Richard Taunton Sixth Form College

1 Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: Making it happen. A guide for students. Richard Taunton Sixth Form College2 WE INHABIT A UNIVERSE THAT IS CHARACT...

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Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: Making it happen. A guide for students.

Richard Taunton Sixth Form College

“WE INHABIT A UNIVERSE THAT IS CHARACTERISED BY DIVERSITY.” DESMOND TUTU We are proud to be a part of diverse community where every student and staff member is valued for their individuality and uniqueness. This booklet includes information about our commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion explains how you can play your part in ensuring all members of our college community are free from prejudice, discrimination and harassment and where each individual can reach their potential. The law recognises and gives protection to individuals based on certain characteristics. Under the 2010 Equality Act these ‘protected characteristics’, include race, sex, disability, age, gender y, sexual orientation and religion and beliefs. Our aim is to create an environment of mutual r where everyone feels appreciated irrespective of their ferences.

BRITISH VALUES AND EQUALITY, DIVERSITY & INCLUSION

British Values include democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. In promoting British values we aim to foster an acceptance that other people having different faiths or beliefs to oneself (or having none) should be accepted and tolerated, and should not be the cause of prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour; and an understanding of the importance of identifying and combatting discrimination. Equality is about ensuring that every individual has an equal chance to make the most of their lives and talents. It is the belief that no one should have poorer life chances because of where, what or whom they were born, what they believe, or whether they have a disability. It is true that, historically, certain groups of people with particular characteristics (e.g. race, disability, sex and sexuality) have been subjected to discrimination and our aim is to do everything we can to remove this unfairness.

“STRENGTH LIES IN DIFFERENCES, NOT IN SIMILARITIES.” STEPHEN R. COVEY

Diversity in its simplest form means ‘difference.’ It is about recognising individual and group differences and valuing these differences. In this way each individual’s needs and requirements may be better understood and therefore can be met. Valuing diversity is not solely about treating people with fairness and respect, it is also an important aspect of improving the collective strength of an organisation. Having a diverse student and staff body means there will be a wider range of skills and viewpoints increasing creativity. So we value the fact that we are a diverse college and know that this will make us stronger and more successful.

“WHAT YOU THINK, YOU BECOME.” MAHATMA GANDHI

Inclusion is about removing any barriers which may exist to prevent students or staff feeling that they are welcomed and valued here. People may feel excluded for a number of reasons (for example ability, sexual orientation, social background, or age) and our aim is to raise understanding and promote tolerance so that we build an inclusive community where these differences are seen in a positive rather than a negative way. The language we use is important. Sometimes, without realising it, we can use words or terms which may offend others. When you use the word ‘gay’ to explain how something or someone may be stupid or unfortunate you are linking negative ideas with being homosexual. When you use the word ‘retard’ or ‘spastic’ to explain why someone may have acted stupidly you are not considering the damaging effect the use of this word may have on people with learning or physical difficulties. Calling someone a ‘chav’ because of their appearance or background is insulting and hurtful. Using these words in such a derogatory way upsets others and is certainly not inclusive. So, next time you hear these words or others like them used in a negative way, please stand up and challenge it.

WHAT ARE PREJUDICE, DISCRIMINATION, BULLYING AND HARASSMENT?

Prejudice is where we form an opinion about something or someone without any actual evidence for that opinion. As such it is an attitude (usually negative) borne out of ignorance. For example, you may form a dislike of a person or group solely based on their gender, age, race, disability, religion, sexual orientation or appearance. Discrimination involves acting on a prejudice by treating someone in a less favourable way because of their membership of a particular group. The law protects individuals from discrimination where that discrimination is based upon their race, sex, disability, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion and beliefs.

Bullying and Harassment includes any unwanted behaviour that makes someone feel intimidated, degraded, humiliated or offended. Bullying may involve: 

Physical assault



Teasing



Ignoring



Making threats



Name calling



Being stared at



Cyber bullying (bullying via email, instant messenger or on social network sites like Facebook, Twitter, YikYak etc.).

The College does not and will not tolerate any form of bullying or behaviour which threatens the safety and well-being of students and staff and will take the strongest action, in accordance with our Bullying Policy, to deal with any instances reported.

As part of your induction you will be asked to sign an IT Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) which means you are agreeing to behave according to college guidelines. This means respecting other users and not causing any harm, inconvenience or offence.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE BEING DISCRIMINATED AGAINST, BULLIED OR HARASSED.

Email: [email protected] Phone: 023 8051 4720

If you have any reason to believe you have been discriminated against or being bullied in any way there are a number of people you can choose to talk to. Your tutor is always prepared to listen, explain what you should do next and support you through difficult situations. The College has an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion group and you may choose to seek help and advice from any member of this group. Group members include: Liz Lee (Assistant Principal) Mary O’Brien (Student Services Manager) Manju Tank (Maths Teacher) Sharon Abbott (Librarian)

The important thing is not to suffer in silence: please come to talk to us.

Roger Jones (Learning Support Manager) Louisa Calder (HR Manager) Aine Rand (Learning Area Manager) Nicola Boardman (Maths Teacher) Miriam Kenny-Williams (P Arts Teacher) Helen Thomas (H & SC Teacher) Ryan Curry (Student Union E & D Member)

“THE ONLY THING NECESSARY FOR THE TRIUMPH OF EVIL IS FOR GOOD MEN TO DO NOTHING.” EDMUND BURKE

Sometimes we need to be brave and speak out when we see injustice by one member of our community against another. Where individuals hold prejudices and discriminate against or harass others, it falls to each individual to act. How to support each other. There are a number of ways each of us can act to support each other within our community:  It is up to every individual to take responsibility for their own behaviour. Make sure you are not acting out of prejudice; consider how you speak to others and do not use language which may be considered offensive.  Challenge others when you see or hear them acting in a negative way towards members of our community.  Consider the needs of individuals who may have a hearing, visual or mobility impairment. Similarly, those who may have a learning or language disability.  Report any instances of discrimination, bullying or harassment so that it may be dealt with appropriately.  Join the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion group and make a difference. Email: [email protected]

To make our College a place where everyone feels welcome, to study and work, we have produced a Single Equality Scheme (G:\Public\EDI\SES Action Plan 2014.docx) which aims to promote equality, eliminate discrimination and advance good relations within our community.

USEFUL WEBSITES… EHRC http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/ Equalities UNIT http://www.equalities.gov.uk/ Direct Gov http://www.direct.gov.uk/Discrimination Stonewall www.stonewall.org.uk/ Terence Higgins Trust www.tht.org.uk/ Black History Month http://www.black-history-month.co.uk Inter Faith Network for the UK www.interfaith.org.uk Refugees http://www.refugeeeducation.co.uk. EHRC: Young People Know Your Rights http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/yourrights/youngpeopleknowyourrights RADAR http://disabilityrightsuk.org/

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