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November 13, 2015

A press release:

-How are schools and hospitals affected by the legislation, peers to ask-
Next week, on Tuesday 17 November, the House of Lords Committee on the Equality Act 2010 and Disability will question senior figures from education, health and social care policy in the UK.

Ofsted, the Department for Education, Department of Health and the care regulator CQC are among the organisations to give evidence. The session will cover areas such as disability in schools, the Equality Act as reflected in education policy, discrimination in health and social care, and sanctions for breaching the Act.

In the first session at 3.20pm, on education, the witnesses giving evidence will be Ann Gross, Director responsible for policy on Special Needs, Children in Care, Adoption and children’s mental health, Department for Education; Kate Copley, Deputy Director in the Education Funding Agency’s Academy Operations team, Department for Education; Lesley Cox, Ofsted national lead for Special Educational Needs, Ofsted and Claire Jackson, Legal team member, Independent Parental Special Educational Advice (IPSEA).

Questions that the Committee members are likely to ask these first witnesses include:

·    How confident are you that schools of all types are meeting their obligations under the Equality Act?
·    What about academy chains, what are their obligations?
·    Should the Equality Act prohibit the segregation of disabled children in schools?
·    What sanctions are available to use against schools who are failing their students?

In the second session, on health and social care, at 4.20pm, the witnesses giving evidence will be Flora Goldhill, Director for Children, Families & Communities, Department of Health, Ruth Passman, Head of Equality and Health Inequalities, NHS England and Sally Warren, Deputy Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, Care Quality Commission.

Questions that the Committee members are likely to ask these witnesses include:

·    How well do health and social care organisations respond to evidence of inequality?
·    Does healthcare and social care commissioning incorporate the Equality Act?
·    What is your relationship with the Equality and Human Rights Commission?

The evidence sessions will start at 3.20pm, on Tuesday 17 November, in Committee Room 4a of the House of Lords.

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