GTC Scotland

The General Teaching Council for Scotland

Comhairle Choitcheann Teagaisg na h-Alba

Equality and Diversity Hub

equality-diversity-banner

Our schools and learning communities are enriched with a diverse mix of people with different experiences and from different cultures and backgrounds. GTC Scotland has developed this Equality and Diversity Hub to support teachers to:

  • develop their professional knowledge and understanding of equality and diversity;
  • engage with their professional requirement to promote equality and diversity; and,
  • challenge any inequalities or forms of discrimination they encounter.

The resources available in this Hub are to support teacher professionalism and professional learning and are not learning and teaching resources for the classroom. By gaining greater knowledge and understanding of all types of bias teachers can then consider any necessary changes to their learning environment, their employers' policies and practice, and their learning and teaching materials to support equality and diversity.

GTC Scotland is very grateful for the contributions of our partners in collating materials and providing feedback on our professional learning modules. Should you have additional materials or suggestions for improvement please contact us at communications@gtcs.org.uk. Please note, GTC Scotland is not responsible for the content of external websites.

New teaching resource: The Holocaust: a resource for secondary schools - Vision Schools Scotland

A new Holocaust Education teaching resource has been made available to teachers through MyPL. The teaching resource is based on the survivor testimony of Marianne Grant (1921-2007) and provides support and structure for Holocaust Education within secondary schools.


Equality and Diversity: A Guide for Teachers


Equality-diversity-guide

GTC Scotland has created this guide to provide support for teachers to reflect on their understanding of equality and diversity and how it relates to their professional lives and actions.


Professional Learning Modules


GTC Scotland has collaborated with Dianne Cantali of the School of Education and Social Work, University of Dundee, to create two Equality and Diversity Professional Learning Modules to support Scotland’s teachers in their knowledge and understanding of equality and diversity matters. 


Resources by Theme



Resources for Protected Characteristics


Protected Characteristics

All teachers should ensure they take steps to minimise any barriers that may arise as a result of protected characteristics. Everyone is protected against discrimination by the Equality Act 2010 because of the protected characteristics we all have. The Equality Act defines the following protected characteristics: age; disability; gender reassignment; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; sex; sexual orientation.

Below, you can find sections for all the protected characteristics which contain resources to support your learning and reflections.

Age

The Equality Act 2010 says that you must not be discriminated against because:

  • you are (or are not) a certain age or in a certain age group
  • someone thinks you are (or are not) a specific age or age group, (discrimination by perception)
  • you are connected to someone of a specific age of age group, (discrimination by association) (EHRC)

The following resources may support your professional learning:

Disability

The Equality Act 2010 says that you must not be discriminated against because:

  • you have a disability
  • someone things you have a disability (discrimination by perception)
  • you are connected to someone with a disability (discrimination by association)

It is not unlawful discrimination to treat a disabled person more favourably than a non-disabled person. (EHRC)

The following resources may support your professional learning:

Gender Reassignment

The Equality Act 2010 says that you must not be discriminated against because you are transsexual, when your gender identity is different from the gender assigned to you when you were born. For example:

  • a person who was born female decides to spend the rest of his life as a man

In the Equality Act it is known as gender reassignment. All transsexual people share the common characteristic of gender reassignment. (EHRC)

The following resources may support your professional learning:

Marriage and Civil Partnership

The Equality Act says you must not be discriminated against in employment because you are married or in a civil partnership.

In the Equality Act marriage and civil partnership means someone who is legally married or in a civil partnership. Marriage can either be between a man and a woman, or between partners of the same sex. Civil partnership is between partners or the same sex.

People do not have this characteristic if they are:

  • single
  • living with someone as a couple neither married nor civil partners
  • engaged to be married but not married
  • divorced or a person whose civil partnership has been dissolved (EHRC)

The following resources may support your professional learning:

Pregnancy and Maternity

'Pregnancy is the condition of being pregnant or expecting a baby. Maternity refers to the period after the birth, and is linked to maternity leave in the employment context. In the non-work context, protection against maternity discrimination is for 26 weeks after giving birth, and this includes treating a woman unfavourably because she is breastfeeding' (EHRC)

The following resources may support your professional learning:

Race

'The Equality Act 2010 says that you must not be discriminated against because of your race.

In the Equality Act, race can mean your colour, or your nationality (including your citizenship). It can also mean your ethnic or national origins, which may not be the same as your current nationality. For example, you may have Chinese national origins and be living in Britain with a British passport.

Race also covers ethnic and racial groups, This means a group of people who all share the same protected characteristic or ethnicity or race.' (EHRC)

The following resources may support your professional learning:

Religion or Belief

'The Equality Act 2010 says you must not be discriminated against because:

  • you are (or are not) or a particular religion
  • you hold (or do not hold) a particular philosophical belief
  • someone thinks you are or a particular religion or hold a particular belief (discrimination by perception)
  • you are connected to someone who has a religion or belief (discrimination by association) (EHRC)

The following resources may support your professional learning:

Sex

The Equality Act 2010 says you must not be discriminated against because:

  • you are (or are not) a particular sex
  • someone thinks you are the opposite sex (discrimination by perception)
  • you are connected to someone of a particular sex (discrimination by association)

In the Equality Act, sex can mean either male or female, or a group of people like men or boys, or women or girls.(EHRC)

The following resources may support your professional learning:

Sexual Orientation

'The Equality Act 2010 says you must not be discriminated against because:

  • you are heterosexual, gay, lesbian or bisexual
  • someone thinks you have a particular sexual orientation (discrimination by perception)
  • you are connected to someone who has a particular sexual orientation (discrimination by association)

In the Equality Act, sexual orientation includes how you choose to express your sexual orientation, such as through your appearance or the places you visit. (EHRC)

The following resources may support your professional learning:


Case Studies


Case StudiesGTC Scotland will be gathering case studies to support the critical thinking of teachers around some real-life examples of inequality and discrimination to help challenge and support our thinking and professional actions. If you should have a case study you would like to share, please contact communications@gtcs.org.uk

Please note case studies are also available in the GTC Scotland Equality and Diversity Professional Learning Modules above.

The following resources may support your professional learning:

Case Study - A Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies Class

This case study was provided by a registered teacher

A teacher initiated a discussion with a S4 RMPS class regarding their attitudes and beliefs regarding same-sex marriage. She asked the direct question, "So what are your views regarding same-sex marriage?". After one pupil expressed an opinion supporting same-sex marriage, a boy gave a contrary opinion in which he stated his belief that the Bible made clear that same-sex sexual relationships were sinful and that was why marriage had been designed to be between male and female.

The teacher reacted to the boy's statement by telling him that what he had said was discriminatory and she sent him from the class to go to a 'Time Out' room. The boy was furious and instead of going to the Time Out room as instructed, headed straight to see a Depute Head Teacher to complain about his treatment. The boy wanted to complain that he had suffered religious discrimination because the teacher had put him out of her room for giving a religious opinion she disagreed with. He felt that if a teacher asked for an opinion on an issue in a RMPS class, he should be entitled to give his opinion without being punished for having an opinion she didn't like. He felt that by putting him out of the class, the teacher was sending a message to anyone else who shared his view to keep their opinions to themselves - she only wanted to hear opinions that supported same-sex marriage.

The Depute Head Teacher spoke to the RMPS Teacher later in the day to get her version of events. She agreed that she had asked the class for their opinions on same-sex marriage but then panicked when the boy gave his viewpoint as she felt that any pupil in her class who may have been struggling with issues around their sexuality could have felt uncomfortable to have heard what he said. She felt she had to be seen to stand against discriminatory beliefs and comments.

Questions for reflection

  1. Do you agree that 'opinions regarding same-sex marriage' is a valid issue to be exploring and discussing in a RMPS class?
  2. The boy felt that being punished for stating his religious beliefs on the topic was 'religious discrimination'? Was he correct?
    1. If No, must pupils who share those religious beliefs keep their opinions to themselves or accept that punishment is possible?
    2. If Yes, how could this outcome have been avoided
  3. The teacher felt the boy had 'discriminatory beliefs' and had made 'discriminatory comments' - do you agree?
    1. If No, how could pupils who find it uncomfortable to hear such opinions be protected in classes, or should that be an objective?
    2. If Yes, is it possible to have discussions or debates in class on topics like this, even within RMPS, if certain religiously held viewpoints are not allowed to be aired?