Public Sector Equality Duty: The General Duty
The three existing general and specific equality duties on schools (race, disability and gender) to eliminate discrimination and advance equality of opportunity have been combined into a single, less bureaucratic and more outcome-focused duty extending to all of the protected characteristics.
‘The Equality Act 2010 introduced a single Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) (sometimes also referred to as the ‘general duty’) that applies to public bodies, including maintained schools and Academies, and which extends to all protected characteristics – race, disability, gender, age, religion or belief, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity and gender reassignment. This combined equality duty came into effect in April 2011. It has three main elements. In carrying out their functions, public bodies are required to demonstrated ‘due regard’ to the need to:
- Eliminate discrimination and other conduct that is prohibited by the Act.
- Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people, who do not share it.
- Foster good relations across all characteristics – between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it’ 
The concept of ‘due regard’ can be summarised as follows:
Awareness– A decision maker, who might make decisions that affect a group (protected characteristics), must be aware of their duty to have due regard to the three aims of the Act.
Timeliness– Due regard must be given before and at the time that a particular decision is being considered.( Justifying the decision as being consistent with the duty, when it was not considered before the decision was made, is not sufficient).
Rigour– When a decision is taken, there must be a conscious and deliberate attempt to consider all relevant evidence (having the duty is not just a question of ticking boxes).
Non- delegation– The duty cannot be delegated.
Continuing– The duty is an ongoing one. It must be continually revisited and borne in mind.
Record Keeping– Keep a record to demonstrate that equality duties have been considered and thought over.
Section 5.1 ‘Equality Act, Departmental Advice’ 2013 DfE
Please find below Bishopton’s Equality Statement and Single Equality Scheme 2017 – 2019