Equal Opportunities Policy
1. The College is committed to being a community in which equality of opportunity is a reality for all students and staff. Its mission and values require it to create a positive environment in which all staff and students, present and prospective, are respected, are provided with development and progression opportunities, and can make the most of their abilities. Every member of the College community has the responsibility for implementing this policy in all of their activities.
2. No member, or prospective member, of the College community will receive unfair or unlawful treatment due to race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, gender, creed, marital status, sexual orientation or disability, nor face unwarranted discrimination on the grounds of age. The College will identify and root out any unfair or unlawful discrimination which denies individuals opportunities on any of these grounds.
3. Discrimination resulting in unequal opportunities is not acceptable.
Direct discrimination consists of treating another person less favourably than others on the grounds of: race, colour, creed, nationality, disability, sexual orientation, gender and/or marital status (or other personal characteristics).
Indirect discrimination occurs when a non-essential condition or requirement is applied equally to all, but only a small proportion of one group can comply with this and failure to comply is detrimental to the individual.
4. Harassment is any conduct related to age, disability, nationality, gender, or any other personal characteristic, which is perceived as detrimental and which is unwanted by the recipient, or any such conduct based on the above characteristics which affects the dignity of any individual or group of individuals at work. Harassment may be persistent or an isolated incident, and may be directed towards one or more individuals. It encompasses:
a) unwanted physical contact, assault or propositions;
b) suggestive remarks or gestures, pin-ups, graffiti, offensive comments, jokes and banter based on race, religion, gender or other personal characteristics;
c) behaviour which causes the victim to feel intimidated, humiliated, patronised or harassed, such as bullying, persistent teasing, or constant unfounded criticism of the performance of work tasks, unfair allocation of work and responsibilities or exclusion from normal work place conversation or social events.
The College believes that such behaviour undermines the well-being of the person concerned and may also adversely affect his or her work performance. No such conduct is a part of a culture in which all staff and students are treated with dignity and respect.
Any complaint of harassment will be treated seriously and with confidentiality. (The feedback sheets on the College intranet and in Lecture Rooms should be used if you wish to make a complaint). Failure on the part of any member of College staff to do so will be regarded as a failure to fulfil the responsibilities of their position. All steps will be taken to maintain confidentiality as far as is consistent with progressing the complaint. Making a false allegation with malicious intent may result in the appropriate disciplinary procedure (dealt with by the Pastoral Advisory Board, in the case of a student). If a Staff member brings a false complaint then it will be dealt with using the Staff disciplinary procedure.
5. The College will:
a) monitor the composition of the College community and the effects of its recruitment practices, and compare these with those of the community it serves;
b) break down any barriers to equality of opportunity, which may prevent members of the College realising their full potential;
c) promptly and fully investigate all complaints of discrimination and harassment, taking appropriate action where necessary;
d) ensure that all staff and students are fully informed of this policy and that outside agencies employed by the College are also informed of it;
e) produce an annual equal opportunities report for the June meeting of the Board of Trustees of the College.
6. The College Principal is responsible for ensuring that the policy is made effective.
Approved by Board of Trustees, 18 November 2009