Pupils: Discrimination

Department for Education written question – answered on 22nd July 2022.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to help support pupils and families who have been victims of discrimination in schools.

Photo of Brendan Clarke-Smith Brendan Clarke-Smith The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

Education is a devolved matter, and the response outlines the information for England only.

Under the Equality Act 2010, schools have a duty to take steps to eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation, and to advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations across all protected characteristics. The department has published advice to support schools to fulfil their duties under the Equality Act 2010.

The department is also making sure that all children in England learn about respectful relationships, in person and online, as part of mandatory relationships, sex and health education (RSHE). The curriculum has a strong focus on equality, respect, the harmful impact of stereotyping, and on the importance of valuing difference. Guidance can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/teaching-about-relationships-sex-and-health.

The department is providing over £2 million of funding between 10 August 2021 and 31 March 2023 to five anti-bullying organisations to support schools with tackling bullying. This includes projects aimed at eradicating the bullying of particular groups, such as those who are victims of hate-related bullying.

The department continues to publish information, guidance, and support for teachers and school leaders on how to challenge radical views, including racist and discriminatory beliefs, on its Educate Against Hate website. One of these resources is the Respectful School Communities toolkit. This is a self-review and signposting tool to support schools to develop a whole-school approach that promotes respect and discipline. This can help to combat bullying, harassment and prejudice of any kind, including hate-based bullying. The website also hosts information for parents and carers through the Parents’ Hub.

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