Who is protected?

The Act protects students from discrimination and harassment based on ‘protected characteristics’.

The protected characteristics for the further and higher education institution provisions are:

  • Age.
  • Disability.
  • Gender reassignment.
  • Pregnancy and maternity.
  • Race.
  • Religion or belief.
  • Sex.
  • Sexual orientation.

Being married or in a civil partnership is NOT a protected characteristic for the further and higher education institution provisions.

Protected characteristics are explained in more detail in Annex A.

The categories of people covered by the further and higher education institution provisions are:

  • Prospective students (in relation to admissions arrangements).
  • Students at the institution (including those absent or temporarily excluded).
  • Former students (if there is a continuing relationship based on them having been a student at the institution).
  • Disabled people who are not students at the institution but who hold or have applied for qualifications conferred by the institution. 

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