Equality duties and equality challenges

Today (19 April) is the closing date for submitting views and responses to the government equalities office (GEO) in connection with their review of the public sector equality duty (PSED). The Insted submission to the GEO can be read at http://www.insted.co.uk/equality-duties.pdf.

In summary, Insted says the equality duty and related guidance are not yet well understood in the education sector, and that therefore there is a need for clearer guidance and more helpful support on a range of conceptual and practical matters. The existence and location of guidance and support need to be more effectively publicised, and greater leadership needs to be exercised on these matters by central government, by local authorities, and by academy chains. The document is particularly critical of the Department for Education. The DfE’s guidance documents for schools are misleading and inadequate, and in its own practice the DfE has so far failed to comply satisfactorily with the requirements of the Equality Act’s specific duties. By being non-compliant, it sets a very poor example to the education sector as a whole.

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