The College strives to be outstanding in everything it does. Our values guide the behaviour and shared priorities of the organisation.
Quality – Providing the highest standards of teaching and learning
Inspire – Inspiring you to realise your full potential
Ambition – Striving to be the best you can be
Partnership – Working together to create sustainable improvement for you
Passion – Determination to make a difference for you
Innovate – Always looking for new ideas and solutions to help you grow
Diversity – Embracing inclusivity, equality and diversity
These values are the foundations for achievement at The City of Liverpool College and underpin the college’s mission of equality and inclusiveness for all.
The college is committed to promoting equality and diversity throughout its practices for both students and staff.
Welcome to The City of Liverpool College’s Single Equality Scheme and Action Plan for 2016 – 2019. The College is committed to promoting equality and diversity through all its practices – both in terms of the education and experience it delivers to students and also the environment we create for its staff. As a College, we serve some of the most deprived areas of the country and also some of the most diverse; we recognise not only the relevant Equality legislation but also the most basic principle of fairness and the importance of creating a College where everyone has equal opportunity and access. We believe that everyone matters equally, and that everyone – students and staff alike – has the opportunity to achieve.
This Single Equality Scheme is intended to ensure specific duties are not only met but also to set out what is expected of everyone who works and learns here in terms of their equality responsibilities. This document outlines and enshrines that obligation, and explains how we intend to meet our duties with regard to the provision of equality of opportunity, all based on a solid foundation of respect for others.
On behalf of the College’s Strategic Leadership Team, I completely support the Single Equality Scheme as a means to ensuring we not only meet our legal duties but we also meet the needs of our learners, staff and stakeholders.
Principal and Chief Executive
2. Policy Statement
The City of Liverpool College is committed to valuing diversity and to promoting and implementing equality in all its activities and services provided to staff, students, stakeholders and visitors to the College. One of its key performance aims is to ‘promote a culture of equality and valuing diversity in order to support high quality outcomes.’ The College opposes all forms of unlawful or unfair discrimination on the grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief (which includes religious and philosophical beliefs including lack of belief), sex, sexual orientation, marriage or civil partnership (in respect of the need to eliminate discrimination in employment), pregnancy or maternity or trade union involvement.
Under the Equality Act 2010 The City of Liverpool College has a general duty to have due regard to the need to:
By 2020, The City of Liverpool College’s will be one of the top five colleges in the UK, where students enjoy an exceptional education and wider experience, known nationally for the way we work with businesses to deliver skills for competitiveness and growth.
As an educational establishment, we will deliver the biggest and best opportunities for our students, becoming the provider of choice for learners and employers alike; as an employer, we will seek to be the employer of choice for our staff. The College will be a system leader in the sector, building a culture founded on innovation and enterprise and continuous improvement.
4. Our Mission and Values
4.1 Our Mission: Providing high quality skills and education by delivering the biggest opportunities for growth for all the people and businesses of Liverpool City Region.
4.2 Our Values:
5. The College Profile
The City of Liverpool College is one of the largest further education (FE) Colleges in England and the only College of FE in Liverpool. With an annual group turnover of £65 million, the College services learners from a diverse variety of backgrounds each year.
The College currently operates five main sites, the hub of which is the £35 million landmark development, The Learning Exchange. The other four sites are located at Arts Centre, Clarence Street, Duke Street, and Vauxhall Road. The College offers a wide range of provision from pre-entry to undergraduate courses and has National Skills Academies in Environmental Technologies, Financial Services, Media, Food and Drink Manufacturing and Creative and Cultural skills.
In February 2016, 10,568 students had enrolled on courses at the College within the academic year. 50.8% of these learners were male. Of the total student population, 45.3% are aged 16-18 and 54.7% over 19. 10% of students in 15/16 classify themselves as having a learning difficulty, and 7.9% a disability. 20% of the student population are Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) learners. 71.5% of students in 15/16 are from areas of high socio-economic deprivation.
In February 2016, of the 28.4% of college staff providing a voluntary declaration, 38.6% of staff are male. 6.2% of all staff classify themselves as having a disability. 7.2% of staff have self-declared their ethnicity as BAME, and proportionally this represents 8.7% of academic roles, 6% in support roles and 5.6% in management roles. Of those providing information, 90% of college staff identify their sexual orientation as heterosexual, 3% gay or bisexual and 7% preferred not to say. 41% of college staff identify themselves as Christian – Roman Catholic; 28% as Christian – Protestant; 14% as Atheist; 5% as Agnostic; 2% as Muslim; 2% as other, and 1% as Buddhist.
6. Local and National Context
Liverpool has a population of 466,415 (ONS, 2011). The population of the city continues to provide a rich and diverse culture that has a positive impact on citizens and visitors. The population has increased by 6.1% in the ten years between census points, reversing a trend of population decline. However, Liverpool is also the fourth most deprived local authority area in England (English Indices of Deprivation, 2015) with some of the most deprived communities in the UK. 45% of neighbourhoods within Liverpool are in the most deprived 10 per cent of neighbourhoods nationally, a decrease of 5.9 percentage points since 2010, although the city remains the local authority with the largest number of neighbor hoods in the most deprived one per cent of all neighbourhoods nationally.
The following statistics outline the makeup of Liverpool’s population and are taken from the Office for National Statistics 2011 Census Data unless otherwise referenced:
20.7% of the Liverpool population are 18 years of age or younger and 14.1% are of pensionable age. 13.2% are 19 to 24 years old.
6.2 Gender (Sex)
49.4% of the local population are Male and 50.6% female.
86.2% of Liverpool’s population are White British or Irish, while 13.8% are Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME). This means that the population of Liverpool is less ethnicly diverse than the total population of England and Wales (18.6%), although Liverpool’s BAME population more than doubled between 2001 and 2011.
17.9% of Liverpool’s working age population consider themselves disabled or as having a limiting long-term illness.
6.5 Religion or Belief
17.7% of Liverpool’s population identify themselves as having no religion, 71% as Christian, 3.3% as Muslim, 0.5% as Hindu, 0.5% as Jewish 0.4% as Buddhist and 0.1% as Sikh.
6.6 Sexual Orientation
A recent national estimate from Stonewall states that roughly 6% of the population classify themselves as lesbian, gay or bisexual.
6.7 Gender Identity and Gender Reassignment
A 2009 survey conducted by Gender Identity Research and Education Society reported that 20 people per 100,000 over the age of 16 classify themselves as transgender.
7. Legislative Background
7.1 The Equality Act 2010
The Equality Act came into force in October 2010 replacing over 100 pieces of equality legislation. It protects people from discrimination and harassment based on ‘protected characteristics’:
7.2 Prohibited Conduct
The Act consolidates existing law into a single legal framework and while many of the concepts of discrimination remain the same as in previous equality legislation there are some areas that were not previously covered. This section describes the various types of discrimination and how they apply to the further and higher education provision.
7.3 Direct Discrimination
Direct discrimination occurs when a person is treated less favourably than another on the grounds of any of their protected characteristics.
7.4 Discrimination Based on Association
Direct discrimination also occurs when a person is treated less favourably because of their association with another person who has a protected characteristic (other than pregnancy and maternity).
This might occur when a person is treated less favourably because their sibling, parent, carer or friend has a protected characteristic.
7.5 Discrimination Based on Perception
Direct discrimination also occurs when a person is treated less favourably because it is mistakenly thought or presumed that they have a protected characteristic (other than pregnancy and maternity).
7.6 Indirect Discrimination
Indirect discrimination occurs when a provision, criterion or practice is applied in the same way for all, but this has the effect of putting individuals/groups sharing a protected characteristic at a particular disadvantage.
7.7 Indirect discrimination will occur if the following four conditions are met:
What is a ‘proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim’?
To be legitimate, the aim of the provision, criterion or practice must be legal and non-discriminatory and represent a real objective consideration. In the context of further and higher education, examples of legitimate aims might include:
Even if the aim is legitimate the means of achieving it must be proportionate.
Proportionate means, appropriate and necessary, but necessary does not mean that the provision, criterion or practice is the only possible way of achieving the legitimate aim.
Although the financial cost of using a less discriminatory approach cannot, by itself, provide a justification, cost can be taken into account as part of the justification, if there are other good reasons for adopting the chosen practice.
7.8 Discrimination Arising from Disability
Discrimination arising from disability occurs when a disabled person is treated less favourably because of something connected with their disability and such treatment cannot be justified.
Such discrimination is different from direct discrimination as direct discrimination occurs because of the protected characteristic of disability. For discrimination arising from disability, the reason for the treatment does not matter; the question is whether the disabled person has been treated unfavourably because of something connected with their disability.
Discrimination arising from disability is also different from indirect discrimination. There is no need to show that other people have been affected alongside the disabled individual or for the disabled person to compare himself or herself with anyone else.
Discrimination arising from disability will occur if the following three conditions are met:
7.9 Knowledge of Disability
If it can be shown that:
then the unfavourable treatment does not amount to unlawful discrimination arising from disability.
Relevance of Reasonable Adjustments
Acting quickly to identify and put in place reasonable adjustments for disabled people, will often avoid discrimination arising from disability. However, there may be cases where an adjustment is unrelated to the unfavourable treatment in question. If failing to make an appropriate reasonable adjustment, it is likely to be very difficult to argue that the unfavourable treatment is justified.
Harassment is the unwanted conduct that has the purpose or effect of violating the person’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.
Conduct of a sexual nature is specifically included within the definition, although marriage/civil partnerships and pregnancy/maternity are not included as protected characteristics for harassment. As an employer the College is required to take reasonably practicable steps to prevent a third party (i.e. someone other than a manager or other employee) from harassing an employee.
Victimisation occurs when a person is treated badly because they have made, supported or raised a complaint or grievance under the Equality Act; or because they are suspected of doing so. A person is not protected from victimisation if they have maliciously made or supported an untrue complaint. There is no longer a need to compare treatment of a complainant with that of a person who has not made or supported a complaint under the Act.
7.12 Positive Action
Positive action is when action is taken specifically to help someone who has a protected characteristic. There are several different reasons why it may be appropriate to take some sort of positive action, for instance if a person is suffering some kind of disadvantage linked to that characteristic, or if they have particular needs, or if people with that characteristic are under-represented in an activity or a type of work.
One form of positive action is encouraging or training people to apply for jobs or take part in an activity in which people with that characteristic are under-represented. This may be done by means of training courses, mentoring schemes or even open days or other events to show people what a particular job or activity is really like.
Another type of positive action is where someone providing goods or services targets a group who share a protected characteristic because they have particular needs linked to that characteristic. Whilst it is easier under the new law for employers and service providers to take positive action, taking any form of positive action is entirely voluntary and organisations only need do this is they want to.
8. City of Liverpool College’s Approach to Achieving Equality and Diversity
In order to support the College’s commitment to equality and diversity and to meet the requirements of current legislation, The College has designed this Single Equality Scheme. In light of the Equality Act 2010 the Scheme has been developed so as to include all the identified protected characteristics. The scheme will also be extended to include socio-economic status.
The Single Equality Scheme will help to achieve a framework for action across all protected characteristics, and help us to communicate and manage equality responsibilities and targets.
This Single Equality Scheme demonstrates our commitment to go beyond compliance with the legislation, and to move towards embedding equality and diversity by bringing together our work into one place, consulting widely on it and putting in place a comprehensive equality Action Plan to ensure our targets are met.
This Scheme is valid for a three-year period when it will be formally reviewed; however, it will remain an evolving document responsive to new developments and legislative changes.
9. Responsibility for the Single Equality Scheme
All employees of the College have a responsibility for implementing all policies relating to equality and diversity and promoting equality and diversity in all aspects of their work. Specific behaviours and responsibilities are identified below:
9.1 Governors’ Responsibility
It is the responsibility of the Governing Body to provide mechanisms through which the College’s strategic objectives for equality and diversity can be delivered and to work in partnership with our partners to agree a fair and equitable division of responsibility under current and future equality legislation.
9.2 The Principal
The Principal is responsible for providing a consistent and high profile lead on all Equality and Diversity issues and ensuring the effective application of the equality and diversity policy and its procedures. The Principal receives reports from the Equality and Diversity Strategy Group which exists to:
9.3 Strategic Leadership Team is required to:
9.4 Business Support Managers are required to:
9.5 Business Support Staff are required to:
9.6 Heads of School are required to:
9.7 Tutors/ Lecturers and Learning Support Staff are required to:
9.9 Deputy Principal for Quality and Transformation has overall curriculum responsibility for the student experience
9.10 The Director of Learning leads on the embedding of an equality culture and is responsible for implementation of the College’s equality objectives, priorities and targets. The Director of Learning chairs the Equality and Diversity Strategy Group.
9.11 The Estates department has primary responsibility for facilitating the accessibility of the College’s buildings.
9.12 Advice and Guidance may provide informal advice in the first instance to any student prior to bringing any complaint or grievance.
9.13 Human Resources may provide informal advice in the first instance to any member of staff prior to bringing any complaint or grievance.
9.14 The Director of Human Resources is responsible for equality and diversity of employees and liaison with trade unions.
All members of the College community have a duty to act in accordance with this policy, and therefore to treat colleagues with respect at all times and not to discriminate or harass other students or members of staff.
Any student or member of staff who breaches the policy may face disciplinary action.
Any student or member of staff who has a complaint concerning breach of this policy may bring such a complaint in accordance with procedures in the College Handbook and Staff Handbook.
10. Background and Summary of Work Already Undertaken
The College continually works proactively on all aspects of equality and diversity by:
11. Equality Impact Assessments
Equality Impact Assessments or Equality Analysis is carried out at the College to assess the likely or actual effects on those in protected characteristic groups. This is a useful tool to assess whether the general duties as set out in legislation have been fulfilled.
Impact assessments involve asking initial questions and using these findings to determine if a policy, procedure, plan or process needs further work or adaption to ensure fairness across the protected characteristics.
When carrying out such an assessment the following will be considered:
Relevance – Equality will be more relevant to some services rather than others. Relevance is concerned with the impact a policy, procedure, plan or process has on people
Proportionality – The importance given to equality should be proportionate to the relevance of the service.
All new and existing policies are systematically assessed at the point of development or review. The policy writer, supported by the Equality and Diversity Strategic Group, is responsible for the initial assessment and for ensuring any actions arising from the assessment are implemented. The Equality and Diversity Strategy Group is responsible for monitoring the effectiveness of this approach and adapting it as necessary.
12. Reviewing, Publication and Action Plan
The Scheme and Action Plan will be published on the College website and reference will be made to it in key documentation aimed at staff and students. Feedback and involvement will be invited through a variety of communication procedures with staff, students, employers, partners and stakeholders. Under the specific duties of the Equality Act 2010, the Scheme and its accompanying Action Plan will be reviewed annually at the end of that current academic year and a report submitted to the Board of Governors outlining progress and recommendations for the year ahead.
The Scheme will undergo a comprehensive review every three years to ensure that it continues to effectively support the College’s Strategic Aims and remains relevant to the equality and diversity of all staff and students.
The Action Plan will be monitored and updated by the Equality and Diversity Strategy Group at every meeting, the details of which will be posted on the College website and intranet.
13. Gathering Information and Monitoring Arrangements
In line with statutory duties, Equality Information will be published on an annual basis. The College has in place procedures to monitor the make-up of staff and student groups in terms of race, disability (including learning difficulties for students), gender and age. With respect to the workforce data is analysed by recruitment, promotions, training and development, disciplinary, grievance and turnover; and for students the educational opportunities available to and the achievements of students across the protected characteristic. In addition staff and students are encouraged and supported to complete additional personal information that covers the remaining protected characteristics. Data collated from the profile of complainants and types of complaints is also analysed.
This data is used to inform the College Self-Assessment Reports and Action Plans and to improve student achievement and will be included in the annual report.
The College has a robust complaints policy and procedure where all complaints are monitored for any forms of bullying, harassment or discrimination.
The College provides a supportive environment for those who make claims of discrimination or harassment on the grounds of any protected characteristic. Acts of discrimination, harassment, victimisation, bullying or abuse will be treated as a serious disciplinary offence.
Employees felt to be discriminated against their protected characteristics by other employees should raise the matter under the Grievance/Harassment Policy.
In the course of their work or study any College students or employees who suffer discrimination from members of the public or those from partner organisations, the College will take appropriate action and provide appropriate support.
Discriminatory behaviours by students toward employees or other students will be dealt with under Student Disciplinary Procedures
Any behaviours considered as a Safeguarding and/or Child Protection issue will be dealt with under the Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy
All complaints will be analysed from an equality and diversity perspective to eliminate any discriminatory practice that may occur.
15. Equality and Diversity Objectives
The following objectives are central to the development of a new Single Equality Scheme Action Plan which is in the process of being developed in consultation with the Student Union and staff Equality Liaison Team.
The College welcomes feedback and suggestions on the Equality Scheme and Action Plan. Please contact Damien Kilkenny, Director of Learning on 0151 252 3340 or Damien.Kilkenny@liv-coll.ac.uk.