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Guidelines to the race relations (amendment) act 2000

The Race Relations Act 1976 as amended by the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 came into force on April 2, 2001 and thespecific duties came into force on March 13 this year. Local authorities were required to have a race equality scheme or policy in place and published by November 30.

The general duty says authorities must have "due regard to the need" to:

* eliminate racial discrimination;

* promote equality of opportunity and;

* promote good relations between persons of different racial groups.

A good policy would:

* be part of the authority's service improvement plan or school's development plan;

* give details of how the local authority or school will put the policy into practice and assess how effective it is;

* clearly define roles and responsibilities, so that people know what is expected of them, and;

* explain clearly what the local authority or school will do if the policy is not followed.

(From the Centre for Education for Racial Equality in Scotland)

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