Schools: Discrimination

Department for Education written question – answered on 20th July 2020.

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Photo of Abena Oppong-Asare Abena Oppong-Asare Labour, Erith and Thamesmead

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will issue guidance to schools (a) recommending that the six thinking hats technique is not used in schools and (b) noting the potential effect of identifying a black hat on unconscious negative bias relating to the use of the word black.

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

All state-funded schools in England have a duty to teach a broad and balanced curriculum that prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities, and experiences of later life. Under the Equality Act 2010, schools must also not discriminate against a pupil in a number of respects because of a characteristic protected by the Act.

The Department trusts teachers to choose curriculum resources that are appropriate for their pupils and to ensure that how they deliver the curriculum does not discriminate. The Department has already published guidance to help schools fulfil their duties under the Act, which can be found at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/equality-act-2010-advice-for-schools. This includes advice on the Public Sector Equality Duty, which requires public bodies, including state-funded schools, to have due regard to the need to: foster good relations across all protected characteristics; advance equality of opportunity for people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it; and eliminate discrimination and other conduct prohibited by the Act. Additionally, the Independent Schools Standards requires independent schools to encourage respect for others, paying particular regard to the protected characteristics set out in the Act.

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