b'DISCRIMINATIONWhat are the wider implications for the school? Failure to create and maintain a culture of equality can have additional wider implications for the school, including:Regulatory requirementsThere are various regulatory requirements for independent schools relating to unlawful discrimination and promoting mutual respect and tolerance. Inspectors may look at whether incidents of bullying or prejudiced and discriminatory behaviour are common and whether these are indicative of ineffective safeguarding practices. It is for the governors to satisfy themselves that the school is meeting these standards, bearing in mind that inspectors may challenge both senior leadership and governors to reflect upon whether they are doing enough to promote equality and the effectiveness with which the school deals with discrimination, including racism, in all its forms. Schools which are found to be failing to encourage respect for others and/or to deal effectively with racism risk being judged as not meeting the independent school standards, and the DfE taking appropriate action.Governors should therefore ensure that the school is regularly reviewing its procedures and relevant policies such as those regarding equality, anti-bullying, behaviour and the Staff Code of Conduct; that these are being effectively implemented in practice; and that these are contributing to the creation of an inclusive ethos and culture across the school.Legal claimsParents, pupils or alumni may seek to bring legal claims against a school in relation to discriminatory behaviour, including claims for discrimination, negligence and/or breach of contract. The merits of such cases are of course dependent upon the facts but, even cases without merit, can be time-consuming and costly for the school to respond to. It is therefore important for governors to ensure the school takes active measures to promote and maintain a culture of equality, and effectively and promptly deal with any incidents of alleged discrimination if they arise. This commitment should not simply be set out in a policy, but actively implemented in practice.Lucy Blackwell is a solicitor in the Education team at Stone King LLP. Lucy can be contacted on LucyBlackwell@stoneking.co.uk.www.independentinsight.netIwww.iexcellence.co.ukIwww.i25awards.co.uk 23'