Equal opportunity law applies to schools and training institutions.

It covers entry to courses, access to facilities and benefits, and expulsion. It also applies to groups or organisations that approve qualifications needed for employment.

There are some situations where it is acceptable to treat someone differently based on one of the specified personal characteristics.

Single-sex schools are exempt from sex discrimination provisions and are allowed to select only male or female students.

Who is a student?

A student can be anyone currently studying or seeking entry to an educational institution.

This includes international students and students with a disability.

People with disabilities should be able to:

  • enter buildings and move freely inside
  • have access to facilities like toilets and lifts
  • not be confined to a segregated space or the worst seats.

As a student, you have the right to be treated the same as any other student. It is also against the law to sexually harass or victimise a student.

What you can do

If you think you have been discriminated against, you may be eligible to lodge a complaint.

However, sometimes taking action can solve the problem.

Schools, colleges and universities generally have processes that you can use to resolve the problem. Try these first, as you might not need to put in a formal complaint.

  • Ask for reasons why you have been treated differently.
  • Depending on the situation, you can check whether the educational institution has equal opportunity policies and procedures or relevant contact people that you can talk to.

If this doesn't work you can contact us for advice.