Equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) guidance and resources

Use these resources to help you meet legal and ethical requirements to support the development and needs of all pupils and staff

Equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) should be at the heart of everything a school does, as a place of education, a business and an employer.

It is, of course, a legal requirement under The Equality Act 2010 but it’s also a moral principle that all members of the school and wider community should be treated equally, fairly, and with respect.

For advice on how schools can meet their legal requirements in practice, watch these videos from our HR and Employment Law in Education online conference:

General plans and policies

A single equality plan is a good place to start. This sets out how your school promotes the equality of opportunity regardless of race, gender, transgender, disability, age, religion or belief and sexual orientation in both the delivery of services and employment of staff.

Customise our template and ensure its principles are embedded in all your other policies, particularly the:

Every pupil should feel that their lessons relate to them. As Gareth D Morewood reminds us in his blog post:

If we are to have truly inclusive schools and support positive pathways into adulthood we must start with the curriculum.

Recruitment and employment

A diverse workforce brings many benefits to a school. Drawing on different perspectives and experiences of individuals will add value to everything that happens, and provides positive role models for pupils.

Learn about institutional failings and blindspots, workplace culture, inclusive behaviours and safe spaces in this presentation on EDI from our HR and Employment Law in Education conference.

EDI should start with the selection and recruitment of staff, whatever their role.

Equal opportunities should be built into your recruitment policy to ensure that suitable applicants from across the community have a fair chance of applying, and getting, the jobs advertised.

Once employed, an ideal working environment is one in which all individuals are able to make best use of their skills, free from discrimination or harassment, and in which all decisions are based on merit.

Customise and use our Equality and diversity in employment policy template to ensure best practice.

Raising consciousness, increasing confidence and developing competence

Diverse Educators are a community of people who care about DEI and who are committed to being allies through their work in nurturing belonging and advocating for social justice. Check out their free resources to support you and your school, which include:

  • toolkits for educators on key themes
  • a directory of DEI organisations and training providers
  • regular blog posts, shared by members. 

The community has also published its first book, Diverse Educators: A Manifesto

Relationships, sex and health education

The statutory guidance for relationships and sex education (RSE) and health education states that, 'in teaching RSE, schools should ensure that the needs of all pupils are appropriately met, and that all pupils understand the importance of equality and respect.’

Use health education lessons as an opportunity to talk openly and freely about the diversity of personal, social and sexual preferences. Prejudiced views can be challenged, and equality promoted.

Consult parents when developing and reviewing your RSHE policy to ensure everyone has a chance to discuss their opinions.

If staff feel that they need more support in preventing prejudice-based bullying, encourage them to take our online training to help them to develop strategies for dealing with incidents.

Race and racism

For some really helpful advice and ideas about talking to pupils about race and racism, head over to Dana Abdulkarim’s article. It can be as simple as asking your diverse children what they need more of and what would make them feel connected to others.

Consider ways of making the school community inclusive for Gypsy/Roma/Traveller (GRT) pupils.

Our blog has several thought-provoking articles on race, from the impact of racism on staff wellbeing to setting up an anti-racist book and film club.

LGBTQ+ and trans topics

Shaun Dellenty's wide-ranging webinar, Getting the culture right for LGBT+ inclusive RSE, focuses on leading cultural change to ensure that difference is recognised and everyone is treated with dignity, respect, kindness and compassion. 

Again, RSE plays a central role in promoting inclusivity.

A survey by the charity Stonewall found that 86 per cent of secondary school teachers and 45 per cent of primary school teachers say that homophobic bullying takes place in their school. In this article, Suzanne O’Connell considers what can be done to address and prevent this behaviour.

Over on the blog, Aldaine Wynter suggests starting an LGBTQ+ group as a safe space for pupils. 

Gender reassignment is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010. Our legal advisors, Dai Durbridge and Hayley O'Sullivan of Brown Jacobson, provides guidance on referring to a pupil by their preferred name and/or pronouns and common questions around supporting trans students.

Gender stereotyping

Head over to our blog for some perspectives on the relationship between gender and achievement, whether it’s rethinking masculinityoverthinking the gender divideinnocent socialisation or the devaluing of things associated with femininity

For practical ways of tackling both overt and subtle gender stereotyping, check out:

SEND/ Disability

This expert answer about apply in the Equality Act 2010 discusses the legal definition of disability.

Customise our accessibility plan template to ensure that staff, parents and pupils know what provisions your school has in place to support SEND.

We have numerous resources explaining statutory guidance relating to SEND.

You can also find articles on supporting pupils with specific types of SEND, including physical disabilities.

Our SEND Inclusion Award helps schools deliver high-quality education for pupils with SEND and evaluate its impact. By having a clear focus on specific standards, you can identify your strong areas, and those that need further development.

The need for autism-friendly principles and practices to permeates every aspect of school life. Gareth D Morewood explains how his whole-school saturation model can be implemented to improve outcomes for autistic students in a mainstream setting.

The blog post Role models help us define by ability, not disability includes a really useful list of 10 ways schools can work towards equality that can be applied to benefit anyone who is disadvantaged.

The Shaw Trust Disability Power 100 highlights and champions the work of the top 100 disabled influencers in the UK.

With nominees coming from all sectors and industries, the Top 100 shows that aspiration and ambition can be fulfilled regardless of disability or impairment.



Last Updated: 
09 Jan 2024