early Years Foundation Stage Guidance (EYFS). We are committed to providing an environment which welcomes and values all regardless of background, physical, sensory, social, spiritual, emotional or cultural needs. We are committed to challenging negative attitudes towards others and to developing a culture of awareness, understanding, tolerance and inclusion. This is reflected in our policy and practice.

Some examples of how we comply with the equality duty are as follows (not exhaustive):

  • Home visits are offered to all families and allows families to share information with us in a confidential and comfortable environment and allows us to plan for the needs of children e.g. pupils with English as an additional language (EAL) (race), specific aspects related to religion or belief such as diet or pupils with additional needs (disability).
  • A uniform is available (optional) and is non gender specific
  • We have a priority one waiting list meaning that pupils with special educational needs or disability (SEND) are considered for a priority admission over peers.
  • We make our SEND resources available to the wider community e.g a child with a disability comes regularly from a local school to use our sensory room.
  • Our building is DDA compliant and pupils with a disability can access all parts of the school
  • We have undertaken training and accreditation with ICAN (children’s communication charity) as we recognise that this helps us to meet the needs of both children with English as an additional language (race) and children with language needs (disability)
  • We have a wide range of multicultural materials and resources enabling us to promote the fostering of good relations and tolerance
  • Our data shows that children with SEND, children who are black and minority ethnic (BME) or EAL make good progress mostly in line with their peers (although with such small numbers it is not possible to make statistically relevant comparisons). There is no pattern of difference between boys and girls over the past 3+ years.
  • We consider the equality duty prior to making decisions. For example we considered the implications of a farm visit for a child who was muslim and took appropriate steps to ensure they were included without compromising beliefs.

Related policies

SEND, Anti bullying, behaviour, contribution related pay, school development plan, access plan.

Appendix 1

Public Sector Equality Duty Objectives 2016-2017

Objective / Actions / Timescale / Review
To increase understanding of cultural and religious groups, practices and beliefs through age appropriate activities / Planning to show activities to support understanding of beliefs of varied religious groups and cultures. Children to be able to talk about their learning / By July 2017 / Monitored by DHT
To increase understanding of British Values in line with the Public Sector Equality Duty / Planning to show understanding of right and wrong and relation to the law in the UK
Audit of resources to ensure a wide range of positive images of protected characteristics / By July 2017 / Monitored by DHT
To continue to monitor progress of groups of children to ensure that progress is being made and they are not at a disadvantage as a result of protected characteristics. / Analysis of baseline and ongoing assessment of identified groups and actions identified as a result / October 2016, February 2017 and May 2017 / Monitored by HT