Equality and diversity

The Department for Education aims to be an exemplar employer and is developing policies that aim to make opportunity equal for all children and young people.


Under the Equality Act 2010 the department has a legal duty to publish information that demonstrates compliance with Public Sector Equality Duty and to publish equality objectives.

Fairness in policy making

The department is:

  • collecting and using equalities evidence to formulate our policy and decision making
  • involved in effective practice in promoting equality, and engaging with communities in effective ways

Equality and diversity within the department

The Department for Education aims to be an exemplar equal opportunities employer. A diverse and representative workforce enables us to deliver our business objectives.

Workforce breakdown: DfE equality workforce data December 2012 - December 2013

    Dec 2012 Dec 2013 Actual change (percentage points)
Whole workforce Black and minority ethnic 16.5% 16.9% +0.4
  Women 59.5% 58.3% -1.2
  Disabled 11.0% 12.0% +1.0
  LGBT 2.0% 2.0% -
Senior civil servants Black and minority ethnic 4.3% 4.5% +0.2
  Women 48.8% 44.9% -3.9
  Women (top management posts) 44.8% 43.8% -1.0
  Disabled 4.2% 5.4% +1.2
  LGBT 3.5% 3.7% +0.2

Source: RM, 14 January 2014. Table shows the percentage of people with declared ethnicity and disability.

We will update this section as new information is available.

Working with organisations and networks

The Department for Education is working with partners in the equality and diversity sector and:

  • is supporting black and minority ethnic children by speeding up the process of adoption
  • is working with partners that promote equality such as Beatbullying
  • is making sure that meetings on different aspects of the curriculum involve partners from the various equality communities
  • has consulted with partners to develop ways to reduce the number of exclusions, including the Special Educational Consortium (SEC) and the Children’s Rights Alliance for England (CRAE)
  • has supported local delivery projects in 66 local authority areas to develop innovative approaches to deliver our plans to raise the participation age (RPA)

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