Children: Discrimination

Department for Education written question – answered on 29th June 2020.

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Photo of Afzal Khan Afzal Khan Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure child are not discriminated against at school for the hair colour or style they choose.

Photo of Afzal Khan Afzal Khan Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance his Department provides on the creation of school uniform policies to ensure they are not discriminatory against any ethnic group.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

In formulating its school uniform policy, a school must consider its obligations not to discriminate unlawfully under equality law.

The Department provides guidance to help schools understand how the Equality Act affects them and how to fulfil their duties under the Act. The guidance makes clear to schools that decisions related to appearance, including on hair, must be made in accordance with their responsibilities under the Equality Act.

Our guidance on school uniform also advises schools to take on board the views of parents and pupils, and states that policies should be flexible enough to accommodate the different needs of students.

In making decisions about its school uniform policy, and all other policies, a school must have regard to its obligations under the Human Rights Act 1998, the Equality Act 2010 and the Public Sector Equality Duty.

The school uniform guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-uniform

The Equality Act guidance is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/equality-act-2010-advice-for-schools

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