Equality & Diversity
Bolton Sixth Form College’s Single Equality Scheme has been informed by the Single Equality Act (2010) which brought together different former strands of equality legislation covering age, disability, ethnicity, gender, transgender, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation and socio-economic inequalities.
Equality & Diversity
The College’s approach to equality is focused on everyone being treated fairly, removing barriers to success and that equality is not about treating everyone the same but recognising that equality of opportunity requires the College to respond to different needs to achieve the same outcomes.
Diversity is about recognising and valuing individual differences and raising awareness about them. The legislation is clear that discrimination should not be either direct or indirect.
Direct Discrimination – treating individuals differently because of their ethnicity, gender, transgender, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief.
Indirect Discrimination – placing individuals at a disadvantage because of certain working practices or rules.
The BSFC context
Bolton Sixth Form College is a college with approximately 1,500 16-19 year old full time students. The College offers a wide range of A Level and Vocational A Level programmes, with options to re-sit GCSE English or Mathematics.
The overall student population is around 49% White British, 20% British Asian heritage, 17% British Pakistani heritage with the rest of the population being made up of a variety of other ethnic groups. In the academic year 2015-2016, 53% of students were female and are 47% male with 14% have been identified as having a specific learning difficulty or disability. Students are drawn from partner secondary schools in Bolton but increasingly with the location of the new Town Centre Campus the College also recruits students from a wider geographical area.
Our Mission/ Vision
“To provide educational excellence which releases potential and promotes individual achievement in an environment where diversity is valued and students and staff are supported, challenged and encouraged to reach for their personal best in everything they do”
To empower and support students to pursue and achieve academic and for every student irrespective of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, transgender, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation and socio-economic inequalities.
To support and maximise students’ academic success in a safe and caring environment.
Bolton Sixth Form College’s Equality & Diversity commitment
The College will not tolerate any forms of less favourable treatment of individuals and/or groups, whether through direct or indirect discrimination, harassment, victimisation or segregation on the grounds of age, disability, ethnicity, gender (and transgender), race, religion or belief, sexual orientation and socio-economic inequalities).
The College seeks to avoid stereotyping and will ensure that all staff, students and other stakeholders are treated as individuals in their own right.
The College is committed to a proactive approach to equality of opportunity, identifying students’ needs and supporting them, to strive to narrow achievement gaps.
The College strives to ensure all students achieve their potential using challenging targets, in a supportive and caring environment.
The College actively celebrates diversity, aiming to ensure that differences between people, groups and identities are understood, valued and respected, ensuring that any discrimination is identified and acted upon.
The College consults stakeholders (e.g. employees, students and parents) and takes account of relevant information, from a variety of sources, including the Student Forum.
The College ensures the policy is implemented, monitored and reported upon annually.
Outline of E & D at College
All students are interviewed prior to enrolment ensuring students receive support and pre-course guidance so they choose the right course combination for their future aspirations; this guidance is free from bias or prejudice.
The College is committed to ensuring that all students receive the best possible learning experience. E&D is embedded into curriculum planning, schemes of work and lesson planning. It is also a feature of the College’s ILT planning, student support services and at the heart of the Student Forum, the College’s elected student body and evident in the wide ranging enrichment events.
Staff E&D project co-ordinators embed aspects of E&D into the everyday life of the College’s activities and wider college community.
Teaching is tailored to meet the needs of learners irrespective of their age, disability, ethnicity, gender, transgender, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation and socio-economic inequalities.
Staff and students are provided with a positive working environment and are protected from harassment, bullying or discrimination. Students have a Pastoral Support Tutor as well as support and advice from all other members of staff, including mentors, counselling and chaplaincy services, in addition to a specialist Safeguarding Mentor and a student liaison/ security team to ensure they feel safe.
All BSFC students follow a curriculum, pastoral tutorial and enrichment programme which is free from bias and promotes equality and diversity. All students are supported to ensure they achieve their potential.
Schemes of work, lesson content and teaching resources demonstrate sensitivity to issues of equality and diversity. The tutorial programme addresses this area directly.
The College produces equality impact assessments as part of the monitoring process – so that the SMT can verify that all groups are achieving their potential, and take action, if it is required. This will be monitored and evaluated. Data used will include: recruitment, retention, achievement, value added, success rates, progression destinations, disciplinary action, complaints and the learner voice feedback.
The College evaluates the impact of its equality and diversity plans upon at a college wide level as well as at departmental level on an annual basis as part of its self-assessment process to review the activities within the subject to promote equality, assess student feedback and look at ways to improve students’ learning experience.
The College works closely with schools’ pastoral teams in Key Stage 4 and other agencies, such as Connexions, the EFA and local authority to monitor progression to and from College to ensure students have access to careers information, advice and guidance to inform their career plan. The progression information will be reviewed and utilised to plan for future support for groups identified as having onward progression problems.
The policy is available on the College’s internet and intranet, and reference made in staff and student induction programmes. Learners have access to appropriate additional learner support (if required) and facilities (multi-faith room).
The College’s publicity materials present appropriate and positive images for all individuals in society, e.g. the Two Ticks Scheme; ‘Positive about Disability’ – the five commitments.
Bolton Sixth Form College’s strategic plan fosters a positive ethos with regard to Equality and Diversity. The operational plan for Equality and Diversity is produced, implemented and reviewed on an annual basis. This plan covers all the strands within Equality and Diversity.
Information about how the College is celebrating and sharing news about Equality and Diversity with all its internal and external stakeholders will be included in its internal and external communications.
All staff, students and governors have a personal responsibility for the practical application of equality policies.
The Principal and the Governing Body have overall responsibility for meeting the legal requirements of the Single Equality Scheme and ensuring the policy is followed.
A senior manager has responsibility for ensuring that fair and adequate arrangements are in place for helping to raise staff awareness of their responsibilities under equality legislation. Giving active support to the policy involves ensuring staff understand and implement the policy.
The designated senior manager will review, produce and implement the Equality and Diversity Operational plan and then report against the policy annually and review the policy at least every three years.
A designated senior manager has responsibility to work with the student body and Student Forum representatives to ensure that any breaches of the Single Equality Scheme are identified, reported and remedied.
All staff must be aware of the Single Equality Scheme and the operational plan and be guided by its principles in their teaching and interactions with all stakeholders at the College, understanding how their respective role(s) contribute to the College’s wider E&D strategy.
Reviewing and Monitoring Equality and Diversity
The Equality and Diversity Plan will be reviewed annually against the College’s SAR action plan, reviewing relevant data and stakeholder voice input. Reports on progress will be submitted to the Governing Body. Changes may be made in the interim in response to organisational changes, legislative changes or other factors necessitating review.
This information will be discussed at SMT, the Governing Corporation and shared with staff to help with future action planning. Any follow up work will be conducted as appropriate.
The designated senior manager has lead responsibility on Equality issues and ensures:
There is the development of appropriate policies and procedures that meet the College’s legal duties and enable it to address and identify areas for development.
The College identifies and disseminates good equality practices, e.g. in teaching and learning in consultation with other SMT colleagues and the actions being implemented by three E&D project post holders.
The College considers and recommends relevant training programmes for staff, governors and students.
The College identifies key action points and areas for development from the use of college data, reviews and complaints.
The College sets targets for future improvements and monitors their implementation.
Breaches of the Policy
Breaches of the Single Equality Scheme will be dealt with under staff or student disciplinary procedures (as applicable).
Making a complaint
The College will:
Preserve, as far as possible, the confidentiality of the complainant.
Respond promptly and endeavour to determine the outcome of a formal complaint within ten working days.
Ensure the complainants have the right to representation and the right to appeal. Protect individuals from malicious or unwarranted complaints.
Monitor and report on all complaints or grievances made by students or staff.
How to make a complaint
Students and parents should follow the complaints procedure contained in the materials issued during the induction period or in the parents’ handbook and portal.
Initial contact should be through the respective Pastoral Support Tutor, who may also make a further referral to an Assistant Principal to resolve the matter promptly. However, if a formal complaint is necessary, the Vice Principal will undertake to respond within 10 working days and give details of the outcome in writing whether the complaint has been rejected or supported.
Staff should refer to the Grievance Procedure.
Parents or members of the public
Parents/guardians should feel free to contact their son/daughter’s Pastoral Support Tutor or can write to: The Principal, Bolton Sixth Form College, Deane Road, Bolton BL3 5BU.