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Our Policies

Equality and Diversity Policy

CONTENTS    

1.  Scope of Policy  

2.  Policy Summary  

3.  Policy Statements  

4.  Gender  

5.  Sexual Orientation  

6.  Disability  

7.  Religious Observance or Belief  

8.  Race and Ethnicity  

9.  Age  

10. Gender reassignment  

11. Marriage and Civil Partnerships  

12. Pregnancy and Maternity  

13. Monitoring Equality (Equality analysis)  

13.1  Employment  

13.2  Students  

14. Meeting our duties  

1.         SCOPE OF POLICY 

EDLounge is committed to creating an environment where learners, its customers, staff and other stakeholders celebrate and promote equality and diversity in all activities. 

We will work towards achieving the following; 

  • A richly diverse staff and student body including ethnicity, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation, religious belief
  • Equivalent levels of satisfaction and success rates for all groups of students
  • Good progression rates for all categories of students   

2.        POLICY SUMMARY 

EDLounge is committed to creating a place where everyone, whatever their circumstances and/or background: 

  • Is fully respected
  • Is listened to and encouraged to give their views
  • Feels welcome
  • Is treated in a friendly way
  • Is treated in a fair way
  • Has equality of opportunity
  • Has full access to all activities wherever possible 

2.1      The general duty 

In accordance with the general equality duty the Training Company will, in carrying out its functions, have due regard to the need to: 

  • Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the act:
  • Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not; and
  • Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not. 

Eliminating discrimination and advancing equality of opportunity involves: 

  • Removing or minimising disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics;
  • Taking steps to meet the needs of people from protected groups where these are different from the needs of other people;
  • Encouraging people from protected groups to participate in activities where their participation is disproportionately low;’
  • Taking steps to eliminate harassment related to each protected characteristic; and
  • Promoting  [positive  attitudes  towards  each  protected  characteristic,  for  example attitudes towards women, disabled people, people with a leaning difficulty such as

dyslexia,  autism;  people  of  certain  age  groups  or  religious  beliefs,  transsexual people, lesbian, gay or bisexual people, or ethnic minority groups. 

EDLounge values everyone as an individual and celebrates Diversity by encouraging people to be successful as themselves 

This policy fully embraces past and recent legislation including the Equality Act 2010.   

3.         POLICY STATEMENTS 

The Training Company will work to ensure that: 

  • Equality of opportunity is embedded in all policies, practices, decision-making and evaluation processes
  • Equality and diversity objectives are in place, published and monitored annually
  • Impact assessments are completed in respect of all policies and procedures
  • A visibly diverse environment is created which values difference and raises aspiration
  • Flexible opportunities are offered which meet local learning needs and enable all students to realise their potential
  • All staff are clear about standards and strategies to meet diverse learner needs including learners with a learning difference and are equipped to respond effectively
  • The fullest participation of all students and staff is secured in all areas of Training Company life Issues of under-representation will be addressed and where appropriate incorporated into equality and diversity impact measures
  • Comprehensive and imaginative feedback systems are developed to capture learner, staff and stakeholder perceptions of our performance and potential for improvement
  • Positive images of achievement from all sections of society are recognised and celebrated
  • No member of its community is unfairly disadvantaged because of their social or economic background
  • Job applications are welcomed from all sections of society and selection is made on the basis of specified skills and abilities.  Exceptions are only permitted in the event that there is a genuine occupational requirement
  • Training Company performance indicators are analysed in relation to equality and diversity impact measures, including recruitment, retention, achievement and success rates.
  • Training Company self assessment reports will analyse success data by ethnicity, gender, age and disability and develop strategies to closing any achievement gap which may be identified.
  • Student and staff survey captures information on disability and/or learning difficulty such as dyslexia, autism, sexual orientation, transgender, religion and belief. 

3.1      Inclusiveness  

Inclusiveness is central to all the decisions and actions of the Training Company staff.  Staff are responsible for ensuring that they are aware of, and meet, their statutory responsibilities.  Learners are made aware of, and expected to behave in a way that is consistent with, the Training Company’s Equality and Diversity policy.  Individual breaches of the policy will be dealt with under the Student or Staff Disciplinary Procedures.   The Training Company will support individuals who have a justified complaint. The Whistle blowing procedure may be one mechanism in which an issue could be raised.

3.2      Commitment  

The Training Company believes a commitment to equality is more effectively met when it is embedded across a range of activities and is alert to the need to demonstrate the efficacy of commitments which are implicit and integrated.  The Training Company will also develop a clear set of equality and diversity measures to assess the impact of its policy and practice and benchmark Training Company performance against comparable external outcomes. 

The following sections of the policy support the overall aim above and the policy statements at 2 above and consider particular aspects of equality and diversity. 

4.        GENDER 

4.1      Position Statement 

The Training Company will: 

  • Work actively to create a supportive and inclusive environment for all that enables full participation and success in learning and employment and will open up opportunities by actively combating discrimination in every area of Training Company life.  The Training Company will not allow sexual harassment or unfavourable treatment in any form
  • Recognise that people are often treated unfairly in terms of education, training and employment  because  of  their  gender.    The  Training Company  aims  to  eradicate  gender discrimination and to actively promote gender equality
  • Recognise  the  importance  of  listening  and  responding  to  the  needs  of  every individual involved in Training Company life.  We understand the potential damage that may be caused by gender discrimination and will take positive action to break this cycle 

4.2      Policy Statements 

The Training Company will: 

  • Oppose sexism and be committed to taking positive action to identify and remove sexism from Training Company life
  • Be proactive in the development of equality of opportunity for all throughout their Training Company career
  • Monitor and review the participation and performance of male and female students and redress inequalities
  • Positively  encourage  learners  into  non-traditional  areas  of  study  and  work  to minimise gender stereotyping
  • Not tolerate sexual harassment in any area of Training Company life.  Any incidences of sexual harassment will be vigorously challenged through Training Company disciplinary procedures
  • Not tolerate discrimination on the grounds of gender re-assignment towards either trans-gendered or transsexual people
  • Ensure that policies, procedures and opportunities for professional development will be family-friendly to encourage full participation.
  • Gender equality sub group will monitor and promote the above.

5.        SEXUAL ORIENTATION 

5.1      Position Statement 

The Training Company: 

  • Is working actively to create a supportive and inclusive environment for all which is conducive to excellent practice in education, training and employment.  The Training Company actively combats  discrimination,  sexual  harassment  or  unfavourable  treatment  in every area of Training Company life
  • Recognises that people are often treated unfairly in terms of education, training and employment  because  of  their  sexuality. The  Training Company’s  aim  is  to  eradicate discrimination on the grounds of sexuality and to promote equality of opportunity for all  

5.2      Policy Statements 

The Training Company will 

  • Strongly oppose discrimination on the grounds of sexuality and are committed to taking positive action to identify and remove homophobia from Training Company life
  • Encourage positive acceptance of gay, lesbian, bisexual, gender re-assignment and heterosexual people
  • Not  tolerate  homophobic  harassment  in  any  area  of  Training Company  life.     Training Company commitments will be made explicit to new learners and staff.  Sexual harassment and discrimination will be challenged through Training Company disciplinary procedures
  • Employment policies and procedures will be family-friendly and will apply equally to households based on same-sex partnerships and to non-traditional parenting and care arrangements where appropriate legislation is in place   

6.        DISABILITY 

6.1      Position Statements 

The Training Company: 

  • Aims to identify and eliminate attitudes, practices and procedures that discriminate against people on the grounds of disability and/or learning difficulty such as dyslexia, autism
  • Is committed to  ensuring  an inclusive, professional and friendly environment for students, employees and members of the public with disabilities and/or learning difficulties such as dyslexia, autism 

6.2      Policy Statements 

The Training Company fully accepts its responsibilities under the Disability Discrimination Act Part 4 (and the subsequent Equality Act 2010) and is committed to making any reasonable adjustments within the Corporation’s business activities that will promote equal access and opportunity for students, employees and members of the public with disabilities and/or learning difficulties such as dyslexia, autism, using Training Company facilities. 

The Training Company will ensure that all disabled learners and learners with learning difficulties such as dyslexia, autism have access to:

  • Appropriate  opportunities  to  disclose  disability  and/or  learning  difficulty  such  as dyslexia, autism throughout their time as a learner at the Training Company
  • Flexible and inclusive learning opportunities e.g. Additional learning support, dyslexia
  • Assessment of need to ensure that any reasonable adjustments to Training Company provision are made and are appropriate to the individual
  • Direct and indirect, student centred learning support to enable access to Training Company provision including specialist equipment and technology
  • All other aspects of Training Company provision
  • Information in relevant formats to ensure equal access
  • Information on support available including a Disability statement to learners
  • Disability equality sub group will promote and monitor disability issues at Training Company. 
  • The Training Company will ensure that all potential and current employees with disabilities and/or learning difficulties such as dyslexia, autism have access to: 
  • Appropriate  opportunities  to  disclose  disability  and/or  learning  difficulty  such  as dyslexia, autism throughout their time as an employee at the Training Company
  • Employment opportunities including promotion and are not refused due specifically to a disability and/or learning difficulty such as dyslexia, autism
  • Information in relevant formats to ensure equal access
  • The Training Company will maintain strong links with external agencies to ensure the provision of  appropriate  and  effective  support  for  staff  with  disabilities  and/or  learning difficulties such as dyslexia, autism. 

The Training Company is committed to: 

  • Ensuring that its services and facilities are open to the public
  • Equal and dignified treatment in the provision of those services and facilities
  • Continual improvement in all aspects of equal access in all areas of Training Company provision
  • Maintaining strong links with external agencies to ensure the provision of appropriate and effective support for students with disabilities and/or learning difficulties such as dyslexia, autism
  • Undertaking health and safety risk assessments to assess entry onto programmes where appropriate
  • Ensuring  the  Training Company  maintains  the  British  Dyslexia  Award  for  the  quality  of  its provision for learners with dyslexia   

7.        RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCE OR BELIEF 

7.1      Position Statement 

The Training Company recognises the need to ensure compliance with the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations (and any subsequent amendments there to) under which it is unlawful to discriminate against workers because of religion or similar belief. 

For the purposes of treating all students and employees equally on religious grounds, the Training Company defines religion or belief as being any named religion, religious belief or similar philosophical belief.  It will therefore be for the Employment Tribunals and other Courts to decide whether particular circumstances are covered by the regulations.

7.2      Policy Statement 

The Training Company will: 

  • Not discriminate directly against anyone.  That is, to treat them less favourably than others because of their religion or belief
  • Not discriminate indirectly against anyone.  That is to apply a criterion, provision or practice which disadvantages people of a particular religion or belief unless it can be objectively justified
  • Not subject anyone to harassment.  Harassment is unwanted conduct that violates a person’s dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment having regard to all the circumstances and the perception of the victim.
  • Not victimise anyone because they have made, or intend to make a complaint, or allegation, or have given or intend to give evidence in relation to a complaint of discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief
  • Not  discriminate  or  harass  anyone  in  certain  circumstances  after  the  working relationship has ended
  • Multi-faith chaplaincy will promote understanding of the diverse range of religious belief at Training Company amongst staff and students   

8.        RACE AND ETHNICITY 

8.1      Position Statement 

The Training Company: 

  • is committed to promoting equality of opportunity and good race relations between persons of different groups and avoiding racial discrimination, whether direct or indirect
  • recognises its responsibilities under the Race Relations Act 1976, the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 and the Equality Act 2010  

8.2      Policy Statements 

The Training Company actively supports and welcomes diversity amongst its students, staff and visitors, recognising the particular contributions to the achievement of its mission that can be made by individuals from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. 

The Training Company is committed to: 

  • Actively tackling racial discrimination, and promoting racial equality and good race relations
  • Encouraging, supporting and helping all students and staff to reach their potential
  • Working  with  other  institutions,  local  communities  and  others  to  tackle  racial discrimination  and  to  encourage  and  promote  good  practice  in  achieving  race equality
  • Assessing the effects of the policy on staff and students from different racial groups
  • Monitoring,  by  racial  group,  the  admission  and  progress  of  students,  and  the recruitment and career development of staff
  • Promoting the race equality inside and outside the Training Company via the Race Equality sub group

  9.        AGE 

9.1      Position Statement 

The Training Company: 

  • Recognises that people are often discriminated against and stereotyped because of their age.  This is evident in the range of beliefs, assumptions and attitudes which underpin judgements about an individual’s potential, behaviour and preferences
  • Believes that prejudice and discrimination on the grounds of age (‘ageism’) have no place in an educational establishment.   There should be no discrimination employment on the grounds of age, subject to normal arrangements for employees to retire.   The Training Company will not discriminate against students on the grounds of age, except where age is a mandatory criteria for entry to a course
  • Recognises the value of Life Long Learning and that an individual’s life experiences add to their role as a member of the Training Company community and their personal learning experience 

9.2      Policy Statements 

The Training Company will: 

  • Promote and actively support educational achievement for people of all ages
  • Work to remove arbitrary age barriers to educational access and to the realisation of individual potential and success
  • Provide learning experiences which meet the needs of particular cohorts
  • Promote actively up-skilling and re-training programmes for those in paid employment or who wish to re-enter training
  • Develop teaching and learning and support strategies to meet the particular needs of learners from different age groups
  • Promote positive images of achievement by people of all ages and which recognise and  celebrate  the  knowledge  and  experience  which  people  bring  their  learning throughout life
  • Welcome job applications from all age groups and select on the basis of specified skills and abilities

10.      GENDER REASSIGNMENT 

The definition has changed so that people no longer have to be under medical supervision to be protected by the law.  Gender reassignment continues to cover those who intend to live permanently in a gender other than the one assigned at birth. References to transsexual people under the act covers employees who are proposing to undergo, are undergoing, or have undergone a process (or part of a process) to reassign their sex by changing physiological or other attributes of sex, i.e. gender reassignment.   

11.      MARRIAGE AND CIVIL PARTNERSHIPS 

Under the ‘Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act, 2013 the marriage of same sex couples is lawful and must be treated the same as married heterosexual couples.  The Equality  Act  2010  does  not  define  marriage  as  a protected characteristic in the context of education, however, marriage is a protected characteristic in employment practices.

12.      PREGNANCY AND MATERNITY 

This section defines what it means to discriminate because of a woman’s pregnancy or maternity, as distinct from her gender, in specified situations outside work.  It protects a woman from discrimination because of her current or a previous pregnancy.  It also protects her from maternity discrimination, which includes treating her unfavourably because she is breast-feeding, for 26 weeks after giving birth and provides that pregnancy or maternity discrimination as defined cannot be treated as sex discrimination.   

13.      MONITORING EQUALITY (Equality Analysis) 

The Training Company undertakes to conduct comprehensive and effective monitoring of all aspects of staff and the  student  body.   

Monitoring  will  be   undertaken  in  accordance   with  best  practice  recommendations, particularly from bodies such as the Equality and Human Rights Commission and with regard to data protection principles.  The outcomes of such monitoring will be reported on to the Executive Management Team.

Equality Analysis (formerly Equality Impact Assessment) of a current or proposed policy to see whether it has or will have a different impact on individuals or groups of individuals based on the protected characteristics in the Equality Act.   Policies are monitored to determine their level of impact on Training Company staff, students and the local community, and policies that affect core functions of the Training Company have all been impact assessed. 

If any constraints or inequality are identified, action will be taken.  Amendments will be made if the policy is deemed to have or potentially have an adverse effect or is not accessible to any group of individuals. 

13.1    Employment 

The Training Company is committed to the collection of statistics, analysis of data and presentation of data as well as monitoring on an ongoing basis as employment policy and practices change. 

The Training Company will use the two main forms of monitoring, i.e. of the composition of the existing workforce  and  the  recruitment  and  selection  process.    Looking  at  the  workforce  with reference to age, race, ethnicity, disability and gender, in particular. 

The Training Company will also categorise staff according to grade; contract type, i.e. whether full-time or part-time, permanent or temporary; length of time in post; place of work and salary. Records will also be kept of training, performance reviews, promotions, regradings and discretionary pay awards. 

After the employment relationship has ended, the Training Company may retain statistics; data about the composition of the workforce, including appraisal and promotion records for the purpose of  carrying  out  equality  and  diversity  monitoring,  and  may  also  look  at  reasons  for resignation and resignation rates.

13.2    Students 

The Training Company will monitor all students and potential students in order to inform the setting of targets and the measurement of progress in achieving them.  For example, in: 

Applications, success and failure rates for admission to programmes Retention rates Achievement rates Work placements including success rates, satisfaction levels and job offers Learning support Progression Disciplinary action Complaints by students or their sponsors Student satisfaction surveys   

14.      MEETING OUR DUTIES 

The Training Company will seek to ensure through its core values that the Training Company meets its general and specific duties under the Equality Act 2010. This will be achieved by ensuring that: 

Staff, students and their sponsors (including  work  placement  providers) are aware of our Equality Policy and the action needed for its implementation: 

Staff, students and their sponsors (including work placement providers) are aware of the value placed upon equality and that action will be taken in the event of any breach of the policy. 

Staff have access to comprehensive information, which assists them to plan, implement and monitor actions to carry out the responsibilities under the policy. 

The Training Company will also ensure that publicity materials present appropriate and positive messages about equality and diversity.   



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