Public bodies such as colleges have a duty, under the 2010 Equality Act, to ensure they promote equality within their organisation and this statement sets out how we endeavour to achieve this at Wiltshire College and University Centre. We consider this to be not just a legal duty but a moral one as well. A belief in the right of every single person to be treated with equal dignity and compassion alongside equal legal protection is fundamental to the ethos that underpins everything we do as a college.
The Equality Act makes explicit our responsibility to have due regard to the need to:
- Eliminate discrimination and other conduct that is prohibited by the Act.
- Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
- Foster good relations across all characteristics - between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
In this respect, a protected characteristic could be any one of a multitude of factors that are shared by particular groups of people, but will include characteristics such as race, disability, sex, age, religion or belief, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity and gender reassignment. Central to a commitment to fulfil this responsibility is a recognition that all groups with protected characteristics fall within the compass of the human race as a whole, and who by definition therefore have equal status and equal rights.
Our equality objectives are based on the principles of human rights and human dignity, and can be summarised as follows:
- To ensure that the college retains a culture of advancing equity both in its policies and its practices.
- To develop student and staff understanding of, and commitment to, the promotion of equity and the elimination of discriminatory practices and beliefs.
- To deepen an understanding among students and staff of the strengths and needs of all protected characteristic groups.
- To continue to seek ways in which the culture, policies and practices within the college can be further improved to advance equality and to eliminate discrimination.
To reflect this commitment and our Public Sector Equality Duty obligations under the Equality Act, we work to the following principles:
- The information that we provide on our website and in college communications is accessible.
- We will pay due regard to equity and inclusion in our decision making, including when we develop new policies.
- When working with partners, including contractors, we will continually ensure that robust consideration is given to equity and inclusion.
- We will strive to build a workforce that broadly reflects the diversity of the local community, improving access to careers within the college.
- In order to improve the way we work, equity and inclusion will be embedded in the practice of staff and managers through training, monitoring and development.