Last reviewed on 27 January 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 36434

Understand your role in making sure your school complies with its obligations to pupils and their parents under the Equality Act, and learn what you can do to prevent discrimination.

What pupil characteristics are protected under the Act?

The Act protects everyone in England and Wales from discrimination and harassment based on 9 'protected characteristics'. Read more about the general provisions of the Act in our article on the Equality Act 2010

However, when it comes to pupils, the Act has specific provisions which protect them from discrimination and harassment for these characteristics:

  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion or belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

Note that pupils aren't protected from age discrimination or discrimination based on marriage or civil partnership.

This protection covers pupils who are:

  • Applying for admission 
  • Currently enrolled
  • Formerly enrolled

See 1.12 to 1.13, 5.103 and 5.83 of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) technical guidance for schools

What are a school's obligations under the Act?

A school must not discriminate against applicants or pupils in relation to:

See 1.14 of the EHRC