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Equality and Diversity Policy

Equality and diversity objectives

Blackpool Sixth wishes to advance a sense of pride in our diverse college community through “celebrating diversity and upholding our core values” – this is our theme for 2015-18.

Blackpool Sixth is committed to ensuring that there is equality of opportunity to succeed, reducing any attainment gaps between different groups of students.

Blackpool Sixth is committed to ensuring all groups of staff have equal opportunity to access high quality continuing professional development.

The Strategic Equality and Diversity Committee will monitor progress towards these objectives and will be reported on them in the annual Equality and Diversity Report.

To download our Equality and Diversity Policy, please click here.

Contact

The equality and diversity co-ordinator is Gail Yeadon. To contact Gail please email gail.yeadon@blackpoolsixth.ac.uk, or contact Gail by phone 01253 394 911.

Policy Statement

Blackpool Sixth is committed to ensuring the promotion of equality of opportunity for all members of the College community. It is seeking to create a climate where all forms of discriminatory behaviour are challenged, differences between individuals celebrated and generate a culture where all staff and students are encouraged to achieve their full potential. The College is keen to ensure that equality of opportunity underpins all policies, valuing all members of the college community equally.

Scope

This policy covers all forms of discrimination as defined by the Equality Act 2010. Firstly Direct Discrimination whereby a person is treated less favourably because of a protected characteristic, or discrimination through the perception that they have a protected characteristic, or discrimination based on a person’s association with someone who has a protected characteristic. Secondly, Indirect Discrimination where there is an unjustifiable application of a provision, criterion or practice, even though it is applied to everyone where individuals of a protected characteristic are unfairly disadvantaged.

Protected characteristics refer to: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. The College seeks to ensure that no individual or group – because of their protected characteristic – face discrimination, harassment or victimisation. It is now also unlawful for employers to ask health related question prior to job offer, unless the questions are specifically related to an intrinsic function of the work.

The policy relates to all students, staff, governing body members, contractors, parents, and other visitors or users of the College facilities.

The College will abide by the current equality legislation (October 1st 2010) and ensure that all subsequent legislative changes are fully utilised to update the Equality Policy accordingly. The next review of the current Equality Act took place in September 2013. However, no publications are available to inform of relevant changes. The policy will be reviewed accordingly by the college when such publications become available.

Equality Policy and Core Values

Promoting, celebrating and valuing diversity is at the heart of the College’s core values, and will benefit the College in all aspects of its members’ performance.

Respect College will undertake to ensure all individuals and groups are treated fairly, courteously and with respect. Beliefs, values and religious views will be respected and tolerance encouraged where individuals or groups may have differences.

Excellence and High Aspirations – College will ensure that all members of the community are encouraged, supported and have equal opportunity to achieve their full potential. Pride will be taken in all achievements, and celebrated where appropriate.

Support – All members of the college community will be given equal access to support in their work or studies. College will make all reasonable adjustments to ensure individuals are given assistance and help where appropriate.

Inclusion – Diversity is not only valued by the College, but also celebrated and promoted. The College will seek to ensure that individuals understand differences in others and that activities and opportunities are adjusted where appropriate to ensure equality of access for all groups.

Global Citizenship – The College celebrates and promotes understanding of international differences, encouraging all members of the College community to develop a better appreciation, tolerance and respect for global issues.

Enthusiasm – College is a passionate place to work and learn, and will seek to nurture a positive attitude amongst all of the college community towards diversity, celebrating and exploring differences and valuing all individuals.

Integrity All inappropriate behaviour and actions against the spirit of the Equality Policy will be challenged and not tolerated. Members of the College community are expected to act with integrity at all times in recognising and respecting individuals’ differences.

Monitoring and Administration

The Equality Policy is operationalized through the Single Equality Scheme. This is a rolling programme of action plans to promote the involvement and success of identified diversity groups.

The Single Equality Scheme is managed by the Equality and Diversity Committee, which also monitors compliance with relevant legislation, including the Equality Act 2010. This committee will be chaired by the Principal.

Equality impact assessments will be conducted at the final draft stage of all new policies, or policy reviews at the final draft stage by a member of the Management Forum, other than the author or reviewer of the policy. Any actions resulting from impact assessments will be included in the Single Equality Scheme action plan where relevant.

Each year there will an equality and diversity self assessment report, which will be subject to the same validation procedures as curriculum or cross college self assessment reports. Monitoring, evaluation and target setting will therefore link directly into the College quality assurance cycle embedding equality and diversity within all areas of the College’s provision and services.

Blackpool Sixth will seek to collect, analyse and report on appropriate equality and diversity data. This will include student participation, retention, achievement, success and progression rates for different diversity groups. This will be supplemented with regular analysis of staffing data in terms of recruitment, levels of responsibility, disciplinary or capability proceedings, grievances or staff complaints, requests for flexible working, access to professional development and promotion for staff using a suitable range of diversity characteristics.

The Strategic Equality and Diversity Committee will monitor progress towards these objectives and will report on them in the annual Equality and Diversity Report.

Breaches of the Equality Policy

The College will take very seriously any instances of non-compliance to the College’s Equality Policy by staff, students or other members of the College community. All instances will be investigated and appropriate disciplinary action taken against the student or staff member.

Access to the Equality Policy

The College will seek to ensure that governors, staff, students and other members of the College community (eg work placement providers) are aware of the Equality Policy and expectations it conveys.

The College’s commitment to equality and diversity will be embedded in College publications such as the prospectus, College Expects document, annual report and other published material, including the College web site.

The student induction programme will emphasise the College’s commitment to equality and diversity, highlighting the expectations of student behaviour, and the consequences for engaging in inappropriate conduct.

The College tutorial programme will further address issues of equality and diversity, celebrating differences and encouraging students to uphold the College’s core values.

All work placement providers will receive a summary of their responsibilities under the Equality Policy and will signify their understanding of, and agreement to these responsibilities.

All new staff will be given appropriate equality and diversity staff development as part of their programme of induction, and existing staff will receive staff development updates on equality and diversity issues where appropriate.

Summary of expectations:

Students will be expected to:

  • Uphold the core values of the college at all times
  • Not engage in or accept any bullying or harassment
  • Respect, recognize and acknowledge varying needs of all members of the College community
  • Be prepared to challenge and report inappropriate behaviour
  • Act with due consideration and respect towards all members of the College community at all times.
  • Treat all staff, fellow students and visitors with courtesy and respect at all times, and without discrimination.

Students can expect from College:

  • Inclusive learning practices which acknowledge differences in students’ learning styles and abilities
  • Learning materials free from bias, which celebrate diversity and challenge stereotyping
  • All instances of bullying, harassment or discrimination to be taken seriously and fully investigated, with appropriate action taken.
  • To be treated with respect and courtesy at all times.
  • A learning environment where differences are not only respected but are celebrated
  • Equality of opportunity to participate in College organised events
  • All reasonable adjustments and support in helping you meet your learning aims

Staff will be expected to:

  • Uphold our core values at all times
  • Challenge and report all instances of bullying, harassment and discrimination in the College community.
  • Lead by example in demonstrating understanding of, and respect for differences in diversity groups
  • Be courteous, respectful and treat without discrimination all members of the College community
  • Contribute to the development of a learning environment free from discrimination, victimisation harassment.

Staff can expect from College:

  • All employees to have equal chances of staff development, career development and promotion opportunities.
  • Appropriate induction training and subsequent staff development on equality and diversity issues where appropriate
  • Inappropriate behaviour from any member of the College community to be challenged, with appropriate disciplinary action taken
  • To be treated fairly at all times, in an environment which respects individual differences and challenges discriminationall staff members to take responsibility for promoting a fair, inclusive and supportive environment, where discriminatory practices are challenged.

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