Legal Framework

Created on: 31 Jul 2023 | Last modified: 09 Nov 2023

As someone who works within the education sector you are supported by legislation.

The principal legislation offering protection against prejudiced or discriminatory treatment is the Equality Act 2010. Within the Act, sexual orientation, gender reassignment and marriage and civil partnerships are termed ‘protected characteristics’. Protection is provided by the Act to those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or heterosexual; those who are transgender, having undergone, undergoing or proposing to undergo gender realignment; and those who are in a same-sex marriage or civil partnership.

All public sector bodies have a responsibility to: 

(a) eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under the Equality Act 2010;
(b) advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it;
(c) encourage good relations between those who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.

The terms of the Act apply to educational establishments of all religious denominations and none, though the co-existence of the Education (Scotland) Act, 1980 as it relates to faith schools should be noted. This piece of legislation remains alongside the Equality Act 2010 and sets out the right of the Catholic Church or other denominational body to approve all appointments within schools which are conducted in its interest, on the grounds of religious belief and character.