On 19 April 2021, Ofsted updated their guidance on Inspecting teaching of the protected characteristics in schools. The document laid out what inspectors will look for when gathering evidence on how schools promote equality and pupils’ understanding of the protected characteristics.
What are the protected characteristics?
Everyone in Britain is protected by these characteristics. This is because the Equality Act protects people against discrimination because of the protected characteristics that we all have. Under the Equality Act, there are nine protected characteristics:
- gender reassignment
- marriage and civil partnership
- pregnancy and maternity
- religion or belief
- sexual orientation
What is the current guidance in schools:
SSPP Learning for life Curriculum:
Where are protected characteristics taught in our curriculum? These are taught in various ways in our enriched curriculum, these include through:
1. British values:
2, Life to the full curriculum:
In Life to the Full, we take a holistic approach to the teaching of all RSHE subject matters including teaching on the Protected Characteristics. We provide spiral teaching from primary schools to secondary schools, with one programme feeding into the other. This means that there is a continuous, age-appropriate approach to the teaching of the subject from 4 to 18.
- In KS1, we look at family structures (particularly KS1, Module 2, Unit 2: Special People) and provide guidance for schools on talking about different family structures. marriage and civil partnership
- In Lower KS2, we explore similarities and differences (LKS2 Module 1, Unit 2: We Don’t Have To Be The Same) and deepen children’s exploration of family and others in LKS2 Mod2 Unit 2: Family, Friend and Others. marriage and civil partnership
- In Upper KS2, we explore difference once again through the Paradise Street series, including discussion around ‘two mums and two dads’ etc. marriage and civil partnership/ marriage and civil partnership / pregnancy
- Learning for life assemblies:
Through our learning for life assemblies, children learn about different disabilities, race and other religious celebrations from around the world. Examples include:
- Deaf awareness
- Black history month
- World Mental health Day awareness