The Protected Characteristics

The Protected Characteristics

Britain is a diverse and multicultural country that is rich in tradition and culture. Regardless of the type of school pupils attend, it is imperative that they gain a real understanding and appreciation of others, their cultures, traditions, and ways of life. Ofsted wants to assess how effectively schools can provide young people with an understanding of our diverse society, and the ability to co-exist with a range of people. 


The Equality Act became law in 2010, covering everyone in Britain and protects people from discrimination, harassment and victimisation. Everyone in Britain is protected. 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:

  1. Age
  2. Disability
  3. Gender reassignment
  4. Race
  5. Religion or belief
  6. Marriage or civil partnership
  7. Sex
  8. Sexual orientation
  9. Pregnancy and maternity

Under the Equality Act you are protected from discrimination:

  • When you are in the workplace
  • When you use public services like healthcare (for example, visiting your doctor or local hospital) or education (for example, at your school or college)
  • When you use businesses and other organisations that provide services and goods (like shops, restaurants, and cinemas)
  • When you use transport
  • When you join a club or association (for example, your local tennis club)
  • When you have contact with public bodies like your local council or government department.

Public Sector Equality Duty

This duty aims to:

  •         eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under the Equality Act 2010
  •         advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it
  •         foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it