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Equality in Education

Awareness of process for resolution of equality disputes – Section 107, Schedule 18, para 4(3) of the Equality Act 2017


Parts of the Equality Act 2017 (the Act) came into effect in the Isle of Man on 1 January 2019, with the remaining parts effective on 1 January 2020.

Protected Characteristics

The Act protects all people from discrimination on the basis of possessing a 'protected characteristic'.

The following protected characteristics will be effective from 1 January 2019:

  • gender reassignment
  • marriage and civil partnership
  • race
  • religion
  • sex
  • sexual orientation
  • pregnancy and maternity

The remaining protected characteristics will be effective from 1 January 2020:

  • age
  • disability

Statutory requirements

The Equality Act includes a specific section on Education (Part 6, Division 1) which includes provisions to ensure discrimination, harassment or victimisation does not take place by a responsible body in relation to pupils’ education. 

‘Responsible body’ means the School Governing Body or the Department of Education Sport and Culture.

Among other things, the Act also introduces a requirement for the Department:

  • to make arrangements for the appointment of independent persons with the aim of avoiding or resolving disagreements between a responsible body and children/their parents about contraventions of practice in relation to discrimination, harassment or victimisation under the Act
  • to raise awareness of these equality dispute resolution arrangements.

The Department has taken steps to make arrangements for such matters to be considered, the process for which is detailed below.


Persons who feel that a responsible body has contravened the requirements of Division 1 of Part 6 of the Act should write to/contact the Department in one of the following two ways:

  • by email – For the attention of the Head of Corporate Services at
  • by letter – to the Head of Corporate Services, Department of Education Sport and Culture, Hamilton House, Peel Road, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM1 5EP

Arrangements will then be made by the Department for the matter to be considered by an Independent Person.

Additional information

The Equality Act 2017

Dispute resolution process - education summary

Additional information regarding equality matters can also be found on the Equality Act webpage

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