Equality and Diversity
Purpose: The Learning Station Equality and Diversity policy is to protect, respond and report to any concerns whilst on our or its associated premises (logged in our policy handbook) for anyone receiving training or services provided directly from The Learning Station or our staff.
Scope: This policy applies to our staff, young people, and adult’s and our apprenticeship provision
The Learning Station is committed to ensuring equal opportunities, fairness of treatment, dignity, the encouragement of diversity and elimination of all forms of discrimination in the workplace and within the learning environment for all individuals whether they be employees, learners or visitors.
We aim to create an environment in which all individuals will be free from discrimination or harassment and where fairness is key to all decisions made. What is key to The Learning Station is that we can provide a working and learning environment in which all people who attend our premises feel safe, comfortable and confident that they will be treat with fairness, respect and dignity.
This policy includes our approach to
Promotion of the policy to our staff, learners and employers we work with
Gaining engagement towards the policy
Training our employees in implementing the policy
Utilising this policy to inform our approach to recruiting, delivering apprenticeship training and working with employers and apprentices
Our policy is reviewed annually with next policy review planned for May 2023
- For the purpose of this policy equality and diversity means that The Learning Station is committed to equality of opportunity for staff, learners, members of the public and community groups and all others who come into contact with organisation representatives.
- Our commitment to and promotion of equality and diversity means that we will take action to ensure that all of these groups are entitled to equality of opportunity regardless of age, disability, gender, race, religion, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, class, marital status, family circumstances or employment.
- Any complaint of discrimination or harassment will be treated seriously, be fully investigated and may result in disciplinary action being taken by the appropriate level of management within the organisation. All issues of inappropriate behaviour and actions contravening the equality and diversity policy will be recorded using the appropriate mechanism.
- We acknowledge that equality and diversity is broader than the promotion of race, disability and gender equality.
Definition of Discrimination
- (a) Discrimination can be direct or indirect. Both forms of discrimination must be avoided.
(b) Direct discrimination occurs when one person is treated less favourably than another on grounds relating to sex, race, marital status, age, disability, sexual orientation or religion.
(c) Indirect discrimination occurs where a requirement is imposed which can be complied with by a smaller proportion of persons of a particular sex, race, marital status, disability, age, part-time or fixed term contract status, sexual orientation or religion, than persons in another group and which is not objectively justifiable in the given situation.
- We must ensure that all members of our team, our customers and our stakeholders feel valued for the diversity they bring to our organisation.
- We must ensure that all members of our team, our customers and our stakeholders understand their responsibilities with regard to all legislative regulations and Acts of Parliament relating to equality and diversity.
- This Policy will provide a framework within which all members of our team, our customers and our stakeholders will operate to ensure compliance with appropriate legislation. and
- This Policy will ensure that the organisation has a positive inclusion ethos which celebrates the diverse nature of our organisation, our customers and our stakeholders.
- The legislation and regulations pertinent to this Policy include:
- Disability Discrimination Act 1995
- Disability Discrimination Amendment Act 2005
- Employment Equality (Age) Regulation 2006
- Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulation 2003
- The Employment Equality (Sex Discrimination) Regulations 2005
- Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulation 2003
- Equal Pay Act 1970 (Amended)
- Equality Act 2010
- Gender Recognition Act 2004
- Race Relations Act 1976
- Race Relations Amendment Act 2000
- Race Relations Act 1976 (Amendment) Regulation 2003
- Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006
- Sex Discrimination Act 1975
- The Sex Discrimination (Gender Reassignment) Regulations 1999
- Core Principles
- Given the complexity of the regulations and legislation relating to equality and diversity, it is the responsibility of the Centre Manager to ensure that all staff understand their role and their responsibilities in ensuring that all aspects of the business operation are undertaken within the context of this legislative framework.
- All staff, learners and partners will be provided with appropriate training, including induction training, with regard to the value the organisation places on equality of opportunity and diversity and with the sanctions which will be imposed where individuals or groups fail to comply with policies and procedures relating to equality and diversity.
- The management team will regularly monitor relevant statistical data in relation to equality and diversity and propose remedial actions where required to ensure all stakeholders have equality of opportunity.
- Operational guidance will be provided through a range of procedures designed to prevent instances of behaviour or actions which are considered to be unacceptable within the context of the Equality and Diversity Policy.
- The Centre Manager is responsible for the overall implementation of this policy and that all aspects of this policy are kept under review and are operated throughout the organistion.
- Where it appears that applicants/employees are not being offered equal opportunities, circumstances will be investigated to identify any policies or criteria which exclude or discourage certain employees and, if so, whether these are justifiable.
- A member of the management team will hold specific responsibility for ensuring the equality and diversity policy is understood and implemented at all levels within the organisation and for monitoring appropriate statistical information.
- All members of staff, learners and stakeholders have a direct responsibility to ensure that their actions and behaviours comply with the policies and procedures relating to equality and diversity.
- Quality Assurance
- Monitoring of the implementation of the policy will be undertaken at a variety of levels within the organisation and through external bodies responsible for assessing the performance of the organisation
- At a strategic level equality of opportunity will be monitored through:
- Board Meetings
- Analysis of statistical returns
- The annual Self-Assessment Process
- At an operational level equality of opportunity will be monitored through:
- Equality and Diversity Impact Measurement
- Standardisation meetings reviewing learner performance and progress
Promotion, Training and Development
All staff, apprentices, learners, and employers will receive an induction training session including equality, diversity and inclusion and the policy will be disseminated during this time and after each policy revision/review.
This will include:
- An explanation of what the policy means to The Learning Station, staff, apprentices, learners or employers.
- An explanation of the form’s discrimination can take (direct, indirect, victimisation and segregation).
- Guidance on the danger of generalised assumptions and prejudices.
- Contextualised examples of good practice in equality, diversity and inclusion and the impact of discrimination relevant to their role and responsibility.
- Teaching, learning, and assessment staff are given additional training to support equality, diversity, and inclusion in teaching, learning and assessment practice (please see below).
- Equality, diversity, and inclusion will be mandatory on all meeting agendas to reinforce this and to identify and address any emerging training needs.
All staff will be appraised annually and there will be positive encouragement to discuss suitable development and training opportunities.
All staff will be required to complete mandatory annual equality and diversity training, both externally and inhouse to ensure contextualisation and full understanding of the policy. This will also be reinforced by the observation of teaching, learning and assessment process (please see below).
Apprentices and learners will receive training on equality, diversity, and inclusion, which will be embedded and delivered within their apprenticeship/programme (please see below).
Equality and Diversity Promoted in Teaching, Learning and Assessment
Apprentice’s and learner’s additional support needs related to disabilities, diagnosed special education needs, learning difficulties or additional needs are planned for and where an apprentice or learner is studying or completing an apprenticeship, The Learning Station will follow the guidelines set out in the relevant Adjustment Policies published by each awarding organisation to ensure fair and equal access to assessments and examinations, where applicable.
All teaching, learning and assessment staff will be trained to apply an equality analysis to their scheme of work and lesson plans to ensure that:
- Materials and teaching, learning and assessment methods foster good relations, are sensitive to and promote equality of opportunity.
- That needs of individuals are planned for in teaching sessions to ensure that they can achieve, progress and flourish.
Our management will apply its observation of teaching policy, annual appraisal, and performance management systems to ensure that:
- Teaching, learning, and assessment staff have consistently high expectations in ensuring that learning activities motivate and engage all apprentices and learners, whatever their age, ability and cultural background, and that they are suitably demanding.
- All teaching, learning and assessment staff are highly adept at working with and developing knowledge, skills and behaviours in all apprentices and learners and demonstrate this in a range of learning environments.
- Equality and diversity is integrated fully into the learning experience and teaching, learning and assessment staff manage apprentices’ and learners’ behaviour skilfully; they show great awareness of Fundamental British Values and equality and diversity in teaching sessions.
- All staff, apprentice and learner requirements will be reflected in the delivery and support given. We will consider how support can be given for SEND or learning disabilities. Where appropriate we will provide the resources and equipment needed to enable all staff, apprentices, and learners to engage with their roles and responsibilities, as well as their learning/training.
- The policy will be reviewed on annual cycle
- The procedures related to the policy will be reviewed annually to ensure that they remain relevant and meet the requirements of all regulations pertaining to equality and diversity
- Advice and guidance will be obtained from appropriate sources including:
- End users of the policy and procedure
- External bodies such as legal advisors, regulatory bodies and awarding bodies
Recruitment and promotion
- Advertisements for posts will give sufficiently clear and accurate information to enable potential applicants to assess their own suitability for the post. Information about vacant posts will be provided in such a manner that does not restrict its audience in terms of sex, race, marital status, disability, age, part-time or fixed term contract status, sexual orientation or religion.
- Recruitment literature will not imply a preference for one group of applicants unless there is a genuine occupational qualification which limits the post to this particular group, in which case this must be clearly stated.
- All vacancies will be circulated internally.
- All descriptions and specifications for posts will include only requirements that are necessary and justifiable for the effective performance of the job.
- All selection will be thorough, conducted against defined criteria and will deal only with the applicant’s suitability for the job. Where it is necessary to ask questions relating to personal circumstances, these will be related purely to job requirements and asked to all candidates.
- Access to Learning, Training and Recruitment
- The Learning Station will strive to ensure that learning and recruitment opportunities are available to all. No individual will be excluded from a learning, apprenticeship, or recruitment opportunity on the grounds of their age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, training or caring status, sexual orientation or marital or civil partnership status. We will record and monitor individual participation/application and withdrawal/rejection of learning/recruitment opportunities to ensure equality of opportunity and fair representation.
- For apprentices and learners: Initial advice and guidance is impartial and seeks to ensure that individuals are offered appropriate training opportunities for them to achieve their aims without bias.
We will support all apprentices and learners as far as reasonably possible (but subject to funding and health and safety requirements) to pursue the learning programme of their choice and make all efforts to ensure physical access to the learning/workplace environment. In circumstances where this is not possible, we will identify alternative options/provision.
For apprentice employers: We will provide services only to employers who support our commitment to equality and diversity and comply with related requirements. We expect employers to ensure fair access to our courses and work-based opportunities and to strive to monitor employer’s and apprentice’s participation and performance.
- Selection for employment, promotion, or any other employment benefit, as well as access to training for learners, will be made on the basis of aptitude and ability. (For learners, this may also be dependent on funding availability). All staff, apprentices and learners will be helped and encouraged to develop their full potential.
The Learning Station will not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, marital status, disability, age, part-time or fixed term contract status, sexual orientation or religion in the allocation of duties between employees employed at any level with comparable job descriptions.
The Learning Station will put in place any reasonable measures and/or adjustments within the workplace for those employees who become disabled during employment or for disabled appointees.
All employees will be considered solely on their merits for career development and promotion with equal opportunities for all.
Complaints and victimisation
9.1. The Learning Station emphasises that discrimination is unacceptable conduct which may lead to disciplinary action under the organisation’s Disciplinary Procedure.
9.2. Any complaints of discrimination will be pursued through the organisation’s Complaints Procedure. Supporting Diversity in the Workplace
The following list details some of the ways that we will support diversity throughout the business.
- Recognise that all staff are individuals and will therefore respond to them, and their social identity, in an individual manner.
- Ensuring that employment opportunities are available as full or part time roles wherever possible and that we can be flexible about working hours to suit individual needs.
- Ensuring that roles can be performed at home, if necessary, in most cases, to support individual needs.
- Provide staff training to increase our knowledge and understanding of aspects of social identity that may be different from our own, and how to support people with different social identities.
Disclosure and additional support provisions
Before starting and during learning, apprenticeship or employment, individuals will be given opportunity (in confidence) to disclose any disability, learning difficulty or additional need they may have. This is to ensure we put in place additional or alternative support or adapted working practices where reasonably practical and possible. We will explain why this information is being sought and how it will be used. We will ask individuals to let us know of any personal commitments or barriers which can affect their commitment or time in learning, an apprenticeship or employment and offer help/alternative ways of training or working to minimise their impact.
Additionally: For apprentices and learners: Where a learner discloses a disability, learning difficulty or additional need, we will identify what additional or alternative support provisions need to be put in place in discussion with them. We will endeavour to secure and provide any additional support for the duration of the apprentices or learner’s learning programme where reasonably practical and possible and in full, agreed disclosure by the apprentice or learner. We will also work in partnership with the apprentice employer to support them to identify and provide additional or alternative support provisions to ensure that employment is accessible, where this is reasonably accessible. Support could be in the form of additional/alternative assistance, provision of a specialist service, involvement of personal carers/support workers, provision of alternative or adaptive equipment or learning/training environment etc. Where it is not reasonably possible to provide required and sufficient (specialist) support to enable an apprentice/learner to achieve, we will signpost to more suitable provision.
Where barriers to learning cannot be minimised to such an extent to make learning/training with The Learning Station viable, we will refer the apprentice/learner to a referral agency and/or signpost them to alternative provision.
For staff: Where a staff member declares a disability, reasonable steps will be taken to accommodate this by making reasonable adjustments. The company may consider redeployment and appropriate re-training to enable the staff member to remain in employment wherever possible.
For apprentice employers: We will, where appropriate and with the apprentice or learner’s permission, share information on any disability, learning difficulty, additional needs and/or barriers to learning and where appropriate require support/ provision from the apprentice employer to accommodate these in the apprentice’s learning, training and employment
Progress and achievement
We will measure and report annually on groups of apprentices and learners to identify any significant variations in their progress and that the achievement rate of apprentices and learners is in line and greater than the national average. The Learning Station will set challenging targets to ensure that the performance and destinations of different groups of apprentices and learners are carefully monitored, and appropriate action is taken to close any identified gaps.
The Learning Station will ensure that all equality and diversity aspects are fully assessed, and appropriate action is built into strategic plans and the impact of plans is monitored and follow-up action is taken to address areas for improvement.
We will ensure that staff, apprentices, and learners understand their roles and responsibilities in relation to equality and diversity.
Through the implementation of accompanying policies we will ensure that apprentices, learners, employers, and staff are protected from harassment, bullying and discrimination, including those based with employers and at other sites external to the provider and that incidents and complaints specifically about equality, diversity and bullying are proactively managed and acted upon, including, where appropriate, providing counselling and support.
The Learning Station will ensure that arrangements for apprentice, learner and employer feedback actively facilitate all apprentices, learners and employers, including those with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, to share their views on the provision.
Public Sector Equality Duty
The Public sector Equality Duty is set out in section 149 of the Act and came into force on 5th April 2011. The Equality Duty has three aims. It requires public bodies to have due regard to the need to:
eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct prohibited by the Act;
advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it, and
foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
The Learning Station have due regard to these duties in the carrying out of its functions. Having due regard means consciously thinking about the three aims of the general duty as part of the process of decision-making. For example, having due regard to the need to advance equality of opportunity involves considering the need to:
- remove or minimise disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics.
- meet the needs of people with protected characteristics; and
- encourage people with protected characteristics to participate in public life or in other activities where their participation is low.
- Fostering good relations involves tackling prejudice and promoting understanding between people who share a protected characteristic and others.
The Public Sector specific duty requires all public bodies to publish information to demonstrate the extent to which it furthered the aims of the general equality duty:
- Publish equality objectives every four years.
- Publish information annually to demonstrate their compliance with the general Equality Duty, such as equality and diversity impact data for both apprentices, learners, and staff.
The Learning Station will uphold its public sector duty as outlined above and actively seek to ensure that apprentices, learners, and staff experience equality of opportunity and are free from harassment, discrimination, or victimisation of any kind, regarding the protected characteristics. We will challenge all forms of inequality, discrimination, and harassment, and actively promote opportunities for groups with protected characteristics and foster good relations between them. This work is regarded as the responsibility of all staff. Any action which contravenes this policy renders individuals employed by the Learning Station, apprentices, or learners liable for disciplinary action. Evidence of discrimination or harassment may be considered as gross misconduct. Clients, employers, or contractors who contravene the policy can also expect appropriate action.
Reporting Discriminatory Behaviour
Any staff member may use the grievance procedure to complain about discriminatory conduct. Similarly, apprentices, learners or employers should use the complaint procedure, to make a complaint. We will take such complaints very seriously, and will thoroughly investigate all complaints objectively, according to the grievance/complaint procedure.
No individual will be penalised or victimised for raising a genuine grievance, however individuals raising serious complaints that are found to be both untrue and made in bad faith, may be subject to disciplinary action.
Any staff member, apprentice or learner who harasses any other staff member, apprentice, or learner, on the grounds of sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, carers status, race, colour, religion, sex or sexual orientation will be subject to Tungsten’s disciplinary procedure.
In serious cases, such behaviour will be deemed to constitute gross misconduct and, as such, will result in summary dismissal, in the absence of mitigating circumstances. Additionally, we take the welfare of our staff very seriously and will not tolerate unlawful discrimination from members of the public.
All staff and applicants including learners and apprentices will be asked to voluntarily provide information about their sex, ethnic origin, and any disabilities. The Learning Station guarantees that this information will only be used for the purpose of monitoring the effectiveness of its equality and diversity policy.
The compositions of the workforce and job applicants will be monitored on a regular basis. Should inequalities become apparent, positive action will be taken to redress the imbalance, including such measures as advertising jobs in ethnic or male/female interest publications, as appropriate.
This equality and diversity policy applies to the advertisement of jobs, recruitment, conditions of work, pay and to every other aspect of employment and appointing of staff. It also applies to the training and recruitment of apprentices and learners. The policy also applies equally to the treatment of our employers, customers including apprentices, learners and the parents and children we come into contact with.
Implementing anti-discriminatory practice
The Learning Station will implement this policy by:
- Making and publicising our clear statement on equality and diversity.
- Ensuring that it is a condition of employment, or acceptance onto a training course, that all staff, apprentices, and learners understand, agree with and are willing to implement this policy.
- Monitoring our programmes, events, publicity, and services to ensure that they too lead to the elimination of discrimination.
- Adopting recruitment policies, which aim to ensure that no applicant, staff, apprentice, or Learner of The Learning Station is discriminated against, on any grounds.
- Adopting policies, which positively encourage participation in the activities at The Learning Station by those who are particularly subject to wider disadvantages within society.
- Creating an environment in which individual differences, and the contributions of all our staff, apprentices, and learners, are recognised and valued.
- Ensuring that every staff member, apprentice, and learner is entitled to a working environment that promotes dignity and respect to all. No form of intimidation, bullying or harassment will be tolerated.
- Offering training and development opportunities to all staff, apprentices, and learners.
- Ensuring that staff, apprentices, and learners are aware of current legislation and guidance and develop a greater understanding of significant issues relating to gender, ethnicity, sexuality, class and disability.
Staff will be encouraged to develop a greater understanding of significant issues relating to gender, ethnicity, sexuality, class and disability and the impact that discrimination can have on people’s lives. They will be made aware of current legislation and guidance and take part in training as appropriate.
The following list details some of the ways that the Learning Station will support diversity throughout the business. This is not; however, an exhaustive list and we will continue to seek and adopt new methods for supporting the individual needs of apprentices, learners and staff.
- Recognise that all staff, apprentices, and learners are individuals and will therefore respond to them, and their social identity, in an individual manner.
- Ensuring that employment opportunities are available as full or part time roles wherever possible and that we can be flexible about working hours to suit individual needs.
- Ensuring that roles can be performed at home, if necessary, in most cases, to support individual needs.
- Offering both paper portfolios and e-learning to our apprentices and learners, to ensure that we can support all apprentices and learners, including those who are disadvantaged, and those who are based in remote locations. We will support apprentices and learners to gain access to IT equipment to support them in their training.
- Conducting thorough initial assessments to ascertain details of any learning difficulties, cultural requirements, or other pertinent information, which will allow teaching, learning and assessment staff to support individual apprentice or learner needs, and use assessment methods that are most appropriate to the apprentice or learner.
- Using plain English for all marketing and communication and will ensure that all literature is available is larger fonts, and different print colour combinations if desired.
- We will utilise a range of methods to communicate with staff, apprentices, and learners, including letters, emails, SMS, Live-Chat facilities, face-to-face meetings and graphical presentations, to ensure that messages are conveyed accurately, and in a way that the recipient is comfortable with.
- Undertaking training to increase our knowledge and understanding of aspects of social identity that may be different from our own, and how to support people with different social identities.
- Resources, materials, and literature are presented in a way that is sensitive to equality and diversity, and that consideration is taken to represent the diverse range of individuals who access the provision.