Christ Church welcomes diversity amongst its members, staff and visitors, recognising the particular contributions to the achievement of its statutory objects that can be made by individuals from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences.

This section provides information about the specific ways in which we endeavour to ensure that Christ Church  is age neutral, and also provides a general overview of legislation relating to age discrimination and our response to that legislation.

Legal Context

Discrimination on the grounds of age is prohibited by the Equality Act 2010.
The Equality Act applies to employers and to providers of education, which includes those studying within Christ Church  and the University of Oxford. Staff and students are therefore both covered.

Discrimination (all types), harassment and victimisation are all prohibited.

The legislation applies to people of all ages; this means the young as well as the old are protected from discrimination on the basis of their age. Age discrimination can arise not just from what managers do, but also from how employees behave towards each other, and this behaviour may not be confined to the workplace. For example, if a group of young employees frequently go out for a drink after work but exclude an older member of their team this could in some cases amount to discrimination or harassment. We therefore encourage our members of staff to be as inclusive as possible.

The legislation allows that there may be some cases where age discrimination is legal, but only where the discrimination can be objectively justified as a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim. In addition, service related pay and benefits are permitted for periods of up to 5 years and these may be specifically justified thereafter.

College Response

Christ Church policies and practices which are relevant are as follows:




Recruitment and selection

The code of practice on staff recruitment and selection is published in Christ Church ’s Staff Handbook

Christ Church does not set any age requirements, but applicants will be expected to demonstrate an approach to the study of their subject, which includes demonstrable skills of critical analysis, wide contextual knowledge and the ability to manage their own time without the external imposition of a full daily timetable.

Students applying to study Medicine must be 18 years of age at the time they start their degree course. The clinical contact in the programme starts in the first term and means that younger students would not be able to take part in required elements of the course. Your application will not be shortlisted unless you will be at least 18 years old on the start of your first term.


Training and development


Teaching, learning and research


Selection for training and opportunities for development and/ or promotion will not be contingent on age related factors (unless there is a legitimate aim). See Staff Handbook.

Students of all ages may apply to any college.

Conditions of service


Student Support

The Staff Handbook contains the major terms and conditions for staff. This is reviewed (and amended as necessary) to ensure it takes into account any changes in legislation.

 Non-academic staff in contact with legal minors will be subjected to CRB checks if they are in a position of pastoral responsibility which involves regular contact on a one-to-one basis. See Child Protection Policy.


Discipline and complaints

 Employees engaged in disciplinary or grievance procedures will not be treated differently on the basis of age (unless there is a legitimate aim).


No relevant policy.



The default retirement age no longer exists; as such employees may continue to work past the state pension age. However, Christ Church can lawfully retire employees at a set age if the retirement can be objectively justified.


Not applicable.

Termination of employment


Christ Church recognises that employees of any age are protected against unfair dismissal. Planned retirement will be regarded as a fair dismissal. Age related criteria will not be used as a basis for selection for redundancy. If employment is terminated as a result of capability (i.e. ill health or poor performance) the appropriate College procedures will apply to all age groups of employees.


Not applicable.


The age distribution of staff is now monitored by Christ Church.  See Table in 'Monitoring Data'


The age distribution of students is not currently monitored by Christ Church.



See Table.

Christ Church does not currently publish statistics on the age distribution of students.


Support and Advice

Guidance on personnel policy may be sought by staff from the Steward or, the Sub Dean in relation to the Cathedral. Students should contact the Senior Censor.

The University Equality and Diversity Unit (DEO) provides a network of harassment advisers and is also responsible for updating the Code of Practice on Harassment.

The University also offers training in best practice for those involved in the admissions process, recruitment and selection, management and teaching. In addition, courses are available for those wishing to plan their retirement.

Further Information

The University website contains useful links to relevant legislation and external organisations. 

Specific advice is also available from the University's Occupational Health department, and from the Pensions office.