Equality diversity-plan-2011-2014

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Equality diversity-plan-2011-2014

  1. 1. MERTON COUNCIL Equality & Diversity Strategy 2011 – 2014 Produced by Approved by Date Approved Review Date Jeanette Martin Senior Management Team 1
  2. 2. About MAE At Merton Adult Education we are committed to our mission ‘to provide high quality learning to the diverse needs of our learners’ We actively welcome and celebrate equality and diversity and value the benefits that it brings to us, and the wider community. Our strong belief in motivating and empowering individuals to continue learning throughout their lives is supported by delivery of a range of provision that meets the diverse needs of our community. Our vision of ‘Enriching your life through learning’ is bought to life through these strategies. We have been providing high quality courses and qualifications for over 50 years and currently have over 5000 learners on over 300 courses. To meet the needs of our diverse and widespread community, we offer courses in multiple locations across the borough. The community we provide for is wide-ranging and varied. It spans from the more deprived areas in the East of the borough to the more affluent areas in the West. Bridging the gap between the East and the West is a key focus for us, and we actively promote community cohesion and inclusion. Our ethos of equipping our learners with the skills, qualifications and confidence to compete in the employment market and improve their economic standing, is demonstrated through the continuous outreach and partnership work carried out. The borough we serve is densely populated and has a high level of diversity. Currently our learners and staff show a very similar picture of groups of ethnicity, which supports our dedication to creating an inclusive workforce reflective of our learners and the community. We are customer focused and pride ourselves on maintaining an environment that provides an efficient and effective place to learn that is responsive to the needs and requirements of our diverse learners. Leadership and staff commitment at all levels of MAE is key to our success. In everything we do, we consider how we can ensure we seek opportunities to promote equality and diversity. Yvonne Tomlin Head of Service 2
  3. 3. Where are we now Excellent partnership work with schools, children’s centres, libraries, and various groups including Merton Voluntary Sector Council (NVSC) The South West London Refugee group, the Chinese Elders group and the Acacia Intergenerational Centre has led to stronger relationships and increased participation. 33% of our overall student base were from ethnic minority groups (09/10), a significant increase from 04/05 when there was only 17%. An embedded approach to widening participation and inclusion over the past few years has resulted in an upward shift in the ethnic student population and increase in participation from learners living in disadvantaged wards. We had a total of 1221 students (28%) from disadvantaged wards in 09/10 on a wide range of courses. Women are well represented at MAE with 79% of all learners in 09/10 being female, and MAE attracts students of all ages. In 09/10 the number of learners aged 55 and over increased by 7%. Our dedicated workforce is key to the high quality service we deliver and the excellent curriculum provision we offer to our community. We have employees from a range of backgrounds and ages, which gives us a vast spectrum of knowledge, skills and experience. We regularly analyse our workforce data and strive to create an inclusive workforce that is reflective of our community and our learners. Where there are gaps in information we are working to create an environment where staff and learners are happy to disclose information. Where there are differences in representation of certain groups of learners or staff, we re-focus our marketing or strategies to attract a wider range of people. We work closely with the Council’s Human Resources team in order to ensure a fair and consistent recruitment, pay and employment process. Current staff & student data* Criteria Students Workforce Male Female 23% 77% 23% 77% Disability/Learning Difficulty Not Disabled / Learning Difficulty Not Recorded 6% 3% 82% 82% 12% 15% <24 years 24-29 years 30-39 years 40-54 years 55-59 years 60+ years 20% 10% 25% 27% 5% 12% 1% 2% 10% 48% 16% 22% Asian/Asian Brit Black/Black Brit Chinese Mixed Ethnic Group White British White Other Any Other Not known/Provided 18% 9% 1% 4% 46% 17% 3% 1% 5% 5% 1% 2% 55% 16% 1% 14% *Workforce information sourced from Council figures Jan-Mar 2011. Student figures sourced from internal data 2010/2011. 3
  4. 4. Performance of ethnic groups on qualification courses improved in all but 2 of the groups (88%) for achievement and all but 3 of the groups (82%) for success. The lowest performing ethnic group of learners in 08/09 improved their achievement by 13% in 09/10. We have also seen an improvement in achievement for those learners that declared a disability or learning difficulty in 09/10. Additional Learner Support was provided to 79 learners from a range of departments, in 09/10 to support their learning and achievement. We assisted learners with learning difficulties, dyslexia, dyspraxia, hearing impairments and physical difficulty. 73% of learners supported went on to achieve. Our annual Celebration of Achievement evening is a tremendous event, where we recognise and applaud the achievement of adult learners. Students are nominated by their peers and tutors for awards, which include overcoming barriers to learning, older learner award and outstanding achievement. Last years ‘Adult Learner of the Year’, is an outstanding example of a student gaining confidence, re-building her selfesteem and enjoying being back in the classroom. Communication and celebration of various events have taken place to raise awareness in areas such as Black History Month, LGBT History Month, Remembrance Day, Holocaust Memorial Day, World Aids Day and Refugee Week. Results of our 2009/10 Student Evaluations confirmed that 96% of learners agreed that their learning programme including course, studies and learning experience met their individual needs. 98% of students were satisfied with the whole learning experience at MAE and 99% were satisfied with the quality of teaching / training on their course. At the present time, we do not have the information to distinguish if certain groups of learners are more satisfied than others, and this is something we are looking at for the 2011/12 evaluations. Our engagement with many groups across our borough has given us the opportunity to gather the views, experiences and ideas of those who can help us shape the service and provision we offer. Successful engagement has led to increased understanding of learner needs and subsequently providing relevant skills training. Following engagement with Sutton & Merton PCT provision to develop knowledge and skills about health and well-being is being run. This has encouraged activities that will improve health in the community. Engagement with groups focusing on learning, physical or sensory impairments has been vital to supporting learners with disabilities. Through engagement with Social Services we provide a course on Making Friends and Relationships. This supports vulnerable adults with learning disabilities cope with difficult social situations. Engagement with representative groups has helped us gain views in areas that are potentially more sensitive and we do not have quantitative information. GIRES, Stonewall and the Councils LGBT group, to name a few, have given us valuable equality information. We are currently seeking to establish ways to evidence, report and monitor those protected characteristics not recorded or reported on at present. 4
  5. 5. Our Commitment to Equality & Diversity We actively embed equality, diversity and inclusion into our daily life at MAE and we oppose discrimination in any form. We have a culture that understands and respects differences and that takes positive action to tackle unlawful and unfair discrimination or victimisation against any of the protected characteristics:Age Race Disability Gender Gender reassignment Sexual orientation Religion / belief Pregnancy / maternity Marriage / civil partnerships*(* Being married or in a civil partnership is not a protected characteristic for further education provision) Age We recognise that both young people and older people face discrimination because of their age. This can be due to stereotypes or perception, negative attitudes, assumptions and myths. We believe that learners and staff of any age have the right to equality of opportunity and make a significant and valuable contribution to our college. Race th MAE is situated within a borough that is the 18 most diverse borough in London (2010 statistics). Our strength is that we embrace the diversity of our community and have grown our learner participation significantly over the last three years. We will continue to celebrate and grow our multicultural environment and combat any race discrimination. Disability At MAE we promote the independence, well-being and choice of disabled people. We actively seek ways to ensure that learners and staff with a disability or learning difficulty are treated fairly and equally in accessing our services, employment, and provision. Research shows that disabled people are more likely to experience disadvantage and exclusion from day to day activities because of their impairment. MAE is committed to ensuring an inclusive environment regardless of ability. Gender MAE is a college where all learners and staff have the opportunity to be a part of our environment without the fear of discrimination. We positively encourage participation without negative or stereotypical attitudes, and we will tackle sex discrimination and sexism and promote the equality of men and women. Gender Reassignment MAE is committed to providing an inclusive and supportive environment. We will ensure transgender learners and staff are treated with respect and dignity in accordance with the gender in which they present. Sexual Orientation Our Borough is vastly diverse and LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans) people are represented across community. At MAE we provide accessible and non-discriminatory provision and services that are inclusive of the needs of LGBT people. We will tackle homophobic and negative attitudes and ensure our learners and staff can fully participate without fear of discrimination. Religion / Belief We recognise that faith plays an active part in the lives of individual and communities. We are committed to eliminating harassment, discrimination and exclusion on the basis of religion or belief. We will promote understanding, mutual respect and acceptance of diversity between people of faith and no faith. 5
  6. 6. At MAE we look to provide accessible learning to meet the needs of our learners and regularly review and upgrade our facilities. Our learning venues are equipped with tables, desks and chairs of variable heights, portable hearing loops, large keyboards and mice, voice recognition software, and a range of other accessibility equipment. MAE Wimbledon (Marlborough Hall) will be undergoing major works in Summer 2011 to make it fully accessible. In the mean time, we encourage learners to contact us if a course they wish to attend is scheduled at a venue that does not meet their needs. We set and monitor targets to improve engagement and performance of different groups of learners. Action is taken to reduce any significant variations in outcomes between different groups of learners and additional support provided where needed. We fully recognise our responsibilities for safeguarding vulnerable adults and children. We are committed to creating a safe environment for all our staff and learners. There is regular staff training on safeguarding procedures, and processes are in place to ensure safer recruitment with a view to protecting all vulnerable adults. All staff are required to promote the principles of equality and diversity across the college and treat everyone with dignity and respect. Training is provided for staff at all levels to ensure understanding or their roles and responsibilities. MAE is committed to ensuring that those contractors that we procure goods and services from share and implement our equality vision and values. As part of our contract procedure, we will expect contractors and suppliers to demonstrate that all practicable steps are being taken to eliminate discrimination, promote equal access and equal treatment in employment and service delivery. We actively take due regard to: - Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under the Act. - Advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who don’t. - Foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who don’t. As a learning provider and employer, we are committed to: - Promoting equal opportunities, social inclusion and human rights Promoting a positive attitude towards people of different backgrounds, disabled people and others Encouraging participation by people of all backgrounds Ensuring MAE is a safe place to learn and work Listening and responding to the views of our learners, staff and community Ensuring the information we produce and the events we hold positively reflect and promote the diversity of our community Making it easy for, and encouraging people to use our services, including people who are vulnerable, disadvantaged or harder to reach Making sure we always consider equality and diversity when planning and delivering provision and services Ensuring enrolment and recruitment processes are non-discriminatory and encouraging applications from all groups in the community Monitoring diversity amongst staff and learners 6
  7. 7. Objectives Our objectives are driven by consultation in equality group meetings, and through engagement with our varied and multi cultural partnerships. This strategy will be a living document and all activities in these objectives and our subsequent action plan will be monitored, reviewed and reported on at least once a year. 1 of 3 Enhance equality in our activities and policies. Our decisions and curriculum will meet the needs of our diverse community. We will actively promote equality & diversity among staff, learners, partnerships and others that we come into business contact with. SMT and the Equality Group will ensure our objectives are mainstreamed, reviewed and measured regularly alongside our policies and processes. Our curriculum positively focuses on our learners needs and enables them to develop personal & social skills, to enhance or improve their career opportunities and to provide them with the skills to be more confident in what they do. Our advice and guidance, and careers advice is of a high quality and enables learners to pursue an activity that matches their needs and ability. Strong partnerships exist between the college and a wide range of groups that provide a valuable insight into the needs of their learners, clients, staff and customers. Our ‘Wider Participation’ and ‘Bridging the Gap’ plans will be enhanced to improve participation in those areas that are under-represented and would benefit greatly from acquiring skills that we can give them through our provision. Where there is evidence that suggests underperformance or under-representation of specific groups of learners, we will look for solutions to address the imbalance. Collection of information from learners and staff in respect of all the protected characteristics will be investigated and data sources adapted where needed. We recognise that requesting personal or sensitive data may cause learners / staff to feel uncomfortable and raise concerns over confidentiality. We will consult with learners, staff and partnerships to identify the best way to gather this information. We will also be mindful that low responses on those protected characteristics not currently being obtained will provide us with an inaccurate picture and therefore not give a useful measure for celebration or capacity to improve. 7
  8. 8. 2 of 3 Internal & external communication promotes good relations amongst staff, learners and local communities. We actively encourage feedback from learners through both our own student evaluations and the Framework for Excellence Learner Views Survey. We aim to create an environment where learners feel confident that their views are listened to, acted upon and that they contribute to the improvement of our provision and/or service. Results will continue to be reviewed and actions taken to improve our service. Our findings, actions and “you said we did…” comments are communicated via bulletins across college. Promotion and celebration of equality and diversity subjects take place throughout the year. Engagement with partnerships will improve understanding of subject areas and foster good relations that help to widen participation and inclusion. Open days and community events take place across the borough, which brings together people from a range of backgrounds in a fun and multi cultural way. Both existing and potential learners can take part in taster sessions that give them an insight into the excellent provision we have to offer. Marketing and literature produced by us fully responds to the needs and abilities of our community and we ensure that regardless of ability our learners are able to access information they require in respect of the facilities and services we offer. Our codes of conduct and induction process provides clear understanding of our dedication to providing a place to learn and work that is safe, and committed to equality and diversity. 3 of 3 Support workforce self-improvement and promote good practice. Standards and expectations are in line with Ofsted Common Inspection Framework key question C4 ‘How effectively does the provider actively promote equality & diversity, tackle discrimination and narrow the achievement gap’. We will explore outstanding practice guides and reports and look to implement any new activities that will enhance the level of service we provide. Stretch goals will be set for equality and they will be monitored and reviewed to track progress. Where not being met, action planning and renewed activity will take place to address shortfalls. We will monitor our workforce profile and we will work closely with Human Resources to ensure a recruitment process that is fair, consistent and provides equal opportunity. Training is provided for all staff to enable them to ensure equality and diversity is integrated across college. All staff will be aware of their responsibility in respect of equality and diversity and understand that discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated. Procurement and contracting will take account of equality and diversity and we are committed to ensuring those we do business with share our expectations and standards. 8
  9. 9. Action Plan Our action plan is formed from a self-assessment, against set criteria and standards from an equality framework that facilitates the journey towards excellence. Objectives: Enhance equality in our activities and policies Internal & external communication promotes good relations amongst staff, learners and local communities. Support workforce self-improvement and promote good practice. ACTION Produce and publicise equality plan including objectives. Embed equality & diversity into all aspects of our work, supported through leadership. - Monitor and review action plan in SMT and CDG meetings - Monitor policies, processes and curriculum at SMT and CDG meetings and ensure their impact on equality and diversity before implementation. - Review advice and guidance success and share best practice between departments. - Measure impact of actions and activities we are carrying out. - Explore opportunities for carrying out equality and diversity self-assessment within all departments that includes methods of teaching, resources and inclusion. - Regularly review our facilities to ensure accessibility to all our venues, or take action to accommodate learners where needed. LEAD * WHEN College Development Officer (CDO) July 2011 SMT, CDO. 2011-2014 SMT,CDO. 2011-2014 HoDs. 2011 CDO, Equality Grp. 2012 Equality Grp, SMT. 2011 Support Services Mgr. 2011-2014 9 PROGRESS UPDATE
  10. 10. ACTION Engage with Partnerships within the community to meet the needs of our learners. - Enhance ‘wider participation’ and ‘bridging the gap’ plans to keep abreast of our changing community and their requirements. - Gather feedback from partnerships and action / implement changes where needed. - Improve evidence gathering on partnership work and community cohesion and document in SAR appendices. - Gather evidence on balancing diverse and sometimes conflicting interests. - Enhance communication of how different groups of learners are able to access learning. - Enhance work already being done in line with NLDC guidance. - Support a wide range of local community events that bring people from different backgrounds together. Eg Mitcham carnival. Monitor data to improve inclusion or performance of specific groups of learners. - Review data on achievement and provide support to under-performing groups in order to bridge the gap. - Review data on protected characteristics that are collected and reported on and measure against targets set. Address any imbalance. - Discuss the gathering of information for those protected characteristics currently not recorded LEAD * WHEN SMT 2012 SMT, HoDs, PMgrs. 2011-2014 2011 HoDs, PMgrs. SMT, HoDs, PMgrs. 2011 2012 SMT, CDO. 2011 SMT. 2011-2014 All. MIS Mgr, CDO, SMT, Equality Grp. 2011 MIS Mgr, CDO, SMT, Equality Grp. 2011-2014 SMT, Equality Grp, MIS Mgr. 2011 10 PROGRESS UPDATE
  11. 11. ACTION - and identify the best way forward. Monitor support (ALS or other) provided for learners and measure impact through learner achievement. Review Census results data and how our community is reflected. Encourage learner and staff feedback, report on results and act on suggestions. - Actively communicate when surveys are due to be completed to ensure maximum participation. - Explore options for reaching a wider audience to provide more diverse and robust feedback. - Analyse and publish results, including information on actions in response to suggestions. - Explore opportunities for learner representative. Celebrate and inform on a range of subjects in respect of equality and diversity. - Display posters and informative information across college, and within briefings on subjects such as Black History Month, LGBT week etc. - Provide updates on the diversity of learners and staff for those protected characteristics currently recorded. Discuss community issues / relations in respect of harassment and hate crimes in safeguarding meetings. LEAD * WHEN Exams Officer, SMT, Equality Grp. 2011 Equality Grp 2012 Support Services Mgr, CDO, Marketing & Outreach Officer. 2011-2014 2012 2011-2014 “ 2011 Equality Grp. 2011-2014 CDO, Marketing & Outreach Officer. 2011-2014 Support Services Mgr & Safeguarding Grp. 2011-2014 11 PROGRESS UPDATE
  12. 12. ACTION Set stretch goals across departments and monitor results. - Discuss performance in equality meetings and action plan for renewed activity if not being met. Establish a diverse workforce that is fair, consistent and supports equal opportunities. - Monitor workforce profiles and publish results alongside learner profiles. LEAD * WHEN Equality Grp. 2011-2014 CDO, Marketing & Outreach Officer. 2011-2014 2011-2014 - Liase with HR on recruitment to ensure it meets with the council’s equality & diversity standards. Provide training to the workforce that enables them to understand current equality & diversity policy and their responsibilities within it. - Include a robust training plan as part of CPD - Provide updates to training as & when needed. - Monitor and communicate Ofsted good practice examples, implementing any changes that will enhance our service. - Explore ways to confirm that staff are aware of their responsibilities eg at induction and annually within appraisals. Ensure all procurement and commissioned services take account of the differing needs of service users. - All staff involved in procuring and commissioning services are familiar with and follow college guidance on the equality and diversity requirements and contract specifications. Head of Service (HoS), Recruitment Team. HoS PA, CDO. “ CDO, SMT. 2011 2012 2011-2014 SMT, CDO. 2012 Support Services Mgr. 2011 12 PROGRESS UPDATE

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