Positive action not discrimination


By Rachel Foster
on 19 January, 2015

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Positive action not discrimination

Ofsted chief, Michael Wilshaw, is coming under fire for seeming to advocate positive discrimination after he spoke on LBC radio last week.

While positive discrimination is illegal under the Equality Act 2010, the Act does permit ‘positive action’ in employment. When making hiring decisions, positive action can be used in tie-breaker situations. Sir Michael described a legal approach: remedying the situation of having too few ethnic minority teachers by using race as a tie-breaker between two candidates of equal merit. Unhelpfully he labelled it as positive discrimination which heightened the media focus on this statement.

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