Technical Guidance introduction
The Commission is continuing to develop a range of guidance based on the Equality Act 2010 to support our stakeholders, and make it easier for them to make informed decisions about the Act. A key element of this guidance is the suite of statutory codes of practice, which explain the statutory provisions of the Equality Act 2010.
We had originally planned to produce statutory codes of practice on the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED), which came into force on 5 April 2011, and for statutory codes of practice for Schools and the Further and Higher Education (FEHE) sector. In the light of the Government's position not to lay codes before Parliament, the Commission has decided for now to produce the original text of these codes as technical guidance.
Technical guidance is a non-statutory version of a code, however it will still provide a formal, authoritative, and comprehensive legal interpretation of the PSED and education sections of the Act. It will also clarify the requirements of the legislation.
Our technical guidance will complement our existing suite of codes of practice and non-statutory guidance: take a look at our Equality Act guidance.
Technical guidance - Public Sector Equality Duty
The Public Sector Equality Duty was created by the Equality Act 2010, and replaces the race, disability and gender equality duties. We have produced a suite of Technical Guidance to explain the needs of the PSED, outline the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 and the specific duty regulations and provide practical approaches to complying with the Public Sector Equality Duty in England, Scotland and Wales. The guidance provides an authoritative, comprehensive and technical guide to the detail of the law. It will be invaluable to lawyers, advocates, human resources personnel, courts and tribunals, and everyone who needs to understand the law in depth, or apply it in practice.
Schools Technical Guidance - England and Scotland
The Commission has produced dedicated Technical Guidance for Schools for both England and Scotland that outlines the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 on schools, in relation to provision of education and access to benefits, facilities or services, both educational and non-educational. It provides an authoritative, comprehensive and technical guide to the detail of the law.
It is aimed at those working in schools, lawyers, advocates, courts and tribunals, and everyone who needs to understand the law in depth, or apply it in practice.
This guidance has been discussed and consulted upon across the education sector, including school leaders, teachers and stakeholders, government departments and trade unions. Their contributions have enriched and improved the text, and we are grateful for their help.
While this guidance is not a statutory Code of Practice, it can be used as evidence in legal proceedings. The courts have said that a body subject to the equality duty that does not follow non-statutory guidance such as this will need to justify why it has not done so. However, such guidance does not in itself impose further duties to those set out in the statute.
The Wales guidance for schools What equality law means for you as an education provider in Wales: Schools was published in 2012. The guidance is available on the Wales section of the EHRC website at this link.
Reasonable adjustments for disabled pupils - Auxiliary Aids Technical Guidance
Schools and education authorities have had a duty to provide reasonable adjustments for disabled pupils since 2002 (originally under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (the DDA) and, from October 2010, under the Equality Act 2010). From 1 September 2012 the reasonable adjustments duty for schools and education authorities includes a duty to provide auxiliary aids and services for disabled pupils.
This guide will help school leaders and education authorities understand and comply with the reasonable adjustments duty, including the new auxiliary aids and services provision. It will also help disabled pupils and their parents understand the duty.
The focus of this guide is on the practical implementation of the reasonable adjustments duty in schools. It includes practical case studies showing how the duty can be applied in contexts which will be familiar to teachers.
Technical Guidance on Further and Higher Education
This FEHE Technical Guidance sets out Equality Act 2010 requirements on further and higher education providers in relation to provision of education and access to benefits, facilities or services. These cover all of the services, facilities and benefits, both educational and non-educational that an education provider provides or offers to provide for students. This Technical Guidance applies to England, Scotland and Wales. However, education provided outside Great Britain may be covered by the Act.
Our post consultation report highlights the concerns that stakeholders raised with us during the FEHE guidance consultation period. The report explains how we addressed these concerns and how this stakeholder input has ultimately improved the final version.
Last updated: 17 Nov 2016