According to the findings of a large scale report into inequality by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, while there has been some improvement large inequalities persist in education in the UK.
The ‘Is Britain Fairer?’ report notes that overall attainment at school leaving age has improved but there are still significant differences between groups of young people. Gender identity, race, and disability still play a large role in educational outcomes.
Exclusion rates have been climbing across the wider sector but rates are significantly higher among pupils with SEND and those from the Gypsy and Roma communities, with the latter over three times more likely to be excluded than ‘White British’ pupils.
Among the report’s listed recommendations are to “progressively increase the inclusion of disabled children in mainstream education” and to ensure teachers are trained to tackle bullying and prejudice. It argues that the government “should ensure that all teachers are equipped with the understanding and skills to teach disabled pupils”.
Governors and trustees are reminded of their responsibility to ensure their schools comply with the Public Sector Equality Duty and should be enshrining ethos based in inclusivity and mutual respect within their school(s).