Part-time timetables and discrimination under the Equality Act

It is not uncommon for schools and local authorities to place children with Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans on part-time timetables. Sometimes this is done to support a transition period or alternatively, to avoid a child being excluded. The question which must be considered though is whether this type of arrangement is discriminatory?

In F-T v The Governors of Hampton Dene Primary School (SEN) (Disability discrimination in schools: All) [2016] UKUT 468 (AAC) (18 October 2016) the Upper Tier was asked to consider whether a child subject to a part-timetimetable was subject to discriminatory treatment under the Equality Act 2010.

The Facts

The Legal Position

The law is relatively straightforward and can be summarised as follows:


                     (i) in the way it provides education for the pupil;

         (ii) in the way it affords the pupil access to a benefit, facility or service               [section 212(4) provides that affording access to a benefit, facility                 or service includes a reference to facilitating access to the benefit,                 facility or service];

        (iii) by not providing education for the pupil;

        (iv) by not affording the pupil access to a benefit, facility or service;

        (v) by excluding the pupil from the school [not an issue on this                           appeal];

        (vi) by subjecting the pupil to any other detriment.

  • Under section 15(1) of the 2010 Act, another type of disability discrimination occurs where:

What does this mean?

Children and Young People have a right to receive suitable full time education. If for some reason a child or young person cannot access school, then Headteachers must ensure that arrangements are in place to protect their full-time entitlement. This may require them to provide education at home.

If you are a parent or carer and are facing similar difficulties to those raised in this article please contact us on 01908 889 082 or via email to advice@sen4you.co.uk