Waltham Forest College

Create Your Future - Open Evening Wednesday 17th May 2017

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Our Strategy

We recognise that the heart of equality and diversity is the desire to recognise and celebrate the unique value, importance and potential in each person in front of us and to see that diverse teams and groups of people make better decisions and produce richer experiences for us all. 

Equality and diversity add depth, breadth and creativity to learning and teaching and prepare students better for the world of work where diversity is normal, mutual respect is essential and team-working highly valued.  They also strengthen an understanding of British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of the beliefs and faiths of others and of those with no faith.

The College Strategic Plan identifies our core values as:

Fairness: Everyone has an equal opportunity to achieve regardless of their starting point
Openness: We are open, honest and fair in what we say and do and accountable for our actions
Respect: the abilities, beliefs and cultures of all members of our community are valued, respected and celebrated
Excellence: We strive for excellence in teaching, learning and support and all other aspects of our work
Success: People are encouraged to believe in themselves and fulfil their potential both educationally and professionally
Teamwork: We recognise and value the contribution of individuals and teams in achieving the College’s mission, vision and goals

It is clear, therefore, that Equality and Diversity are intrinsic to all the College does and the purpose of this strategy is to specifically support these values by:

  • Valuing each person for who they are
  • Providing an inclusive and multi-cultural environment that welcomes, respects and protects diverse people and promotes a sense of belonging and community
  • Celebrating the fact that our students, staff and external partners are from different social and ethnic backgrounds, gender, race, of all ages and sexuality, disabled and non-disabled and from local communities as well as further afield
  • Committing ourselves to identifying and removing any unfair obstacles or stereotyping
  • Providing access to the College to enable all students to get into and around the College and complete their learning with equal ease and dignity
  • Embedding equality, diversity and environmental equity into the skills and knowledge of our courses and into teaching and learning
  • Exploring the similarities between cultures and faiths and valuing the differences
  • Reinforcing an understanding of British values
  • Drawing on the lives of our students, their families and friends and the wider community in lessons
  • Actively looking to remove inequalities and the gap between those who have more than enough in life to get by and those who may not have enough in all contexts, not just financial, so providing equal life chances for all students
  • Actively raising the awareness and skills of staff and students to promote fairness, equality and British values
  • Embedding the evaluation of equality impact evidence into business planning and quality assurance processes
  • Ensuring that College policy, practices and procedures promote equality
  • Protecting from discrimination or harassment on the basis of eight characteristics: age, race, class, gender, gender identity, religion / belief, sexuality and disability and having a no toleration policy for any related harassment, bullying or mockery

Implementation

This strategy is implemented by a working group who are responsible for developing and monitoring progress against the action plan.  The working group is led by the Director of Learning Pathways, a member of the senior leadership team with the authority, influence and experience to develop and drive the t agenda across the college.  Membership of the working group includes representatives from across the college selected to provide a mix of expertise and backgrounds.

The working group is responsible for developing and overseeing the implementation of an action plan which identifies the main outcomes and actions, together with responsibilities and timescales for their completion.

The working group reports each term to the College Executive.

Measuring Impact

The impact is measured by evaluating progress against the action plan and through the College quality processes and procedures. 

Risk assessment

Without this strategy, the college would risk failing to meet its’ statutory duties and potential requirements from Ofsted.  Resulting implications of either of these would include the risk of withdrawal of some funding or the termination of some contracts and as well as a risk to College reputation.

Supporting legislation

The Equality Act 2010 (click to view)

People with disabilities

If you have a disability or specific learning difficulty and need support for a course, we can provide additional help. This may include support in class or in individual sessions, signers, communicators or support staff may be provided where necessary. Reasonable adjustments to provision will be made to ensure that people with disabilities are not disadvantaged.
A range of support services is available to meet specific needs and nearly all of the College is accessible for people with mobility disabilities.

For more information, please refer to our Disability Statement

Positive about Mental Health College Charter

As an employer we recognise that:

  • People who have mental health issues may have experienced discrimination in recruitment and selection procedures. This may discourage them from seeking employment.
  • Whilst some people will acknowledge their experience of mental health issues in a frank and open way, others fear that stigma will jeopardise their chances of getting a job.
  • Given appropriate support, the vast majority of people who have experienced mental ill health continue to work successfully as do many with ongoing issues.

As an employer we aim to:

  • Show a positive and enabling attitude to employees and job applicants with mental health issues. This will include positive statements in local recruitment literature.
  • Ensure that all staff involved in recruitment and selection are briefed on mental health issues and The Equality Act 2010, and given appropriate interview skills.
  • Make it clear in any recruitment or occupational health check that people who have experienced mental health issues will not be discriminated against and that disclosure of a mental health problem will enable both employee and employer to assess and provide the right level of support or adjustment.
  • Not make assumptions that a person with a mental health problem will be more vulnerable to workplace stress or take more time off than any other employee or job applicant.
  • Provide non-judgemental and proactive support to individual staff who experience mental health issues.
  • Ensure all line managers have information and training about managing mental health in the workplace.

Improvements continue to be made. If you would like more information, please contact the Inclusion Manager on 020 8501 8050.

Education Funding Agency  British Safety Council The Matrix Quality StandardPositive about Disabled PeopleInvestors in People Mindful-Employer Investor in Careers Stonewall Diversity Champion    eu-social-fund    Network of Black Professionals    skills funding agency

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