Legislation is constantly changing but it is important that we are aware of what these are to promote equality and value diversity. These are as follows:
Every Child Matters 2003 and Children Act 2004 – updated in 2010 to help children achieve more
These acts were put into place to ensure that children from birth to the age of 19 are given the support needed to be healthy and safe. The idea was that all organisations and agencies involved with children worked together to ensure that this happened. The acronym was created to help us remember this:
Enjoy and achieve
Because of the Every Child Matters framework the Children Act 2004 required that these recommendations became a legal requirement. The main reason for this act was to overhaul child protection and children’s services in the UK. Every Child Matters was developed further due to the publication of the Children’s Plan 2007 with the intention to improve education for all children. Its name was then changed in 2010 to ‘Help Children Achieve More’ although the five outcomes and key ideas remain the same.
Equality Act 2010
There was a variety of anti-discrimination legislation which was replaced in October 2010 with the Equality Act. The intention was to bring together the Equal Pay Act 1970, Sex Discrimination Act 1975, Race Relations Act 1976 and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 to prevent services from discriminating against others regardless of gender, race or disability. This Act is related to schools by way of promoting inclusion, disability and race equality for all. Equal opportunities and positive relationships should be promoted amongst all groups of children within schools and it is against the law for anyone to discriminate either directly or non directly. Inclusion of children with disabilities should be encouraged into main stream schools.
SEN code of Practice 2001
With the strength of this act, the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001, it enabled parents to have the right for their children to attend mainstream schools. It has allowed children with disabilities the opportunities to attend mainstream schools to develop their education.
Human Rights Act 1998
A standard was set on human rights in 1948 by the United Nations, this was accepted by many countries around the world and it displayed that humans have the same rights and should be treated equally. The Human Rights Act in 1998 gave a further legal status, basic human rights are:
The right to education.
Freedom of expression.
The right to life.
The right to a fair trial.
Freedom from torture and degrading treatment.
The right not to be punished for something that wasn’t a crime when you did it.
The right to marry and start a family.
Freedom of assembly and association.
Freedom of thought, conscience and religion and freedom to express your beliefs.
The right to peaceful enjoyment of your property.
The right to participate in free elections.
The right to respect for private and family life.
The right not to be subjected to the death penalty.
UN Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989
This document was signed as legally binding in 1990, it followed on from the Humans Rights Act and details the rights of all children to be treated fairly and equally without discrimination.
It is important that all children have the right to all opportunities that are on offer to them within their education setting regardless of their race, culture, educational needs and gender or any other differences that there may be. It is important that they are offered all that is available to them as everyone has the same right to learn new skills and new opportunities will enable them to develop independently, support themselves and make the right choices further down the line but also to achieve more than they may have thought possible. It will also enable them to be supportive to their peers