- Health care professionals
The Equality Act 2010 requires public authorities, including schools in England, Scotland and Wales to comply with the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED). The protected characteristic of disability outlined in the 2010 Act includes ‘severe disfigurements’, which means that schools need to ensure that:
There are a number of issues that schools should consider in relation to their pupils who have a visible difference.
Although the Equality Act 2010, and the Public Sector Equality Duty, do not apply to Northern Ireland, other legislation is in place to ensure that schools do not discriminate against pupils with ‘severe disfigurements’.
The Disability Discrimination Act 1995, as amended in Northern Ireland, includes ‘severe disfigurements’ within its definition of disability. Disability discrimination in education is covered by the Special Education Needs and Disability (NI) Order 2005 and the advice provided above (for the rest of the UK) will also help schools in Northern Ireland ensure that they are fulfilling their responsibilities to pupils with a visible difference.