Does the ‘public sector equality duty’ apply to academies and free schools?

The short answer is yes, the public sector equality duty applies to academies and free schools.

Academies (and thus free schools) are ‘public authorities’ for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010.  That means they are bound by the public sector equality duty (PSED).

In simple terms, that means that, whenever they make decisions which might impact differently on girls, on members of particular ethnic groups, on members of particular religious groups, or on disabled people, they must (to put it very simply) give particular consideration to the issues which arise, and (at least) try to reduce any adverse impact.

  5 comments for “Does the ‘public sector equality duty’ apply to academies and free schools?

  1. Ron Croon
    February 21, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    I’m looking for info, sorry I’m not in a position to provide it for your blog.

    As a non-resident father I feel that I’m being discriminated against by the school – (a ‘village college’ which is ultimately an ‘academy’. I requested to see my daughter’s school record back in October, the mother objected to the school saying (falsely), there was an order prohibiting me from getting info. (The opposite was true, a judge had made a judgement served on the local authority social services, and NYAS saying unequivocally that I should be provided with info from the school. Unfortunately I cannot share the contents of that judgement with the school as it is a privileged document). Initially the school said it would disclose the info, then they began making excuses, and now they seem to be ignoring my emails.

    Having discovered your blog and the paragraph: ‘Academies (and thus free schools) are ‘public authorities’ for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010. That means they are bound by the public sector equality duty (PSED).’

    Does that mean I can in theory make an application to the court against the school for discrimination against a parent? Thank you in anticipation and please excuse me if this is off topic.

  2. DW
    March 3, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    I don’t think the PSED will help you because the Equality Act does not deal with ‘discrimination against a parent’. Nor will the Freedom of Information Act, since it concerns public information (with information about individual people being excluded from its reach). But the parents have direct rights to access their children’s school records by virtue of the Education (Pupil Information) (England) Regulations 2005.

  3. CT
    March 16, 2014 at 9:29 am

    Hi, I’m currently having issues with a trust which has taken over at least six schools various areas in Kent. My son is ADHD and due to his disability often is late for school due to his sleep difficulties. I have contacted the EASS whom have said the late detentions my son is receiving are unlawful due to arising from his ADHD and inability to carry out day to day activities the average person can do. I have complained in writing both to head and chair.No reply from chair after nearly three weeks.Head stated in his letter I’m trying to tell them what to do..Ive again sent a reply letter i and again included all information relating to equality act 2010 and information on ADHD., all paperwork (at least six plus) sent from school regarding my sons behaviour stemming from lack of concentration and focus This is the school that had a head of year state in front of the EWO that ADHD was not a disability and wasn’t affecting my sons school life..Then in thier reply letter denied it was ever said but apologised if that is the impression i got. I was there and i showed the head of year the DWP letter i sent explaining my sons ADHD and how it affected him every day.I feel like I’m banging my head against a brick wall and they keep saying he have to be on time when he goes out to work. Im a single parent having to contend with this mainly on my own.They have also given my dyslexic daughter detentions for forgetting kit and said they will give her a list of food that may be spicy has she often goes without lunch due to not being able to read.She doesn’t like spicy food.You can imagine my reply in my letter there.

  4. DW
    March 17, 2014 at 8:00 am

    It sounds as though you need detailed legal advice (not something suitable for this public blog). I suggest you contact the Civil Legal Aid Advice Helpline on 0808 802 0008. Good luck.

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