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If you’re treated unfairly because of who you are, it could be unlawful discrimination. Unfair treatment could be received from an education provider, employer, any other organisation or a person.

Discrimination means treating you differently because of specific characteristics that define you.  If you’ve experienced unlawful discrimination, you can do something about it. The Equality Act 2010 protects you if you're treated badly, because you've complained about discrimination or stood up for discrimination rights, either for yourself or for someone else. 

The Equality Act 2010 lists nine protected characteristics. These are personal traits that cannot be used as a reason to discriminate against someone. This means if you are treated unfairly because of one these characteristics, or because you associate with someone who has one of these characteristics, then this could be discrimination: 

  • disability
  • gender reassignment  
  • marriage and civil partnership  
  • pregnancy or maternity
  • race
  • religion or belief  
  • sex  
  • sexual orientation  
  • age   

The Equality Act says education providers must not discriminate against you in relation to the following things: 

  • admissions
  • the provision of education
  • school policies and procedures relating to - for example, discipline, exams and school uniforms
  • access to benefits, facilities or services, including school meals, sports and other activities, schools trips, libraries and IT facilities, careers services and information
  • exclusions
  • any other detriment 

I think I am being discriminated against, what can I do?  

You can speak confidentially to a trained adviser at ENSA. We will discuss your options with you and can help you make a complaint to the University if this is what you choose to do, refer you to the specialist University departments that can support and guide you through any difficulties or guide you to the right support service outside the University. 

Further Information on the Equality Act 2010 

University Services 

If you’ve been subjected to sexual violence, harassment, or misconduct of any kind, you can tell us anonymously through Report and Support 

The following teams are also here to give you the support you need: 

External support services 

LGBT Foundation: National charity delivering advice, support and information services to lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) communities.

Ethnic Minorities Law Centre: Offers legal services exclusively to people from ethnic minority backgrounds, and specialises in discrimination and immigration issues, has a telephone helpline and appointment system.  

FearFree: Support for people experiencing domestic abuse in Scotland who identify as a man or from the LGBT+ community  

LGBT Youth Scotland: Provide quality youth work to LGBTI young people that promotes their health and wellbeing. Text: 07786202370. 

Saheliya: A specialist mental health and well-being support organisation for black, minority ethnic, asylum seeker, refugee and migrant women and girls (12+) in the Edinburgh and Glasgow area. 

Shakti Women’s Aid: Help for black minority ethnic (BME) women, children and young people who are experiencing, or who have experienced, domestic abuse.

Scottish Women's Aid: Scotland's Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline 

Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre: Offers free and confidential emotional and practical support, information and advocacy to women, all members of the trans community, non-binary people and young people aged 12-18 in Edinburgh, East and Midlothian, who have experienced sexual violence at any time in their lives.

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