Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 requires designated public authorities (including: the Department of Education, the Education Authority, the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools etc) to carry out all of their functions:
- with due regard to the need to promote equality of opportunity in respect of religious belief, political opinion, gender, race, disability, age, marital status, dependents and sexual orientation; and
- to have regard to the desirability of promoting good relations between persons of different religious belief, political opinion or racial group
The Department's equality scheme explains how the Department proposes to fulfil the Section 75 statutory duties.
It can be viewed, along with the Department's screening template and annual progress reports to the Equality Commission, via the following link
An equality Screening is the assessment of a policy’s impact on equality of opportunity and/or good relations.
A list of the policies screened by the Department can be viewed via the following link:
Equality Impact Assessments
The Equality Commission recommends that (after an equality screening) if a policy has been found to have a major potential to impact on equality of opportunity and/or good relations it should be subjected to an equality impact assessment (EQIA).The primary function of an EQIA is to determine the extent of any differential impact upon the Section 75 categories and to determine if the differential impact is an adverse impact. A list of the EQIAs carried out by the Department is shown below:
|Title of Policy||
|Proposal to End Earmarked CRED Funding||February 2015|
|Draft EQIA of the proposals for the Reform of the Common Funding Scheme||September 2013|
|Future of the Education Maintenance
Allowance (EMA) Scheme
|Final EQIA report on the draft teachers' (compensation for redundancy and premature retirement) regulations (NI) 2010 and complementary amendments to the teachers' superannuation regulations (NI) 1998||March 2010|
The role of the Equality Unit is to provide guidance and advice to teams, within the Department, on the statutory duties under Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998; particularly in relation to screening and equality impact assessments.
The Equality Unit also acts as an initial contact point, within the Department, on equality and human rights issues.