Estates & Campus Services Equality Plan Background The purpose of this plan is to create an environment where all issues of equality are considered and to help us identify areas in current and proposed practices, policies, programmes and modules where we can enhance our approach to inclusiveness. The driving force for this plan has been the Race Relations Amendment Act 2000, Disability Discrimination Act 2005 and the Equality Act 2006. The requirements of the RRAA are: eliminate unlawful racial discrimination promote equality of opportunity; and promote good race relations between people of different racial groups. assess the impact of the University’s policies, practices and procedures on students and staff of different racial groups; monitor student admission and progress, and staff recruitment and career progress by racial group The requirements of the DDA are: To have due regard to eliminate unlawful discrimination against, and harassment of, disabled persons; To promote equality of opportunity between disabled persons and other persons; and To tackle institutional discrimination through a duty to promote disability equality for the public sector. The requirements of the Equality Act are: to promote gender equality and eliminate sex discrimination Although we are required by the DDA to create different plans for managing the above, ??? has taken a more inclusive and proactive approach and decided to include all aspects of equality including disability, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation and age.1 This plan has been developed using sections A to D of the toolkit recommended by the Scottish Funding Council in its paper ‘Disability self-evaluation tool: Improving equality for disabled people in Scotland’s colleges and universities’ (16 December 2005). Sections E and F of the toolkit consider the physical estate and feedback to the Funding Council. Although there are mentioned in this plan due to the Service’s responsibility in the area of the physical estate they are to be dealt with elsewhere in the University. 1 The terms ‘minority’ and ‘equal opportunity’ are used in this document to cover issues relating to gender, age, race, religious and disability groups. Estates & Campus Services Plan A. Management and Strategic Planning At school level the main issues of concern are: A1. Within the service who is responsible for Service Management Team: overseeing the development and HoECS implementation of the Equality Scheme and Estates Manager Action Plan? Senior Accommodation Officers Security Manager A2. Which committees need to consider The Service does not operate an internal equality issues? committee structure other than the H&S Committee, however, equality issues are a standing item on Service Management Team weekly meetings A3. What mechanisms are in place to ensure Consideration of equality issues is embedded that equality-related issues are built into the within the recommended HR processes for management and strategic planning of recruitment and retention of staff. The Estates and Campus Services Service is proactive in the implementation of such policies. All projects and developments within the Estate for both academic and residential accommodation consider equality issues, particularly designing for users with disability. Staff training and development plans consider the nature of the services we offer and to whom these services are delivered. We seek to ensure that staff are fully trained to ensure the services are delivered in a manner which supports all members of the University and the wider community . A4. What arrangements are there for day-to- Issues can be raised on an ad-hoc basis at day management of equality-related issues any time and will be addressed in an for staff, students and the public? appropriate manner. A standing item on the management team agenda. A5. Who within the service has an oversight Most issues are escalated in the first instance for equality issues and where do these end to the Senior Accommodation Officers, and the oversight of the centrally funded Security Manager and HoECS. Decisions are specialists, e.g. Disability Advisor and made on a case by case basis as to the International Student Advisor, begin? appropriate time to refer to specialist support. Clear and open lines of communications with specialist advisors. A6. What mechanisms do we have in place to Staff training in particular, relevant issues raise awareness of all areas of equal e.g. mental health awareness. opportunity legislation and best practice? Support from managers and relevant specialist e.g. Occ. Health Advisor, Disability Advisor, Head of Student Services, Student Counsellors, external advisors as appropriate. A7. What mechanisms do we have in place to Annual feedback from students in ensure there is a voice for different equal accommodation. opportunity groups within the school/service Informal meetings between Service and that this voice is listened to in the short managers and, for example, students with and longer-term planning process? disability held in each academic year with follow up as required. Accessibility audit updated and reviewed periodically. A8. What mechanisms are in place to enable University has corporate complaints and feedback and ensure grievances are handled harassment policies which are observed. appropriately? B. Equality for Staff At service level the main issues of concern are: B1. What information do we currently gather Experiences gathered via career review and regarding the experiences of staff from other staff development meetings. different equal opportunity groupings? Complaints and suggestions are recorded and implementation is monitored. B2. To what extent is this information Information is used to adapt requirements of currently used for development or future posts to promote/encourage applicants for planning purposes? positions in the service which have traditionally been occupied by one gender. Estate development priorities consider the positive impact projects can make on equality What mechanisms are in place to ensure that issues (e.g. barrier free access). the views of equal opportunity groups are given appropriate consideration in decision- making and policy development? B3. What mechanisms are in place to assess Staff induction discussions with new starts differences between disabled and non- includes discussions on individual disabled staff? requirements and appropriate measures are then put in place. Existing staff who have or may become subject to an equality issue are able to access a comprehensive range of support and counselling within the University and within the service reasonable adjustments are made to support staff. B4. Which policy and practice areas are likely The impact assessment is intended to avoid to most impact on the experiences of any unintended or negative impact on minority group staff? minority group staff, however, the key area for the Service is the implementation of University policy on accessibility within University premises as the Service is charged with the responsibility of adapting and developing the estate in a manner which maximises access within the limitations of available resources and will ultimately achieve barrier free access to University services. B5. How do we promote a culture of By raising awareness of the equality issues inclusiveness and disclosure of disability? through staff training and general communication. By service managers providing leadership and role models in the approach to dealing with equality and diversity issues B6. Who has responsibility for these areas of The service management team is responsible policy and practice? for the implementation of corporate policies and also for the development of good practice generally within the Service. C. Equality for Students At service level the main issues of concern are: C1. What information do we currently gather The University gathers data on minority regarding the experiences of minority groups groups centrally. The students right to and how can this be improved? How can we privacy means that there is no requirement ensure that data collected on student issues to declare their disability to the University. can give evidence regarding disability? This can be a particularly sensitive issue where mental health is concerned. C2. How do we encourage a culture of By adopting a sensitive but proactive and inclusiveness and disclosure of disability? positive approach to dealing with issues. By providing where possible generic support and information and meeting the bespoke needs of individuals in a responsive and supportive manner. By confronting incidences of inappropriate behaviour or actions and providing clear guidance as to acceptable standards for future conduct/actions. C3. What mechanisms are in place to assess Annual student survey and informal any differences between the learning discussions with groups affected by minority experiences of minority groups? issues. C4. To what extent is inclusiveness MIS data and service evaluations are used to information used for development and future develop plans which address identified planning. issues. C5. What mechanisms are in place to insure Information provided on the Intranet and that students are given appropriate within student information packs provides induction? information on student facilities and further support and information is provided on an individual case by case basis. C6. What mechanisms are in place to ensure see B4 that equal opportunity matters are considered in all areas of decision making and policy development? C7. Which policy and practice areas are most See B4 likely to impact most on the experiences of minority group students? C8. How will we ensure that future decisions Where possible through consultation with at all levels include involvement of minority current and prospective students and also groups to gauge how these decisions may through engagement with other institutions impact on them? and through the implementation of good practice guidance from appropriate sources. C9. Who is responsible for these areas of The Service management team policy and practice? C10. Who is responsible for day-to-day See C9 management of equality-related issues for students? C11. What progress has been made in the Various developments in the physical estate last 3-5 years to ensure the needs of disabled has improved access for disabled students. students have been considered in policies All new developments include provision of and practices? accessibility feature at least to the requirements of current legislation and frequently to an enhanced level. C12. Who has key responsibility in Estates Service Management team and Campus Services for ensuring that the requirements of minority student groups are met? C13. What plans do we have for engaging See C8 students in the process of drawing up the Estates and Campus Services Equality Scheme and action plan? D. Equality for members of the public Groups of members of the public who interact with DBS include prospective students, parents, visiting academics, company representatives and guests of staff or the school. There may be others who may use our services but it will be difficult to identify their needs prior to contact. At service level the main issues of concern are: D1. What information do we currently gather We do not formally gather information about regarding the experiences of member of the members of the public, however, any public? complaints or informal feedback (both positive and negative) is considered and acted upon where appropriate D2. How can information collection be Further consideration to determines improved? appropriate mechanisms for feedback is required. D3. Which policies and practices are most Work within the physical estate is likely to likely to impact on the experiences of have the greatest impact in the public and minority groups of the public? measures to address minority issues are incorporated as a matter of policy within all new projects D4. How will we ensure the future decisions Accessibility design statement incorporated at all levels include consideration of the within the project brief for all projects. impact of the decision for minority groups? Applicable standards such as Building Standards and British Standards are the minimum level in all projects where possible enhancements above minimum standards are achieved D5. Who will be responsible for this area of Service Management Team policy and practice? D6. What progress has been made in the Various developments in the physical estate last 3-5 years to ensure the needs of disabled has improved access for disabled users. All members of the public have been considered new developments include provision of in policies and practices? accessibility feature at least to the requirements of current legislation and frequently to an enhanced level.