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Protected Characteristics

Protected Characteristics

The Equality Act came into force from October 2010 providing a modern, single legal framework with clear, streamlined law to more effectively tackle disadvantage and discrimination. It stated that it is against the law (UK) to discriminate against anyone because of:

• age

• being or becoming a transsexual person

• being married or in a civil partnership

• being pregnant or on maternity leave

• disability

• race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin

• religion, belief or lack of religion/belief

• sex

• sexual orientation

These are called ‘protected characteristics’, and schools have a duty of care to protect all pupils from discrimination or harassment.

AgeWhere  this is referred to, it refers to a person belonging to a particular age group, e.g. 18 to 30, over 60s
Being or becoming a transexual personThe process of transitioning from one gender to another
Being married or in a civil partnershipMarriage is no longer restricted to a union between a man and a woman, but now includes a marriage between a same-sex couple. Same-sex couples can also have their relationship legally recognised as 'civil partnerships'. Civil parenterships must not be treated less favourably than married couples
Being pregnant or on maternity leavePregnancy is the condition of being pregnant expecting a baby. Maternity refers to the period after the birth, and is linked to maternity leave in the employment context. In the non-work context, protection against maternity discrimination is for 26 weeks after giving birth, and this includes treating a woman unfavourably because she is breast feeding.
DisabilityA person has a disability if they have a  physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on that person's ability to carry out normal day to day activities.
Race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national originRefers to the protected characteristics of Race. It refers to a group of people defined by their race, colour, and nationality (including citizenship) ethnic or national origins
Religion, beleif or lack of religion/ beliefReligion has the meaning usually given to it but belief includes religious and philosophical beliefs including lack of belief such as Atheism. Generally, a belief should affect your life choices or the way you live for it to be included in the defintion.
SexA man or a woman
Sexual orientationWhether a person's sexual attraction is towards their own sex, the opposite sex or to both sexes


How do we focus on this in our school?


Through our school get togethers children learn about diversity and inclusion through shared stories each week. 


We are focusing predominantly on 

  • sex
  • religion or belief
  • race
  • disability
  • age
  • sexual orientation

as these are the most age approprite for our children.

Autumn term shared stories

This term we are focusing on understanding that just because some people may look different to ourselves we must not treat them any differently.

Spring term shared stories

This term we are looking at stories about different types of families, knowing we can love who we are and who we want.

This term we have been reading stories about other people who may have disabilities. This doesn't stop them doing everyday things and enjoying life.