At long last the Equality and Human Rights Commission has published guidance for schools on meeting the general and specific needs of the Equality Act. The guidance is clearly written and teacher-friendly in its explanations of legal concepts and principles, and it valuably contains many practical and stimulating case studies to bring abstract ideas alive. If only, though, it had been published and publicised at least 12 months earlier!
The Act’s specific duties are based in part on the principle that schools and other public bodies should be held to account by local community and voluntary groups and organisations, and by trades unions, campaigners, parents and carers. For such groups and individuals there is excellent guidance on how to approach and relate to public bodies in a document entitled Equality Duty Support Package for the Voluntary Sector, published on the website of the Equality and Diversity Forum on 3 October 2012.
In November 2012 the National Association of Headteachers published a succinct but rigorous summary of how it recommends its members should implement the Equality Act’s general and specific duties.