Equality and Diversity Policy 2023/24

Aim of the policy

The aim of the policy is to promote and integrate equality and diversity into all areas of the Academy’s ethos, policy and practice and to recognise and work to remove institutional barriers that prevent equal access for learners, staff and other key stakeholders. This policy has been designed to meet the requirements of the Equality Act 2010.

1. Introduction

The rich diversity of our learners, staff and alumni is core and vital to the Academy’s distinctive and national reputation. We are proud of our diverse learner communities and we are committed to ensuring the Academy is an inclusive and supportive environment for everyone. We believe that equality and diversity is integral to our inclusive curriculum, our creative innovation, our national reputation and the richness of our Academy life. We are committed to addressing inequality and celebrating diversity in order to sustain an accessible and inclusive environment for all learners, staff, alumni, governors, visitors, community and commercial partners with whom we engage.

Our diversity informs our practice-led teaching and learning traditions, our innovation and our employment practices, producing inspired practitioners who are a dynamic, influential and leading force in the creative, jewellery manufacture, retail, administration and technology industries. Our commitment to staff is underpinned by the following values:

1.1. Proactively work together to understand how equality and diversity is both meaningful and relevant to the Academy on an individual, collective and institutional level.

1.2. Prohibiting unlawful discrimination, harassment or victimisation on grounds of age, caring responsibilities, disability, gender, nationality, race, religious belief (or no belief), sexual orientation socio-economic class or transgender and whether such an identity is actual or perceived or whether this is by association with persons from any of these equality strands.

1.3. Comply with the requirements of equality legislation and fulfill our statutory and regulatory duties. In specific circumstances where differential treatment may be required we will use lawful exception or exemption; apply genuine occupational requirements or positive intervention to address historical and persistent disadvantage or under-representation; apply an academic admission requirement, or provide objective justification that constitutes a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.

1.4. Set and monitor targets to increase the presence of those traditionally under- represented, and in accordance with the provision made by equality legislation, develop interventions to address the imbalance.

1.5. Strive to employ a diverse workforce which reflects the local community and the learner population.

1.6. Make clear our expectations and commitments to equality and diversity during the recruitment and selection process and again during induction.

1.7. Encourage recruitment from groups currently under-represented in the company and promote equality of opportunity and diversity within both the workforce and client.

1.8. Assess Academy policies, strategies and functions for adverse impact upon staff and learners, with respect to all the equality strands.

1.9. Actively consult on, communicate and promote our Equality and Diversity Policy, ensuring accessibility for all learners, staff, employers, service users and partners and make reasonable adjustments for staff who become disabled

1.10. Use benchmarking to measure our performance and learn from best practice in the FE and HE sectors, equality and diversity field and from institutions and practitioners in the creative, jewellery manufacture, retail, administration and technology industries.

1.11. Provide ongoing continuous professional development in equality and diversity, to equip staff to recognise and embed diversity and to challenge any form of discrimination.

2. Commitment to learners

The British Academy of Jewellery provides a learning experience, which is positive, fair and inclusive. The experience begins with the learners’ initial contact with the Academy, and continues beyond the end of their programme of study. We aim to:

2.1. Encourage applications from a diverse range of potential learners on all diploma and apprenticeship programmes, and where appropriate, undertake initiatives to attract applications from under-represented groups. We will ensure the publicity, information and guidance we produce displays diverse images, is available in accessible formats and meets the needs of potential learners from diverse backgrounds.

2.2. Admit learners solely on meeting the entry criteria and their potential to benefit from the opportunity to study. Disabled applicants and those with learning difficulties are encouraged to discuss their particular requirements in order to identify and accommodate reasonable adjustments enabling them to participate fully as a learner at the Academy.

2.3. Induct learners and share the values, policies and procedures of the Academy. Ensure the learners know our expectations of equality and diversity and inform learners of the facilities and resources available to them.

2.4. Offer support services that provide ongoing information, advice and guidance to learners, employers and other stakeholders; and strive to provide an inclusive teaching and learning environment that is personalised to the individual and which takes account of individual need and cultural backgrounds.

2.5. Work towards embedding equality and diversity by regularly reviewing the design and content of the curriculum, timetabling, the teaching methods and materials used to embed equality and diversity.

2.6. Offer assessment methods that meet both the awarding body guidelines and the needs of the learners.

2.7. Ensuring that where work placements, traineeships and apprenticeships are offered, the arrangements are proportionate, transparent and provide learners with comparable opportunities and experiences as far as possible. Employers will be informed of their responsibilities through our Equality and Diversity Framework and we will incorporate measures to monitor progress to ensure that the learning opportunities provided are appropriate. Employment obstacles faced by all learners will receive particular attention.

2.8. Provide impartial advice, guidance and tutoring to support progression to further education, apprenticeships, employment, undergraduate and postgraduate study.

3. Roles and responsibilities

3.1. The CEO will:

  • Ensure that the college strategic plan has a commitment to equality and diversity.
  • Receive and respond to staff and to learner feedback.
  • Agree and monitor progress towards these.

3.2. The senior management team will:

  • Take an active lead in implementing this policy.
  • Use equality and diversity data in self-assessment reports to narrow achievement gaps.
  • Agree and monitor equality targets.

3.3. All staff will:

  • Attend regular training opportunities as and when required to develop their knowledge and understanding of equality and diversity; and how this implicates their job role and responsibilities and the expectations the academy has of its staff to implement our Equality and Diversity Policy.
  • Newly employed staff will complete the Equality & Diversity training upon induction.

Disability statement (Summary)

The British Academy of Jewellery is open to all who can benefit from, and qualify for, the courses offered. This includes anyone with learning difficulties or physical disabilities or both.

Students with learning difficulties or physical disabilities are encouraged to take up the opportunities that all students enjoy and to become fully integrated in Academy life.

Teaching staff are responsible for meeting any difficulties in learning of which they are aware.

The Learning Support staff encourage and support teachers and students in overcoming problems.

Specialist help, if needed, is available through services such as the City of London Sensory Impairment Service.

We can provide portable computers for use in the Academy. We make appropriate help and support available during the examination period.


Appendix A
Types of discrimination

Direct Discrimination

This occurs when someone is treated less favourably than another person because of a protected characteristic.

Associative Discrimination

This is direct discrimination against someone because they associate with another person who possesses a protected characteristic (for example, a mother of a disabled child).

Perceptive Discrimination

This is direct discrimination against an individual because others think they possess a particular protected characteristic. It applies even if the person does not actually possess that characteristic.

Indirect Discrimination

Indirect discrimination can occur when an employer has a condition, rule, policy or a practice in the company that applies to everyone but which particularly disadvantages people who share a protected characteristic. Indirect discrimination can be justified if employers can show they acted reasonably in managing their business.

Harassment

Harassment is “unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual”. Employees will now be able to complain of behaviour that they find offensive even if it is not directed at them, and the complainant need not possess the relevant characteristic themselves. Employees are also protected from harassment because of perception and association.

Third Party Harassment

The Equality Act makes employers potentially liable for harassment of their employees by people (third parties) who are not employees of the company, such as customers or clients.

Employers

Will only be liable when harassment has occurred on at least two previous occasions and they were aware that it has taken place but did not take reasonable steps to prevent it from happening again.

Victimisation

Victimisation occurs when an employee is treated badly because they have made or supported a complaint or raised a grievance under the Equality Act; or because they are suspected of doing so. An employee is not protected from victimisation if they have maliciously made or supported an untrue complaint. There is no longer a need to compare treatment of a complainant with that of a person who has not made or supported a complaint under the Act.

Failure to make reasonable adjustments

The duty to make reasonable adjustments comprises three requirements for service providers and those exercising public functions. These requirements are:

  • Where a provision, criterion or practice puts disabled people at a substantial disadvantage compared with those who are not disabled, to take reasonable steps to avoid that disadvantage.

Originator: Quality Manager: Higher Education

Issue: HE/AFS_V8 2023

Approved: SMT September 2023

Review Date:August 2024

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