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Section 84

Schedule 11 10Schools: exceptions

Part 1 Sex discrimination

Admission to single-sex schools

1 (1) Section 80(1), so far as relating to sex, does not apply in relation to a single-
15sex school.

(2) A single-sex school is a school which—

(a) admits pupils of one sex only, or

(b) on the basis of the assumption in sub-paragraph (3), would be taken
to admit pupils of one sex only.

(3) 20That assumption is that pupils of the opposite sex are to be disregarded if—

(a) their admission to the school is exceptional, or

(b) their numbers are comparatively small and their admission is
confined to particular courses or classes.

(4) In the case of a school which is a single-sex school by virtue of sub-
25paragraph (3)(b), section 80(2)(a) to (d), so far as relating to sex, does not
prohibit confining pupils of the same sex to particular courses or classes.

Single-sex boarding at schools

2 (1) Section 80(1), so far as relating to sex, does not apply in relation to admission
as a boarder to a school to which this paragraph applies.

(2) 30Section 80(2)(a) to (d), so far as relating to sex, does not apply in relation to
boarding facilities at a school to which this paragraph applies.

(3) This paragraph applies to a school (other than a single-sex school) which has
some pupils as boarders and others as non-boarders and which—

(a) admits as boarders pupils of one sex only, or

(b) 35on the basis of the assumption in sub-paragraph (4), would be taken
to admit as boarders pupils of one sex only.

(4) That assumption is that pupils of the opposite sex admitted as boarders are
to be disregarded if their numbers are small compared to the numbers of
other pupils admitted as boarders.

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Single-sex schools turning co-educational

3 (1) If the responsible body of a single-sex school decides to alter its admissions
arrangements so that the school will cease to be a single-sex school, the body
may apply for a transitional exemption order in relation to the school.

(2) 5If the responsible body of a school to which paragraph 2 applies decides to
alter its admissions arrangements so that the school will cease to be one to
which that paragraph applies, the body may apply for a transitional
exemption order in relation to the school.

(3) A transitional exemption order in relation to a school is an order which,
10during the period specified in the order as the transitional period,
authorises—

(a) sex discrimination by the responsible body of the school in the
arrangements it makes for deciding who is offered admission as a
pupil;

(b) 15the responsible body, in the circumstances specified in the order, not
to admit a person as a pupil because of the person’s sex.

(4) Paragraph 4 applies in relation to the making of transitional exemption
orders.

(5) The responsible body of a school does not contravene this Act, so far as
20relating to sex discrimination, if—

(a) in accordance with a transitional exemption order, or

(b) pending the determination of an application for a transitional
exemption order in relation to the school,

it does not admit a person as a pupil because of the person’s sex.

4 (1) 25In the case of a maintained school within the meaning given by section 32 of
the Education and Inspections Act 2006, a transitional exemption order may
be made in accordance with such provision as is made in regulations under
section 21 of that Act (orders made by local authority or adjudicator in
relation to schools in England).

(2) 30In the case of a school in Wales maintained by a local authority, a transitional
exemption order may be made in accordance with paragraph 22 of Schedule
6, or paragraph 17 of Schedule 7, to the School Standards and Framework
Act 1998 (orders made by Welsh Ministers).

(3) In the case of a school in Scotland managed by an education authority or in
35respect of which the managers are for the time being receiving grants under
section 73(c) or (d) of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980—

(a) the responsible body may submit to the Scottish Ministers an
application for the making of a transitional exemption order, and

(b) the Scottish Ministers may make the order.

(4) 40Where, under section 113A of the Learning and Skills Act 2000, the Learning
and Skills Council for England make proposals to the Secretary of State for
an alteration in the admissions arrangements of a single-sex school or a
school to which paragraph 2 applies—

(a) the making of the proposals is to be treated as an application to the
45Secretary of State for the making of a transitional exemption order,
and

(b) the Secretary of State may make the order.

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(5) Where proposals are made to the Welsh Ministers under section 113A of the
Learning and Skills Act 2000 for an alteration in the admissions
arrangements of a single-sex school or a school to which paragraph 2
applies—

(a) 5the making of the proposals is to be treated as an application to the
Welsh Ministers for the making of a transitional exemption order,
and

(b) the Welsh Ministers may make the order.

(6) In the case of a school in England or Wales not coming within sub-paragraph
10(1), (2), (4) or (5) or an independent school in Scotland—

(a) the responsible body may submit to the Commission an application
for the making of a transitional exemption order, and

(b) the Commission may make the order.

(7) An application under sub-paragraph (6) must specify—

(a) 15the period proposed by the responsible body as the transitional
period to be specified in the order,

(b) the stages within that period by which the body proposes to move to
the position where section 80(1)(a) and (c), so far as relating to sex, is
complied with, and

(c) 20any other matters relevant to the terms and operation of the order
applied for.

(8) The Commission must not make an order on an application under sub-
paragraph (6) unless satisfied that the terms of the application are
reasonable, having regard to—

(a) 25the nature of the school’s premises,

(b) the accommodation, equipment and facilities available, and

(c) the responsible body’s financial resources.

Part 2 Religious or belief-related discrimination

30School with religious character etc.

5 Section 80(1) and (2)(a) to (d), so far as relating to religion or belief, does not
apply in relation to—

(a) a school designated under section 69(3) of the School Standards and
Framework Act 1998 (foundation or voluntary school with religious
35character);

(b) a school listed in the register of independent schools for England or
for Wales, if the school’s entry in the register records that the school
has a religious ethos,

(c) a school transferred to an education authority under section 16 of the
40Education (Scotland) Act 1980 (transfer of certain schools to
education authorities) which is conducted in the interest of a church
or denominational body;

(d) a school provided by an education authority under section 17(2) of
that Act (denominational schools);

(e) 45a grant-aided school (within the meaning of that Act) which is
conducted in the interest of a church or denominational body;

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(f) a school registered in the register of independent schools for
Scotland if the school admits only pupils who belong, or whose
parents belong, to one or more particular denominations;

(g) a school registered in that register if the school is conducted in the
5interest of a church or denominational body.

Curriculum, worship, etc.

6 Section 80(2)(a) to (d), so far as relating to religion or belief, does not apply
in relation to anything done in connection with acts of worship or other
religious observance organised by or on behalf of a school (whether or not
10forming part of the curriculum).

Power to amend

7 (1) A Minister of the Crown may by order amend this Part of this Schedule—

(a) so as to add, vary or omit an exception to section 80;

(b) so as to make provision about the construction or application of
15section 18(2)(d) in relation to section 80.

(2) The power under sub-paragraph (1) is exercisable only in relation to
religious or belief-related discrimination.

(3) An order under sub-paragraph (1) may not be made unless the Minister has
consulted—

(a) 20the Welsh Ministers,

(b) the Scottish Ministers, and

(c) such other persons as the Minister thinks appropriate.

Part 3 Disability discrimination

25Permitted form of selection

8 (1) A person does not contravene section 80(1), so far as relating to disability,
only by applying a permitted form of selection.

(2) In relation to England and Wales, a permitted form of selection is—

(a) in the case of a maintained school which is not designated as a
30grammar school under section 104 of the School Standards and
Framework Act 1998, a form of selection mentioned in section 99(2)
or (4) of that Act;

(b) in the case of a maintained school which is so designated, its selective
admission arrangements (within the meaning of section 104 of that
35Act);

(c) in the case of an independent educational institution, arrangements
which provide for some or all of its pupils to be selected by reference
to general or special ability or aptitude, with a view to admitting
only pupils of high ability or aptitude.

(3) 40In relation to Scotland, a permitted form of selection is—

(a) in the case of a school managed by an education authority,
arrangements approved by the Scottish Ministers for the selection of
pupils for admission;

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(b) in the case of an independent school, arrangements which provide
for some or all of its pupils to be selected by reference to general or
special ability or aptitude, with a view to admitting only pupils of
high ability or aptitude.

(4) 5“Maintained school” has the meaning given in section 22 of the School
Standards and Framework Act 1998.

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