Equality and Diversity Scheme Consultation

Posted on 17/03/2014

The College is founded upon an ethos of equality and inclusivity. Bedford College opened in 1849 as the first institution for the higher education of women. Our first international student, from China, arrived one year after the opening of Royal Holloway. Today, we are proud to continue our tradition of providing excellent education on the basis of merit. We are committed to valuing diversity and promoting equality of opportunity, whether staff or student, in our teaching, learning and research activities.

We are presently engaged in developing our Equality and Diversity Scheme 2014-2017, which sets out our approach to equality and diversity as both an employer and provider of academic, educational and research experience. The Scheme outlines our approach to meeting the requirements of the Equality Act 2010, which puts a general duty on public sector bodies to eliminate unlawful discrimination, advance equality of opportunity, and foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not share a protected characteristic.

Our proposed Equality Objectives as a provider are to:

  • Promote diversity and integration within the student body;
  • Improve the percentage of student disclosure of equality data;
  • Provide timely and regular management information on student attainment by protected characteristics to key decision makers and develop action plans where appropriate;
  • Embed equality and diversity monitoring in all aspects of student engagement not just those linked to learning and teaching;
  • Provide staff development opportunities that encourage and enable tutors to consider bias towards or against particular groups in teaching and assessment methods;
  • Improve take up of services from those with mental health conditions and / or learning impairments.
  • Improve our existing suite of services for disabled students;
  • Embed equality impact assessment in curriculum development.

Our proposed Equality Objectives as an employer are to:

  • Promote diversity amongst the College’s senior leaders;
  • Improve  the percentage of staff disclosure of equality data;
  • Increase the representation of disabled staff;
  • Increase the representation of staff who declare as Black, Asian Ethnic Minority particularly at senior academic and professional service level;
  • Improve the gender balance across all staff groups and the representation of female academics and research staff particularly at senior level; 
  • Improve the representation and career progression of staff who declare their LGBT status;
  • Progress the Action Plan from the Equal Pay audit 2012 and conduct the second Equal Pay Audit in 2014;
  • Remove or minimise the disadvantages experienced by staff due to their protected characteristics in relation to the way they are managed.

We are now seeking feedback from our staff and students on the proposed objectives, and our action plan to meet each objective. You can read the draft Equality and Diversity Scheme and download the survey here: Equality and Diversity Consultation and Feedback Form.

Your feedback is important to establishing the validity of our proposed objectives, and we will consider all responses carefully. Please note that the consultation period closes on Tuesday 15 April.

The finalised objectives will be included in the new Equality and Diversity Scheme due to be published by June 2014.

Register for a focus group here.

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