Equality & Diversity Policy. Policy Statement

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1 Equality & Diversity Policy Policy Statement The College recognises its responsibility to ensure that all students and staff are treated with dignity and respect and that equality, diversity and inclusion are promoted throughout the organisation. Preston College respects and values the social and cultural diversity of its students, staff and community and is committed to equality, irrespective of the following protected characteristics : Age Gender Disability/ learning difficulty Gender Identity Marriage, civil partnership Pregnancy, Maternity Race Religion, belief Sexual Orientation Socio-economic background In addition to meeting its legal obligations, the College aims to increase customer satisfaction, enhance reputation, strengthen community partnerships, seek out and promote good practice. It aims to become the learning provider and employer of choice through the implementation of the Equality & Diversity Policy, College Equality Objectives and the Equality & Diversity Action Plan. Scope This policy applies to all who work and learn at the College and agencies and our partner employers are expected to accept and comply with the principles of this policy. Commitments To promote and advance equality of opportunity by: o Ensuring all policies, procedures and the design and delivery of services are informed by equality impact analyses o Encouraging a culture of empowerment and entrepreneurialism, through open communication, participation and consultation o Seeking contributions from all members of the community in promotional activities o Removing or minimising disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics o Meeting the needs of people from protected groups To eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment or victimisation in the way the College operates by: o Ensuring that the College celebrates the diversity of its staff and students o Ensuring staff and students are equipped to challenge discrimination o Investigating any staff and student allegations

2 o o Monitoring the curriculum and learning to ensure that they are free from discrimination and reflect the needs of the diverse wider community Promoting positive attitudes and behaviours amongst staff and students To foster good relations between people with protected characteristic(s) and those who do not share that characteristic through: o Ensuring that the learning and working environment is welcoming and supportive o Minimising any physical, cultural, social and economic barriers o Raising student and staff awareness of protected characteristics These commitments are also evidenced in College policies and procedures, action plans, learner entitlements and promotional literature. The College s Equality Action Plan incorporates actions to achieve these commitments and explains how the College will implement them. Equality Monitoring and Analysis In accordance with its specific duties under the Equality Act 2010, the College will gather, analyse and publish equality information, outlining how College policies, procedures and practices are affecting students and employees with different protected characteristics. College Equality Objectives will also be developed and reviewed by Governors and College Management. The student profile, learner journey, staff profile and employment cycle will be monitored monthly by College management to assess the data and identify any issues to be addressed within the College Equality and Diversity Action Plan. Legal Context The Equality Act 2010 is one of the key legislations of this decade, simplifying, strengthening and streamlining the law, replacing previous discrimination law and extending legal protection to nine protected groups. Legally Protected Characteristics Age The College recognises that unlawful prejudice and discrimination on the basis of age (ageism), based on stereotypes and negative assumptions, is harmful and has negative impacts on individuals opportunities to equality of opportunity. Disability The College recognises that unlawful prejudice and discrimination on the basis of disability based on stereotypes and negative assumptions, is harmful and has negative impacts on individuals access to equality of opportunity and on their self esteem. The Equality Act 2010 states that a person has a disability if they have a physical and/or mental impairment affecting their body or mind, and the impairment has what the law calls a substantial and long-term (at least 12 months) adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. Examples include cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and heart conditions; hearing or

3 sight impairments, or a significant mobility difficulty; and mental health conditions or learning difficulties. The list is not exhaustive. Fluctuating conditions can be included and ultimately only the courts can determine if a particular individual is defined as disabled under the legislation. The College has a duty to make reasonable adjustments. The duty contains three requirements (reasonable adjustments) that apply in situations where a disabled person would otherwise be placed at a substantial disadvantage compared with people who are not disabled: The first requirement covers changing provisions, criteria or practices The second covers making changes to overcome barriers created by the physical features of premises The third covers providing auxiliary aids and services Gender Reassignment The College recognises that unlawful prejudice and discrimination on the basis of gender reassignment/transgender (transphobia), based on stereotypes and negative assumptions, is harmful and has negative impacts on individuals access to equality of opportunity and on their self esteem. Gender reassignment is a personal process (rather than a medical process) which involves a person expressing their gender in a way that differs from or is inconsistent with the physical sex they were born with. This personal process may include undergoing medical procedures or it may simply include choosing to dress in a different way as part of the personal process of change. Marriage and Civil Partnerships The College will challenge and work to eliminate actual or perceived discrimination based on an individual s marital or civil partnership status. Pregnancy and Maternity The College will challenge and work to eliminate discrimination arising from pregnancy and maternity (including adoption), and, where relevant, gender. Race The College recognises that unlawful prejudice and discrimination on the basis of race (racism), based on stereotypes and negative assumptions, is harmful and has negative impacts on individuals access to equality of opportunity and is committed to the positive promotion of good relations between people of different races, ethnicity and cultural origins. Religion and Belief The College recognises that unlawful prejudice and discrimination on the basis of religion and belief, based on stereotypes and negative assumptions, is harmful and has negative impacts on individuals access to equality of opportunity and on their self esteem. The protected characteristic of religion or belief includes any religion and any religious or philosophical belief. It also includes a lack of any such religion or belief.

4 Gender The College recognises the harm that unlawful discrimination on the basis of gender (sexism) has in terms of an individual s access to equality of opportunity and the College is committed to the eradication of gender discrimination and to actively promoting gender equality throughout all aspects of the College s operations. Sexual Orientation The College recognises the harm that unlawful discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation (homophobia) has in terms of an individual s access to equality of opportunity. The College further recognises that sexual orientation is a sensitive area of legal responsibility and is committed to engaging with internal and external stakeholders who are able to support the College in improving its effectiveness in this area, particularly in terms of data collection and analysis, and challenging and eliminating persistent low level homophobic behaviour and attitudes. Socio economic background Whilst socio-economic background is not a legally protected characteristic, the College is committed to combating any discrimination on this basis and recognises the harm that discrimination has in terms of an individual s access to equality of opportunity. Roles and Responsibilities Governors The Governors who form the College Corporation Board, have ultimate responsibility to ensure that the College complies with its duties under equality legislation as an employer and education provider. The Board will ensure that the College strategic plan reflects commitments to equality and diversity and will review and agree corporate equality objectives on an annual basis. The Board will also monitor progress against the College Equality Objectives through its Committee structures. College Management The Executive Leadership Team has responsibility for equality and diversity throughout the College and will regularly review progress against the action plan. Each director and senior manager is responsible for delivering equality objectives and actions in their areas of responsibility. All Managers are expected to lead in creating a positive and inclusive learning and working environment where inappropriate language and behaviour is challenged and diversity is celebrated. Equality & Diversity is key to the College strategic aims and embedded into all its activities. All Staff All staff are responsible for promoting equality and diversity in their work area and contributing to a diverse and inclusive working culture. The College aims to ensure equality through the employment cycle such as recruitment, staff development, discipline, dignity at work, grievance policies and

5 associated procedures. Equality and Diversity training forms part of staff induction and is mandatory for all staff. Processes are in place to deal appropriately with any allegations of discrimination, harassment, abuse or victimisation. Learners The College aims to ensure equality of opportunity for all learners, giving them an equal chance to participate in all aspects of provision. Through the focused support we provide to our students from low participation backgrounds, the College aims for those students to achieve similar attainment, retention, student experience and destination outcomes as the rest of the student body. Learners are expected to create and maintain an environment where discrimination, harassment, abuse or victimisation are considered unacceptable and support the aims of the Equality and Diversity policy. Awareness and understanding of the College s Equality and Diversity values are shared through the curriculum, induction, student policies, student tutorial enrichment programme and learner voice activities. Acts of discrimination, harassment, abuse or victimisation will be treated as a serious disciplinary offence. Learners who consider that they have been unfairly treated have access to the student complaints procedure. Please note that this document is available in other formats on request from the College Equality and Diversity Manager, Louise Ogilvie:

6 Appendix 1 Glossary of terms List of abbreviations SQS EPC Student Quality and Standards Committee Employment Policy Committee Glossary of terms Discrimination The Equality Act 2010 provides protection from discrimination for those with a protected characteristic. However, the level of legal protection within the legislation, varies depending on the particular protected characteristic. The seven types of discrimination included in the Equality Act 2012 are: Direct discrimination: where an individual is treated less favourably than another because of a protected characteristic Associative Discrimination: where a person is directly discriminated against or harassed for association with another person who has a protected characteristic Discrimination by Perception: where someone is directly discriminated against or harassed based on a perception that he/she has a particular protected characteristic Indirect Discrimination : where a provision, criterion or practice is applied that is discriminatory in relation to individuals who have a protected characteristic such that it would be to the detriment of people who share that characteristic compared with people who do not, and it cannot be shown to be a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim Harassment: where there is unwanted conduct, related to a protected characteristic that has the purpose or effect of violating a person s dignity; or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. It does not matter whether this effect was intended. Harassment by Third Party: is where a person is harassed and it is related to a protected characteristic by third parties such as clients or customers Victimisation: where an employee is subjected to a detriment because he/she has supported a complaint or raised a grievance under the Equality Act 2010 or because he/she is suspected of doing so.

7 Appendix 2 Preston College Equality Objectives 6 April To include a 10 th protected characteristic which is the College student body s socioeconomic profile as a reflection of the socio-economic profile of the College s catchment area 2a. To assess current methods of equality data collection from College staff and learners, identify gaps in the light of the protected characteristics named in the new legislation, design new approaches where necessary and introduce these by April b. To establish baseline equality protected characteristics data pertaining to the College establishment as at March 2014 so that subsequent trends can be monitored. 2c. To identify and monitor trends emerging from the baseline data and report on these to Student Quality and Standards Committee (SQS) and Employment Policy Committee (EPC) annually. 3a. To assess all College policies and practices in the light of the protected characteristics, report on equality impact assessments and make recommendations to the Board for any remedial actions by March b. To implement Board approved remedial actions by January c. To design a monitoring methodology for checking that implementation is effective and delivering compliance, and report on this annually to the May meetings of SQS and EPC Committees. 4a. By April 2013, to find ways in which people can be identified within the College and in the wider community who possess protected characteristics so that: i) representatives can be identified and recruited for consultation and ii) a consultation framework can be designed. 4b. To ensure that consultees are genuine representatives of a protected group by being service users or prospective service users who can give feedback on frontline provision and recruitment. 4c. To commit to work with partners among public bodies in the wider community who are developing consultation methods under the current legislation with a view to sharing resources and approach, by April To present a report which reviews progress against these objectives to the Board in March 2013 so that adjustments to the objectives can be made if required.

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