Creating a fairer Britain
The Equality Act came into force on 1 October 2010. Some of the information on this page may be out of date.
It is unlawful to discriminate on grounds of sexual orientation when providing education or training. The opportunity to learn and receive training is open to all, and educational providers are required to treat everyone equally in making this available. This means, for example, that homophobic bullying in schools and colleges must be taken seriously and dealt with as firmly as bullying on any other grounds.
John was bullied in school by other pupils who thought he was gay. He complained to his teacher, who did nothing to deal with the bullies. When he was beaten up by the bullies, John was so frightened that he refused to return to school. This could be direct discrimination.
The daughter of a gay couple was bullied at school because of her parents’ sexual orientation. The parents complained to the teacher, who said it was ‘just teasing’ but she would ask the children to stop. The bullying did not stop, even though bullying on other grounds was taken seriously and dealt with firmly by the school. This could be direct discrimination related to her parents’ sexual orientation.