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First wave of changes as Equality Act approaches commencement

28 September 2010

The majority of provisions under the Equality Act 2010 (EA) come into force on 1 October.

In time the EA should make it easier for schools to understand their obligations to ensure pupils and prospective pupils are not harassed or victimised.

Schools will be relieved to see that implementation of the provision that removes their current exemption from providing auxiliary aids and services for pupils with disabilities is on hold.

With government cuts looming, financial hardship coinciding with such an expanded obligation could result in schools being unable to provide the requisite aids and services and many disputes between schools and their local authority.

Courts have powers to award damages for breaches of the EA and failing to accommodate the needs of disabled pupils may invoke legal challenges.

Clarification prior to its enforcement on the precise extent of this duty is essential to ensure schools do not fall foul of the EA and expose themselves to liability.

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Mark Blois

Mark Blois

Partner and Head of Education

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