Equal Opportunities Policy
No: EQY-POL-001 Version: 02
Issue Date: 18.10.07 Review Date: 18.10.10
Author: Muriel Callaghan Approved by: Board of Governors
Version Details of Change Date
01 New document 10.10.02
02 Full review, rewrite, new template and logo 18.10.07
Key search words for this document
equal opportunities agreements regulations acts
This front page is for monitoring and dissemination purposes only.
It does not form part of this Policy document.
EQY-POL-001-Equal Opportunities Policy-02.doc
Equal Opportunities Policy
Approved by The Board of Governors on: 18.10.07
1.1 This policy has been developed to ensure that the College complies with all laws
and directives. The College is committed to fulfilling all agreements, regulations,
Acts and subsequent amendments which may have an impact as a provider of
education, training and services and also as an employer. Among these are the:
Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006
Disability Discrimination Act 1995
Speial Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001
Disability Discrimination Act 2005
Statutory Code of practice on the Duty to Promote Disability Equality 2006
Sex Discrimination Act 1975
Sex Discrimination (Gender Reassignment) Regulations 1999
Equality of Employment (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003
Gender Recognition Act 2004
Equality Act 2006
Work and Families Act 2006
Gender Equality Duty Statutory code of Practice 2006
Race Relations Act 1976
Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000
Statutory Code of Practice on the Duty to Promote Race Equality 2002
Equality in Employment (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003
Human Rights Act 1998
1.2 The policy provides a statement of our intention and value in promoting equal
opportunities and combating discrimination and harassment in meeting the needs
of individuals, learners and employees.
The policy also sets out responsibilities of the College, its employees and
EQY-POL-001-Equal Opportunities Policy-02.doc Page 1 of 5
1.3 The College has approved a separate Race Equality Policy to meet specific
obligations of the Race Relations (amendment) Act
2 Policy Statement
2.1 Gateshead College aims to provide an environment where diversity is valued and
the rights and dignity of individuals are respected.
2.2 We aim to ensure that no prospective or actual student or member of staff is
treated less favourably than any other on the grounds of:
• Marital status
• National origin
• Religion or belief
• Sexual orientation
• Trade Union membership
• Parental status
• Length or type of contract
The College will not tolerate any form of prejudice or discrimination against
employees, learners, or members of the public.
The term ‘discrimination’ is used in this document to mean less favourable
treatment of an individual on any of the grounds above.
3.1 The purpose of this policy is to establish clear guidelines regarding equality and to
set out the strategy, structures and monitoring arrangements for the College. The
guidelines are applicable to all staff and learners of Gateshead College. Partners
working on behalf of Gateshead College will be required to follow these guidelines.
3.2 With regard to staff, this policy applies to (but is not limited to) advertising of jobs
and recruitment and selection, to training and development, to opportunities for
promotion, to conditions of service, benefits, facilities and pay, to health and
safety, to conduct at work, to grievance and disciplinary procedures and to
termination of employment.
3.3 With regard to students, this policy applies to (but is not limited to) admissions, to
teaching and learning, to funding awards under the College’s control, to student
support, to facilities, to health and safety, to personal conduct and to student
complaints and disciplinary procedures.
4 The Strategy
4.1 In order to realise this commitment we will:
• Challenge inequality, prejudice and discrimination.
• Embrace diversity in all its aspects, including employing a workforce and
recruiting learners to reflect the community it serves.
EQY-POL-001-Equal Opportunities Policy-02.doc Page 2 of 5
• Treat all people with respect and dignity.
• Provide an environment free from harassment, discrimination and
• Where it is reasonable to do so, make adjustments to enable all students and
potential students to have equal access to College services ensuring that
none are treated less favourably.
• Ensure that no employee, job applicant or candidate for promotion is
disadvantaged or treated less favourably because of conditions or
requirements that are not related to the job.
• Ensure that equality issues are embedded in all its policies, procedures and
• Work with staff and in partnership with recognised trade unions to ensure that
staff are committed to the policy and it is fully effective.
• Inform all staff and learners about the Equal Opportunities Policy.
• Ensure that the learner’s experience in College makes them more aware of
• Promote commitment to equality through positive statements and images in
• Ensure that partners working on our behalf understand their responsibilities.
• Develop, publish and implement a Single Equality Scheme which sets out how
we will fulfil our statutory duties regarding promoting equality and tackling
discrimination in relation to race, disability, gender, age, sexual orientation and
religion or belief
a. The College expects all staff to be committed to the policy and be proactive in
adhering to the strategy.
b. The Corporation designates the Principal as having overall responsibility for
equality issues. The designated person will ensure regular reports are made
to the Corporation.
c. There will be a College Equality Forum chaired jointly by the Assistant
Principals for HR and Customer & Learner Services. The membership of the
Forum will include staff, learners and recognised trade union representatives.
Representation from the Board of Governors and community groups will be
d. The remit of Equality Forum will be to promote policies and practices that
ensure an environment in which equality flourishes. To this end, it will advise
on policies related to the curriculum, learner intake, the facilities and learner
services, which seek to ensure the removal of prejudice and discrimination.
However, it is the responsibility of all staff and students to uphold the College
policy on equality.
e. Employment policies and procedures will continue to be dealt with through
existing consultation/negotiation arrangements, as appropriate.
f. The Forum will periodically commission equality audits of employment
practices, to include, for example: recruitment, selection, training and
promotion practices, pay, grading, termination procedures. The monitoring of
staff will be undertaken in co-operation with the recognised trade unions as
will the drawing up of a programme of equality training for staff.
g. In addition, the Forum will commission equality audits of curriculum delivery
and learner services.
EQY-POL-001-Equal Opportunities Policy-02.doc Page 3 of 5
h. The Equality Forum will oversee and analyse the statistics produced in order
to monitor equality performance and to propose positive action where
6.1 The College undertakes to conduct comprehensive and effective monitoring of all
aspects of staffing and the student body.
(i) In particular the following information relating to learners will be collected,
collated and analysed:
FE, WBL and HE (separately) – all categories by age, gender disability and
ethnicicity at college, Subject Sector Area and Course levels as follows:
recruitment and admissions;
(compare with relevant demographic information & LSC benchmarks)
withdrawals (with reasons);
(compare with LSC/Ofsted national rates)
incidences relating to bullying and harassment;
(ii) In particular the following information relating to staff will be collected, collated
All categories by age, gender, disability and ethnicicity at college and
departmental levels as follows:
numbers of staff by grade and contract type;
recruitment including requests for information, applications,
shortlisting, interviews, job offers, medical clearance and appointments;
probationary review outcomes;
professional development including availability and take up of training,
promotions, performance appraisals and satisfaction levels;
staff training on equality topics
(awareness as well as procedural requirements)
workplace benefits and facilities;
incidences of harassment, discrimination, grievance and disciplinary
retention and leavers (with reasons);
how we make reasonable adjustments in respect of disabled people.
6.2 The College is committed to the collection of statistics, analysis of data and
presentation of data, as well as monitoring on an ongoing basis and as
employment policy and practices change.
EQY-POL-001-Equal Opportunities Policy-02.doc Page 4 of 5
7 Positive Action
7.1 The College undertakes to follow positive action measures allowed by law to
rectify disadvantages in employment and with the student body revealed by
Positive action allows the College to:
• Provide facilities or services (in the form of training, education or welfare) to
meet the individual needs of people from particular under-represented groups;
• Target job training at particular groups that are under-represented in a
particular area of work;
• Target promotion and recruitment activities at particular groups under-
represented in learning.
• Encourage applications from groups that are under-represented in particular
areas of work.
7.2 Positive action strategies are intended to be temporary measures only. They will
be kept under regular review, and they will not be used once the individual’s
needs have been met, or if under-representation no longer exists. The College
will ensure that when using positive action as a strategy, it falls within the law.
7.3 Positive discrimination is against the law and will not be adopted.
8 Related Procedures
8.1 If an employee believes that s/he have not been treated fairly, due to prejudice, or
discrimination, s/he should follow the Personal Harassment Procedure.
8.2 If a learner believes that s/he have not been treated fairly due to prejudice or
discrimination, s/he should follow the Student Complaints Procedure.
9.1 This policy will be reviewed on an annual basis in accordance with legislative
developments and the need for good practice, using the local
consultation/negotiating arrangements within the College.
EQY-POL-001-Equal Opportunities Policy-02.doc Page 5 of 5