Our commitment to diversity

We are firmly committed to diversity in all areas of our work. We believe that we have much to learn and gain from diverse cultures and perspectives, and that diversity will make our organisation more effective in meeting the needs of children, young people and adults.

We are committed to developing and maintaining an organisation in which differing ideas, abilities, backgrounds and needs are fostered and valued, and where those with diverse backgrounds and experiences are able to participate and contribute.

The Equal Opportunities Policy

Young People

The Scout Association is part of a worldwide educational youth movement. The values, which underpin and inspire its work, are embodied in the Scout Promise and Law and in the Purpose of the Association.

Within this framework, the Association is committed to equality of opportunity for all young people.


The Scout Association is committed to extending Scouting, its Purpose and Method to young people in all parts of society.

No young person should receive less favourable treatment on the basis of, nor suffer disadvantage by reason of:

  • class or socioeconomic status;
  • ethnic origin, nationality (or statelessness) or race;
  • gender (including gender reassignment);
  • marital or civil partnership status;
  • sexual orientation;
  • disability (including mental or physical ability);
  • political belief;
  • pregnancy;
  • religion or belief (including the absence of belief).

All Members of the Movement should seek to practise equality, especially in promoting access to Scouting for all young people. We should make adjustments where possible to support all young people with disabilities to access Scouting – see the section on Reasonable Adjustments on this page.

The Scout Association opposes all forms of prejudice and discrimination, including racism, sexism, and homophobia. All Scout Groups, as independent charities, have a duty to comply with relevant equalities legislation.

Further information about equalities legislation and Scouting is available via the members area of the www.scouts.org.uk

Note: With reference to gender, membership of the youth Sections of the Association is open to boys and girls, and young women and young men of the appropriate ages subject to the rules set out in 3.6, 4.6 and 5.6 in POR.

Leaders and other volunteers

To carry out its work the Association seeks to appoint effective and appropriate Leaders, and to involve other volunteers in supporting roles, all of whom are required to accept fully the responsibilities of their commitment.

The overriding considerations in making all appointments in Scouting shall be the safety and security of young people, and their continued development in accordance with the Purpose and Values of the Association.

Accordingly, all those whom the Movement accepts as volunteers must be appropriate persons to undertake the duties of the particular position to which they have been appointed (including, if relevant, meeting the requirements of the Sponsoring Authority) and, where appropriate, the responsibilities of membership.

In making an appointment to a particular leadership or support position it may be appropriate to consider the gender and/or ethnicity of the potential appointee, in particular to ensure appropriate composition of leadership or supporting teams.

The physical and mental ability of a particular potential appointee to fulfil a particular role will always be a relevant factor to consider.

Within these constraints no person volunteering their services should suffer disadvantage by reason of any of the issues already listed above for young people. Nor should they be discriminated by age.

Note: Sexual feelings directed towards children and/or a sexual interest in children is a bar to any involvement in the Scout Movement.

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