The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has recently updated its technical guidance for schools in England and Scotland, elucidating the obligations imposed by the Equality Act 2010 in relation to pupils with protected characteristics and the delivery of their education.

 

This revised guidance, released on 22nd September, aims to assist school leaders in comprehending and adhering to the Act, offering recommendations to ensure compliance. It includes practical examples across various protected characteristics, covering aspects such as admissions, exclusions, and access to facilities and services.

 

Notably, the EHRC has adjusted sections concerning the use of names and pronouns, gender reassignment discrimination, gender-based segregation, and the definitions of sex and gender reassignment. These changes are designed to reflect the evolving landscape of policy and law in this area.

 

In addition to this update, the Department for Education (DfE) plans to issue separate guidance for schools in England concerning the support of transgender students, with public consultation expected in due course. The EHRC has urged the DfE to expedite this guidance to provide clarity for schools and families.

 

Baroness Kishwer Falkner, Chairwoman of the EHRC, emphasised the importance of this update in ensuring schools’ compliance with the Equality Act 2010, highlighting the need to avoid any confusion in addressing complex issues related to sex and gender.

 

The guidance on the EHCR’s English website can be found here:

 

https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/publication-download/technical-guidance-schools-england

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