Explain current legislation and codes of practice relating to equality, diversity and inclusive practice

Qualification: NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Educator
Unit: Unit 2.4: Use legislation relating to equality, diversity and inclusive practice
Learning outcome: Understand how legislation and codes of practice inform equality, diversity and inclusive practice
Assessment criteria: Explain current legislation and codes of practice relating to equality, diversity and inclusive practice

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On this page, we will explore the legislation and codes of practice relating to equality, diversity and inclusive practice.

The Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010 is the primary legislation in the UK that protects people from discrimination, harassment and victimisation. It provides a legal framework to promote equality and diversity in society and sets out the circumstances in which it is unlawful to discriminate against someone.

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There are nine protected characteristics for which it is unlawful to treat individuals unfairly. They are gender, age, disability, race, religion, gender reassignment, marriage/civil partnership, pregnancy/maternity and sexuality.

The Equality Act 2010 replaced several previous pieces of legislation, including the Equal Pay Act 1970, the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and the Race Relations Act 1976.

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The Human Rights Act 1998

The Human Rights Act 1998 is a UK law that affects the human rights set out in the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Act protects our fundamental rights and freedoms, such as the right to life, the freedom from torture and inhuman or degrading treatment, the right to a fair trial, and the right to respect for private and family life.

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It also makes it unlawful for public authorities, such as the government, police and local councils, to act in a way that is incompatible with the Convention’s rights.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is an international treaty that sets out children’s civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.

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All countries that have ratified the Convention are legally obliged to uphold its provisions. The UK signed the Convention in 1990, ratified it in 1991, and it came into force in 1992.

There are 54 articles in the Convention covering a wide range of rights, including the right to life, the right to education, the right to be protected from violence and abuse, and the right to participate in decisions that affect them.

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The Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001

The Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001 is a UK law that protects disabled people from discrimination in education.

The Act applies to schools, colleges, universities and Early Years settings. It makes it unlawful for these institutions to discriminate against disabled students in the provision of education and associated services.

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The Special Educational Needs Code of Practice 2002 is statutory guidance that accompanies the Act. It gives advice on how to comply with the law, such as making reasonable adaptations to meet the child’s needs and having a dedicated staff member responsible for special educational needs (SENCO). This was superseded by the SEND Code of Practice 2014 (see below).

The Children & Families Act 2014 and SEND Code of Practice 2014

The Children & Families Act 2014 (and associated SEND Code of Practice 2014) is a UK law that (amongst other things) reforms the system for supporting children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

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One of the reforms was the introduction of the ‘Education, Health and Care Plan‘ (EHC), which provides additional support and services for children with additional needs,

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