Equality Scheme

Our equality scheme states how we create an environment where everyone can participate to their full potential.

Foreword

Homefield College places a high value on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion – it is one of our core values. We want the organisation to be recognised as one which seeks to transform lives and drives an environment where everyone feels that they can participate to their full potential. One of our key strategic priorities is to fully develop a culture that embraces equality and diversity. Whilst legislation provides a basis for our equality work, we want to go much further than just compliance and ensure that equality is fundamental to decision making at all levels of policy, management and operation. 

This document sets out how we will monitor and publish information about our progress with respect to protected groups and other factors such as socio-economic influences.  The information will inform staff managers and the trustees in general to develop and deliver better services and to continue to show improvement in this important area of our work.

We will create objectives which will support our drive for improvement and allow us to demonstrate progress. We will measure progress through the self-assessment process to demonstrate how we:

  • Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation,

  • Advance equality of opportunity, and,

  • Foster good relations between those who have protected characteristics and those who do not.

We aim to make full use of the talent and resourcefulness of all of our staff, students and volunteers by valuing their contribution, as well as all our individual differences and perspectives. 

Tracey Forman
Principal

The Equality Scheme

The organisation is committed to promoting Equality, Diversity and Inclusion for all those who help to shape our community (students, beneficiaries, staff, trustees, employers and wider stakeholders within our areas of work and sphere of influence). We believe that all have the right to be valued and respected equally, and to be provided with equality of opportunity. 

This document sets out the key principles for ensuring that an inclusive culture underpins our work and how we aim to create a positive and inclusive ethos with a shared commitment to the advancement of opportunity, to challenging and eliminating stereotyping prejudice and discrimination and by promoting and fostering good relations across the protected characteristics of:

  • Age 

  • Gender

  • Race

  • Disability

  • Gender reassignment

  • Sexual orientation

  • Religion or belief

  • Pregnancy and maternity

  • Marriage and civil partnership

We also recognise that as well as the protected characteristics, there are additional groups that we would want to include within this work such as young people in care and those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

We have published specific equality objectives which demonstrate our commitment.  The objectives set out that we will:

  1. Become recognised externally as an example of best practice in this area both in terms of as an employer and as a service / education provider, particularly in the field of learning difficulties and disabilities.

  2. Enhance the working and learning environment, ensuring it is safe, supportive and anti-discriminatory and raises aspirations, success and progression opportunities for each individual.

  3. Promote equality and diversity in order to have a positive impact on the potential of all students, beneficiaries, staff, employers and the community we serve.

We will ensure that the annual report of the organisation demonstrates how progress is being made towards the achievement of these objectives.

How we will do this

Our organisation principles underpin our work and they state that we will:

  • Acknowledge and celebrate individual difference,

  • Promote independence, a positive attitude and equality of opportunity,

  • Involve, empower and champion the rights of all individuals, and,

  • Educate, inspire and motivate via a person-centred approach.

Consequently, we will: 

  • Value all employees, students, residents, volunteers and other beneficiaries for whom the organisation has responsibility.

  • Treat everyone and each other with respect and dignity and seek to provide a positive working, learning and social environment free from discrimination, harassment or victimisation.

  • Challenge inequality and prejudice where it exists, especially for those with protected characteristics but particularly for groups who face discrimination by reason of having a learning difficulty or disability.

  • Ensure our education promotes British values such as mutual tolerance, democracy, the rule of law, freedom of the individual and respect. 

  • Embrace diversity in all aspects, including socio-economic status, and strive to employ a workforce that reflects at every level the community it serves.

  • Work with partners to adopt the same commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion as we do.

  • Deliver diversity awareness training to all staff members with the aim of developing a culture which supports the principles of this scheme.

  • Ensure that all aspects of organisational policy and activity are sensitive to discriminatory issues and fully exploit opportunities to advance equality and foster good relations.

  • Ensure compliance with legislation.

Communication

The organisation will ensure that all students, staff, trustees, employers, visitors and wider stakeholders are made aware of our equality scheme and action plan through a variety of communication methods. Clear references to the scheme will be included within students and staff guidance and handbooks and will appear on the Homefield website. 

The scheme will also be drawn to the attention of students, staff and trustees at induction. Updates on progress towards objectives will be communicated via the organisation annual report.  

Roles and Responsibilities

The senior leadership team within the organisation is fully committed to equality, diversity and inclusion, and as such provides the strategic direction for the Equality Scheme.

The Chief Executive and Principal, Trustees and the senior leadership team are responsible for leading on equality, diversity and inclusion across the organisation.  It is also important that the organisation as a whole recognises that it has a duty and responsibility to abide by the key principles contained in this document.

All members of the Homefield Management Team are responsible for ensuring that the staff they manage have a clear vision and shared understanding of what the organisation is aiming to achieve through its Equality Scheme.

Trustees

The Trustees are responsible for:

  • Ensuring that the organisation complies with the Scheme and that procedures are followed

  • Aiming to ensure that equality and diversity is reflected within its own organisation, for instance make-up, operations and processes

Senior Leadership

The senior leadership team are responsible for:

  • Providing a consistent and high profile lead on all equality, diversity and inclusion matters

  • Actively promoting equality, diversity and inclusion internally and externally

Management Team

Members of the Management team are responsible for:

  • Putting the scheme into practice across the areas of their responsibility

  • Ensuring that staff are aware of their responsibilities and receive appropriate training and guidance

All Staff

All staff are responsible for:

  • Consistently challenging any inappropriate language or behaviour of beneficiaries, staff and visitors

  • Actively promoting equality of opportunity, eliminating discrimination and fostering good relations in all aspects of their daily roles and responsibilities

  • Actively engaging in training and learning opportunities which support their development of equality and diversity principles

  • Ensuring that any incidents that contravene the Scheme are reported to their manager or other appropriate members of the College management team

Actions to Ensure Success

General Actions

We will ensure that:

  • All of the organisation’s publicity materials present appropriate and positive messages about age, disability, gender identity, gender, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation and cultural diversity

  • Everyone is aware of the value that the organisations places upon equality and that breaches of policy or practice will result in action being taken

  • External stakeholders are made aware of the Scheme

  • All staff, managers and trustees have access to relevant and appropriate information which assists them in planning, implementing and monitoring actions to carry out their responsibilities under the Scheme

  • Procurement procedures ensure that suppliers meet the requirements of the Scheme

  • Organisational policies are subject to equality impact assessment where necessary

Actions specific for teaching and learning

We aim to ensure all students are able to fully participate in all aspects of our provision.

Student recruitment procedures are designed and implemented to eliminate unlawful discrimination. 

Students can access appropriate and relevant support and facilities.

Schemes of work, lesson content and teaching resources demonstrate sensitivity and positive promotion of age, disability, gender identity, gender, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation and cultural diversity issues.

We gather data for monitoring purposes at application and again upon enrolment which includes details of race, gender, details of any disability or learning difficulty and the relevance of any widening participation category. 

Our aim is to ensure that students with protected characteristics are just as likely to achieve a high quality of education as others. We aim to support learners into sustainable careers, including facilitating opportunities for work placements and experience, as appropriate to their programme.

When we present candidates for work placement and work experience, we emphasise ability rather than disability to encourage a fair selection decision by the employer.

When arranging a work placement, or work experience, for a student we will, as appropriate and with the permission of the student, advise the employer about how to make adjustments based on our experience of working with the student.

Where necessary we will provide support, training and guidance to the employer about how to best to work with individual students.

Actions specific for residential care

We aim to ensure that all beneficiaries are able to access the services that we provide and that their voice is central to any developments.

We will support beneficiaries to access the wider community and ensure that by doing this they are not subject to discrimination.

Actions specific for Employers

We aim to ensure equality through the employment cycle, including recruitment, selection, staff development, performance management and grievances.

Recruitment and promotion procedures are designed and implemented to eliminate unlawful discrimination.

Applicants for employment are drawn from a wide pool with positive action to encourage applications from under-represented groups and monitoring data is gathered as part of the process.

The organisation is a disability confident employer.

Staff development activities are designed to meet the particular needs and enhance the skills of individuals of all under-represented groups.

We will continue to screen our policies for equality impact, as appropriate and will take action where necessary. 

We gather data for monitoring purposes at application and again upon joining the organisation which includes details of race, gender, details of any disability or learning difficulty and other categories which enable the organisation to meet the aims of this Scheme.

We will actively seek to reduce any inequity created by the gender pay gap.

Both compulsory and non-compulsory equality and diversity training programmes will be provided to support the Equality Scheme.  This involves everyone throughout the College (Governors, learners, and all staff). Promoting equality, diversity and inclusion will continue to form a part of induction for all new staff and learners. Training and development activities for all will be publicised and monitored as part of the College’s quality review of staff and learners’ development.

Monitoring and Review of Progress

We will meet the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 through the implementation of this Scheme.  Whilst we are not legally required to meet the requirements of the specific public sector public equality duty we will endeavour to wherever we are able to do so.

We will publish each year in our annual report details of how we meet the requirements and the positive impact that we have made as well as the progress on our equality objectives and action plan

We will ensure that through monitoring and reviewing the action plan that our trustees, staff, students, partners and all stakeholders (including work placements providers) are aware of, and are actively promoting equality. 

We will ensure that action needed for implementation is taken and that our staff, students, partners, and all stakeholders are aware of the value placed on promoting equality of opportunity and diversity and that action is taken in the event of any breach under Equality legislation.

The Senior Management team will meet quarterly with other key members of the management team to review progress and assist with the development of specific targets and actions associated with the development of the scheme. 

Relevant equality data relating to students and members of staff will be captured and monitored.  This data will inform the development of the action plan and be reported in the annual equality report (in accordance with GDPR).

To inform the setting of targets and the measurement of our progress in achieving them, we will collect as a basic minimum and analyse the following information:

Student Information

  • Gender, disability, age and ethnicity profiles

  • Applications, retention and achievement and outcome rates across groups

  • Specific feedback relating to these groups

Staff Information produced annually

  • Gender, disability, age and ethnicity profiles of staff by grade and type of work

  • Applications for employment, appointments, training and promotion

  • Recruitment and selection data

  • Staff surveys

  • Discipline and grievance

The information collected and monitored will be used by the College to inform a number of decisions, namely:

  • To decide whether there are differences in the way different groups are treated

  • To decide if there are any gaps in recruitment, attainment and success of different groups of learners / staff

  • To highlight any unfairness, disadvantage or possible discrimination and take action where appropriate

  • Identify areas where specific action could be taken and ensure that it is taken

  • Compare data to local and national statistics in order to identify success and areas for improvement

Further Information

Additional advice, contact details and information in relation to the organisation can be found on the Homefield website at: www.homefieldcollege.ac.uk

Staff and students can also access SharePoint and the staff extranet. Information is available in differing languages and formats on request.

Should you require any help or further information please contact the College and you will be put through to the appropriate personnel or go to www.homefieldcollege.ac.uk where you will be able to access the equality and diversity information on the organisation website. In addition to the Equality Scheme, the College has a set of ‘Equality Objectives’ and an ‘Equality Action Plan’ which identifies targets and is determined by qualitative and quantitative analysis of activity and impact in relation to the Equality Scheme. The Equality Objectives can be found at the link below.