Public Sector Equality Duty
The public sector Equality Duty (PSED). It covers a range of public bodies, including academies, schools, NHS organisations, government departments, local authorities, and police authorities. The duty replaces the three former duties that required government departments, local authorities and other public bodies to take into account gender, race and disability equality both as employers and when making policy decisions and delivering services. The duty standardises this requirement and also extends it to cover age, marriage and civil partnership, religion or belief, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity and gender reassignment. The general equality duty Section 149(1) of the Equality Act 2010 puts various requirements on academies when exercising their functions. The general duty requires academies to have due regard to:
- eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited under the Act
- advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it
- foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.
Having “due regard” means consciously thinking about the three aims of the PSED as part of the process of decision-making. This means that consideration of equality issues must influence the decisions reached by academies, such as:
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