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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 that all groups of staff are treated fairly and have access to equal opportunities.

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 providing equal opportunities in employment and study. The college is opposed to all forms of discrimination inline with the Public Sector Equality Duty 2011 and as defined by the Equality Act 2010, whether direct, perceived, indirect or by association. The college seeks to ensure that no individual or group, because of their protected characteristic, faces discrimination, harassment or victimisation. Protected characteristics refer to: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. It is also unlawful for employers to ask health-related questions prior to a job offer, unless the questions are specifically related to an intrinsic function of the work. The college abides by the current equality legislation and ensures that all subsequent legislative changes are fully utilised to update this policy accordingly to ensure that its practices are lawful. Compliance with this policy also ensures that no member of the college commits unlawful acts of discrimination.

Scope of the policy

The policy is applicable to all students, staff, governing body members, contractors, parents, applicants and other visitors or users of the college facilities.

E&D and our core values

Promoting, celebrating and valuing diversity and ensuring equality are at the heart of the college’s core values, and will benefit the college in all aspects of its members’ performance. These encompass the British values of mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith, the rule of law, individual liberty and democracy.

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. The college promotes and raises awareness of respect for the rule of law and for the environment.

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 and help to succeed. College will make all reasonable adjustments to ensure individuals are given assistance and help where appropriate. College will support its members to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence.

Inclusion

Diversity is not only valued by the college, but also celebrated and promoted. The college will seek to Blackpool Sixth – Cross-college policies and procedures Page 3 of 16 ensure that individuals understand differences in others and that activities and opportunities are adjusted where appropriate to ensure equality of access for all groups. In the spirit of democracy, the college works in harmony with and seeks opinions from its stakeholders and, where appropriate, actson that feedback.

Global citizenship

The college celebrates and promotes understanding of international differences and individual liberty to choose and to hold other faiths and beliefs (except where they are in conflict with our core values), 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 this 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.

E&D in employment

The college will avoid unlawful discrimination in all aspects of employment including recruitment and selection, promotion, opportunities for training, pay and benefits, discipline and selection for redundancy.

Job descriptions and person specifications will be limited to those requirements that are necessary for the effective performance of the job. Candidates for employment or promotion will be assessed objectively against the requirements for the job, taking account of any reasonable adjustments that may be required for candidates with a disability. Disability and personal or home commitments will not form the basis of employment decisions other than in exceptional circumstances.

The college will consider any possible indirectly discriminatory effect of its standard working practices, including the number of hours to be worked, the times at which these are to be worked and the place at which work is to be done, when considering ‘flexible working’ requests permitted by law and any other request for a variation to standard working practices. The college will comply with its obligations in relation to statutory requests for flexible working and will decline such requests only in accordance with the statutory procedure. The college will also make reasonable adjustments to its standard working practices to overcome barriers caused by disability.

As a minimum, the college will monitor the ethnic, gender and age composition of the existing workforce, student population and of applicants for jobs, and the number of people with disabilities within these groups. The college will consider and take any appropriate action to address any issues that may be identified as a result of the monitoring process.

Blackpool Sixth – Cross-college policies and procedures

The college will not discriminate in the selection of employees for recruitment or promotion, but may use appropriate lawful methods, including lawful positive action, to address identified under-representation of any group in particular types and levels of job.

Implementation and training

We train all staff on equality and diversity upon induction to the college and regularly update for all staff.

We obtain commitments from others engaging with the college, such as contractors and agencies, that they will comply with the Equality Act 2010.

Pastoral Mentors deliver equality and diversity training to students as part of the pastoral programme.

Records and monitoring

The equality and diversity policy is operationalised through the Equality and Diversity Committee.

The college publishes its equality and diversity objectives on its website and these are monitored and reported upon through the Equality and Diversity (E&D) Committee.

The E&D Committee is chaired by the deputy principal.

Equality impact assessments will be conducted at the redraft stage of all updated and new policies by the policy author and will be checked by the Senior Leadership Team when the policy is quality assured. Any actions resulting from impact assessments will be included in the policy where relevant. The equality impact assessment includes all of the protected characteristics.

Each year there is an equality and diversity report, which is approved by the E&D Committee, SLT and it is be published on the college’s website.

The college collects, analyses and reports on appropriate equality and diversity data. This will include student attendance, retention, progress and progression rates for different diversity groups. This will be supplemented with regular analysis of staffing data such as recruitment, disciplinary or capability proceedings, grievances or staff complaints, requests for flexible working, promotion for staff using a suitable range of diversity characteristics.

Where possible, the college will benchmark by comparing its performance against similar organisations.

The college will also ensure that staff are aware that inclusion must always be considered when organising college events. Where necessary amendments to the organisation of the event will be made in light of this inclusion.

Breaches of the equality and diversity policy

The college will take very seriously any instances of noncompliance to the college’s equality and diversity 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.

Employees should report any bullying or harassment to their line manager, Human Resources and/or the deputy principal who will take appropriate action.

Students should report any bullying or harassment to their pastoral mentor, a member of staff in whom they feel they can confide or a member of the Senior Leadership Team, who will take appropriate action.

Access to the equality and diversity policy

The college will seek to ensure that directors, staff, students and other members of the college community (e.g. work placement providers) are aware of the equality and diversity policy and expectations it conveys.

The college’s commitment to equality and diversity will be embedded in college publications and 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 pastoral 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 agree to abide by the Equality Act 2010 and to supporting students with additional needs.

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, recognise 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
  •  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, where appropriate
  • 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
  • abide by the “widening participation” guidelines

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 discrimination
  • all staff members to take responsibility for promoting a fair, inclusive and supportive environment, where discriminatory practices are challenged.

As required on our InVentry sign-in system, visitors will be expected to and agree 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

Useful Links

Equality and Diversity policy (April 2017)

Equality & Diversity UK

Equality & Diversity Forum


Equality and diversity publications

Please click on the image to view the full publication.

2015/16

2014/15

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