Information

The Education (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Coronavirus) (Scotland) Regulations 2021: equalities impact assessment

Equalities Impact Assessment for new regulations that support the process for determining requests from parents in relation to the allocation of school places outside of the normal catchment area, and any subsequent appeals, and also the determination of exclusion appeals .


Stage 2: Data and evidence gathering, involvement and consultation

Include here the results of your evidence gathering (including framing exercise), including qualitative and quantitative data and the source of that information, whether national statistics, surveys or consultations with relevant equality groups.

Discussions with local authorities identified the likely numbers of appeals that education appeal committees may need to consider this year but no further detail about any protected characteristics. There is also little recent research into Education Appeal Committees, though some of the evidence available shows that many parents find the appeals process stressful and challenging. We would expect local authorities to be cognisant of their responsibilities under the Public Sector Equality Duty, and we have made this clear in our guidance to them.

Characteristic[2]

Evidence gathered and Strength/quality of evidence

Source

Data gaps identified and action taken

Age

No specific evidence available

N/A

None

Disability

A) Limited evidence from a 2006 report which provided anecdotal evidence of parents of children with disabilities feeling unable to participate in hearings

.

B) Evidence received from local authorities in October 2020 provided information about the number of additional support for learning (ASL) placing requests and appeal hearings during the 2020 schools admissions round. The data provided does not report on individuals with disability separately, the data implies that the majority of placing requests have been dealt with swiftly and without particular issues in terms of timescales.

A) Scottish Executive commissioned report published in 2006[3]

B) 25 local authorities responded to a Scottish Government questionnaire

A)We will make clear in supporting guidance to education authorities and education appeal committees of their responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010.

B) The 2021 regulations maintain the provisions that allow remote appeal hearings but either reduce or remove the extended timescales permitted in 2020. Delays in the placing requests process may have a greater impact on children and young people with certain disabilities. To mitigate these the timescales introduced by the 2021 regulations substantially increase the probability of a decision being made prior to the beginning of the new academic year.

In addition, the amendments in the 2020 Regulations which extended the deadline for an Education Appeal Committee to hold a hearing also inserted a duty for the Committee to hold the hearing as soon as reasonably practicable. This requirement is being retained for the 2021 admissions round and it is for the Education Appeal Committee to convene a hearing and determine the date of that hearing, taking into account the obligations of the local authority under the Equality Act 2010.

Sex

No specific evidence available

N/A

None

Pregnancy and Maternity

No specific evidence available

N/A

None

Gender Reassignment

No specific evidence available

N/A

None

Sexual Orientation

No specific evidence available

N/A

None

Race

Limited evidence from a 2006 report which provided anecdotal evidence of a lack of translation services for parents with English as a second language

Scottish Executive commissioned report published in 2006

Our supporting guidance to education authorities and education appeal committees makes clear their responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010, including that the use of written submissions should not disadvantage those with English as a second language.

Religion or Belief

No specific evidence available

N/A

None

Marriage and Civil Partnership

(the Scottish Government does not require assessment against this protected characteristic unless the policy or practice relates to work, for example HR policies and practices - refer to Definitions of Protected Characteristics document for details)

No specific evidence available

N/A

None

Contact

Email: jerry.o'connell@gov.scot

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