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Equality and Diversity Policy

Equal Opportunities and Diversity Policy    

1)     Introduction

SAXON ACADEMY OF LEARNING aims to ensure that all participatory bodies, individuals and staff are treated solely on the basis of merit, ability and potential, regardless of gender, gender re-assignment, disability, colour, ethnic or national origin, age (subject to retirement conventions), sexual orientation, socio-economic background, religion and/or belief, political beliefs, family circumstances and trade union membership.

SAXON ACADEMY OF LEARNING is committed in providing equal access to its educational programmes and training services and will make every reasonable effort to provide the environment in which everyone, regardless of their background, can train and work to the best of their ability. This policy is central to our mission.

2)    Saxon Academy of Learning mission and core purpose

The SAXON ACADEMY OF LEARNING provides high quality education and training to organisations and to individuals, meeting local skills and labour market needs. We will focus on our recognised and established strengths which lie in high quality: specialised education and training at all levels of participation to Higher Education, with clear progression routes into professional careers and if need be to university level studies. The basic skills provision is to support all our learners and to assist the progression of speakers of other languages into specialist education; excellent support facilities.

3)    Equal opportunities policy statement

3.1 The SAXON ACADEMY OF LEARNING is committed to providing high quality education and training that reflects the best practice in the equality of opportunity and brings about unity in diversity. The Foundation will encourage successful learning for all trainees and rewarding work for all staff by establishing a supportive and challenging environment.
3.2 The institution aims to encourage the active participation of all sections of the community in lifelong learning. It will provide learning opportunities that accommodate diversity and seek to raise the aspirations and achievements of trainees and staff.
3.3 The organisation will actively promote and encourage good relations between people of different religions, nationalities and racial groups.

4)    Scope of the policy

4.1 The policy reflects current relevant legislation and related guidance. It also includes provisions beyond current legislative requirements by including a commitment to equality for those who may suffer discrimination due to HIV and AIDS infection and for people leaving care and penal institutions.
4.2 The Institution has a Disability Statement (in accordance with the Education Regulations 1996) that sets out its commitment to meeting the needs of trainees with disabilities and learning difficulties.
4.3 This Equal Opportunities Policy incorporates the Organisation Race Equality Policy, and all relevant aspects of this policy therefore apply to race equality.

4.4 This policy will impact on the organisation’s self-assessment, strategic planning and resource allocation processes.
4.5 For trainees and prospective learners this policy will impact directly on: their rights, responsibilities, support services, admissions arrangements, initial assessment, retention, achievable progression, assessment arrangements, academic appeals, complaints, behaviour, discipline, learning and teaching, curriculum, facilities, learners’ feedback arrangements.
4.6 For employees and prospective employees this policy will ensure there are fair personnel policies and procedures. Such policies and procedures will include those affecting employee rights and responsibilities as well as those relating to: recruitment and selection, job evaluation, contracts, conditions of service, induction, line management, appraisal and all forms of leave promotion, training and development.

5)    Purpose

5.1 The purpose of this policy is to set out clear guidance for the Centre regarding key principles, structures and monitoring arrangements in relation to equality, the promotion of good relations between people of different religions, nationalities and racial groups and the elimination of prejudice, unfair and unlawful discrimination.
5.2 This policy is implemented through established institutional structures and procedures, supported by an annual equality action plan (incorporating the race equality scheme) and a disability equality scheme.

6)    Key equality principles

6.1 The institution believes that the development of an inclusive environment embracing diversity in all its aspects is essential to the achievement of its mission.
6.2 The institution will work to create a community which is tolerant and respectful of others and where acts of disrespect and displays of intolerance are not accepted.
6.3 The institution rejects and will seek to challenge all forms of prejudice, racism and unfair or unlawful discrimination, whether intentional or not.
6.4 The institution will treat learners and staff with respect and dignity and seek to provide an environment free from harassment, prejudice, unfair and unlawful discrimination and victimisation.
6.5 The institution will aim to recruit trainees plus learners and employ a workforce that reflects the community in which it is based and which it serves.
6.6 The institution will ensure that no job applicant or employee will be disadvantaged, or treated less favourably, because of conditions or requirements not related to the job.
6.7 Reasonable adjustments will be made to policies, arrangements, facilities and premises to ensure equal access for disabled participants and staff and prospective ones.
6.8 To ensure fair treatment, participatory related policies and procedures will be regularly reviewed and their impact assessed. They will be amended where necessary.

6.9 To ensure fair employment practice, personnel policies and procedures will be regularly reviewed and their impact assessed. Where necessary they will be amended.

6.10 To ensure that this policy is effective, and to maximise staff and training commitment to it, the College undertakes to work in partnership generally, in its development and implementation.

7)    Responsibilities and structures

7.1 The SAXON ACADEMY OF LEARNING recognises its responsibility for equality issues and designates the personnel as having overall responsibility for ensuring the implementation of this policy.
7.2 The Principal may designate a named senior post-holder to lead on equality issues, including the promotion of good relations between people of different religions and racial groups, the elimination of prejudice and unfair and unlawful discrimination.

7.3 All managers are responsible for implementing this policy in their area of service delivery and in their day to day work.

7.4 All members of staff are responsible for implementing this policy in the delivery of their day-to-day work.
7.5 The processes of staff recruitment, induction, line management, training and development will support the practical application of this policy.
7.6 Management action, including formal staff disciplinary procedures, will be used where there are serious or repeated breaches of this policy and/or where this constitutes direct or indirect discrimination, harassment or victimisation.
7.7 Trainees are responsible for supporting the organisation’s equality policy in their relationships with fellow learners, staff and visitors. The organisation will take action, including disciplinary action, where there are serious breaches of the policy, including harassment or victimisation. The processes of trainee induction, the content of learning programmes and the design of the learner’s activities’ programmes, will support the practical application of this policy.

7.8 The organisation recognises that the implementation of this policy requires time and expertise. A range of measures will be used to support equality work. These will include the use of staff development, the buying in of external expertise, the funding of specific developments, staff abetment to work on special projects and working with external partners.

7.9 The Institutional Management will be responsible for monitoring the implementation of this policy through its Management Committee.

8)    General

8.1 If trainees believe they have been treated unfairly, due to prejudice, racism, or unfair or unlawful discrimination, they should, in the first instance, try to resolve the matter using the Institutional Complaints Procedure. Advice and guidance for all is available through tutors and trainee services.

8.2 If employees believe they have been treated unfairly, due to prejudice, racism or unfair or unlawful discrimination, they should, in the first instance, try to resolve the matter using the organisational grievance process. Advice and guidance for staff is available through the line management process.

9)    Policy review

There will be an annual review of this policy to ensure it continues to reflect legislative requirements, best practice and the needs of the Organisation.

10)  Communication of this policy and related outcomes

10.1 This policy, and any associated information, will be communicated through the induction process for new learners and staff, through line management, management training programmes, other staff development activities and student tutorial and activity programmes.

10.2 The Centre’s commitment to equality will be demonstrated through staff and student interaction, the quality of services provided by the institutional, performance indicators relating to trainees and staff and internal and external publicity.

10.3 The development and use of curriculum materials, the programme of training activities and the focus of displays and exhibitions provided by the organisation will highlight its commitment to equality and promotion and encouragement of good relations between people of different religions, nationalities and racial groups.
10.4 Outcomes of monitoring exercises relating to this policy will be disseminated to learners, staff, and members of relevant external organisations.

11)   Monitoring

11.1 Progress will be monitored by assessing what has been achieved against key indicators such as the annual equality action plan (incorporating the race equality scheme) and the disability equality scheme.
11.2 The learning profile will be monitored in terms of age, ethnicity, and gender along with their Institutional experience, success and progression.

11.3 The organisation will monitor workforce information on the basis of ethnicity, gender and age and an annual Personnel Report will be published with this and other relevant information. All monitoring details will be processed confidentially by Personnel.
11.4 Reviews of policy and reports on progress will be the responsibility of relevant senior administrators.