Public Sector Equality Duty

New College Durham Academies Trust

Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) Report 2016-2020

The Equality Act 2010 introduced a single Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) which applies to all maintained and independent schools, including Academies and maintained and non-maintained special schools.

The Three Main Elements of the Duty

The general Equality Duty requires public authorities, in the exercise of their functions, to have due regard to:

  • Eliminate discrimination harassment and victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited or under the Act
  • Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not share it
  • Foster good relations between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not share it

Academy Background

New College Durham Academies Trust employs 226 people has in excess of 2100 students across the age range 11-18, providing a broad and balanced curriculum. The two Academies that form the Trust (Consett & North Durham) are based within two developing towns and serve a wide and diverse range of communities ranging from areas with significant social deprivation issues to those with high levels of disposable income.

The Academies Trust itself came into being in September 2011, bringing together two former Local Authority Secondary Schools in North West Durham, the second Academy was formed in January 2012 again bringing together two former Local Authority Secondary Schools in North West Durham and the focus of the Trust in relation to the PSED was shaped by the bringing together of the students and staff groups who had previously operated independently.

The areas within which the Academies are based is also a factor, previously dominated by heavy industry surrounded by rural countryside and significantly underrepresented in terms of any real diversity in population  provided a need to, in some cases, challenge social stereotypes and also look to widen the knowledge, experience and understanding of other cultures and beliefs.

New College Durham Academies Trust – Review of PSED – April 2018

At New College Durham Academies Trust we aim to eliminate discrimination, advance equality and foster good relations. We value and appreciate the diversity of people's backgrounds and circumstances and we expect that discrimination is understood by all members of the community to be completely unacceptable.

We have carefully considered and analysed the impact school policies have on equality and the possible implications for those with protected characteristics, as part of our commitment to meet the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) requirement.

Decision makers in schools are aware of the duty to have “due regard” when making a decision or taking an action and assess whether there are implications for people with particular protected characteristics.

The PSED is integrated into the carrying out of the school’s functions, and the analysis necessary to comply with the duty is carried out seriously, rigorously and with an open mind.

New College Durham Equality Objectives


At New College Durham Academies Trust we aim to eliminate discrimination, advance equality and foster good relations. We value and appreciate the diversity of people's backgrounds and circumstances and we expect that discrimination is understood by all members of the community to be completely unacceptable. The Trust follows the General Public Sector Equality Duty and considers equality implications when developing and reviewing policies

We understand that PSED applies to all aspects of school life which are to do with how the school treats its students and prospective and former students and their parents and carers; how it treats its employees and how it treats members of the local community. Further, we will not discriminate because of the characteristics of another person, such as a parent or partner, with whom they are associated.

We actively seek to understand and promote equality in the context of our wider community, and we refer to local and national contexts when we review what we do. We also seek views from our students, partner schools and agencies, parents and carers, staff and groups in our local community.

Our Inclusion policy adheres to the Equality Act 2010 and extends to the protected characteristics it defines: race and ethnicity; disability; sex; religion or belief; sexual orientation; pregnancy and maternity; and gender identity and reassignment

We recognise that it is important at New College Durham Academies Trust that all members of the Trust community use appropriate language which:

  • Does not transmit or confirm stereotypes;
  • Does not offend;
  • Creates and enhances positive images of particular groups identified at the beginning of this document; Creates the conditions for all people to develop their self-esteem;
  • Uses correct terminology in referring to particular groups or individuals.

We have set ourselves the following objectives for the next 4 year cycle from 2016 to 2020, progress against which will be reviewed annually:

  • To develop our students understanding of, and empathy with cultures and beliefs that are different from their own.
  • To ensure appropriate support is put into place across the Academy for all vulnerable students, regardless of protected characteristics.
  • To continue to raise awareness and promote equality and respect for all faiths, beliefs, cultures, sexual orientation and any other protected characteristics.