What does this mean?
What is covered?
Your duty to pupils covers everything that you provide for pupils and goes beyond just the formal education you provide. It covers all school activities such as extra-curricular and leisure activities, afterschool and homework clubs, sports activities and school trips, as well as school facilities such as libraries and IT facilities.
What is not covered?
These obligations do not apply to anything done in connection with the content of the curriculum. This means that you are not restricted in the range of issues, ideas and materials you use in your syllabus and can expose pupils to thoughts and ideas of all kinds, however controversial. Even if the content of the curriculum causes offence to pupils with certain protected characteristics, this will not make it unlawful unless it is delivered in a way which results in harassment or subjects pupils to discrimination or other detriment.
A school curriculum includes teaching of evolution in science lessons. This would not be religious discrimination against a pupil whose religious beliefs include creationism.
Although Jewish pupils may find studying the holocaust very upsetting it is not unlawful for a school to cover this topic.
Activities which take place on school premises but are provided by someone else (who is not acting as an agent for the school)
If school premises are used by other organisations to run activities or provide services which are not connected with the school then you would not be responsible for the activities or services provided, although you may have obligations towards members of the public who use your premises or facilities in these circumstances.
A holiday club uses a primary school premises during school holidays. The holiday club is run by a private company not connected with the school. The primary school is not responsible for the actions of the holiday club. The holiday club will have obligations under the Act as a service provider.
Last Updated: 27 Sep 2010