The High Court has held that segregating schoolchildren on the grounds of sex at a faith based school is not discrimination in the case of Interim Executive Board of X School v HM Chief Inspector of Education Children’s Services and Skills. Whilst this case was not an employment matter the direct discrimination provisions of the Equality Act 2010 which apply to employment matters were considered in detail.
Despite the school separating its female and male pupils between the ages of 9 and 15 there was no suggestion that one group received a poorer standard of teaching than the other. As such there could be no discrimination as neither group was treated less favourably.
It was argued that the segregation itself constitutes less favourable treatment and while the High Court rejected this it did grant the parties the right of appeal to the Court of Appeal where this issue will be considered further.