There are three types of harassment which are unlawful under the Equality Act:

  • Harassment related to a relevant protected characteristic.  
  • Sexual harassment.  
  • Less favourable treatment of a pupil because they submit to or reject sexual harassment or harassment related to sex.

The relevant protected characteristics for the schools provisions are:

  • Disability.  
  • Race.  
  • Sex.

Pregnancy and maternity are not protected directly under the harassment provisions, however, unwanted behaviour (as described below) will amount to harassment related to sex.

The harassment provisions do not explicitly apply to the protected characteristics of gender reassignment, sexual orientation or religion or belief in relation to schools. However, where unwanted conduct related to any of these protected characteristics results in a pupil suffering disadvantage that would constitute direct discrimination.

Last Updated: 02 Apr 2015