Study time: 1 hour

The Equality Act 2010 applies to all maintained and independent schools in England and Wales. The biggest challenge for governing boards in coming to terms with the Equality Act is understanding what it demands from schools in practice.  

This three unit module will help you to understand the Act and the practical implications for those governing, provide an understanding and awareness as to how the Act relates to pupils, as well as how the Act impacts recruitment, retention and the performance management of staff. 

By the end of the module you will understand the importance of the Equality Act at all levels, and be able to use this knowledge to make useful governance contributions.

Each unit can be studied separately.

Unit One – Equality and the governing board

It is imperative that governing boards understand their responsibility under the Equality Act, as well as the role the board plays in ensuring that their school/trust has an inclusive culture and learning environment.  

As such, unit one focusses on the fundamentals of the Act, providing an overview of the Act and the board’s responsibilities.

Duration: 15 mins

Unit Two – The Equality Act and pupils

While the majority of the required actions under the Act are operational, boards still need to ensure that the necessary actions are being carried out and resourced appropriately. 

The focal point of unit two is the board’s duty under the Act in relation to pupils, focusing on a variety of areas such as admissions, exclusions and making reasonable adjustments. 

Unit Three – The Equality Act and the employer 

Compliance requires a school/trust wide approach rooted in an understanding of how the Act affects different aspects of educational settings and what is required of the governing board and staff. 

Unit three looks at how the Act impacts recruitment, retention and the performance management of staff. 

Our subject matter expertise

The content of this module has been written by our in-house subject matter experts:

Judith Hicks, Head of Inspiring Governance

Judith HicksJudith has worked as an HR professional within the retail & logistics sector for fifteen years, working for Tesco, Pets At Home & Booker. She has held a variety of national roles focusing on recruitment, talent management, performance management, organisation design and learning & development.

Most recently, Judith has worked at a FE college to design and deliver equality and diversity training, and also for Warwickshire County Council as a consultant within the governance development team working with maintained schools, MATs and academies.


Adelaide Chitanda, Senior Advice Officer

Adelaide ChitandaAdelaide is a senior advice officer at the NGA. She provides advice to Gold members via email and telephone, alongside writing for the website, magazine and weekly newsletter.

Prior to joining NGA, Adelaide was a research assistant for an insight and intelligence agency specialising in higher education. She also studied Criminology at the University of Manchester.



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Equality and diversity: A practical guide for governors module preview

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