Equality and Diversity

One to One Support Services believes equality and diversity in teaching, learning and assessment is important.
Equality and diversity in teaching, learning and assessment

1. Introduction to equality and diversity in teaching, learning and assessment
2. The common inspection framework requirements for equality and diversity
3. Overview of legislation and responsibilities
4. Ideas and activities to advance and promote equality and diversity
5. Summary and further reading

Equality in education: The right to be treated fairly and equally to others regardless of individual difference. Equality in education should allow all individuals to achieve without facing unnecessary barriers. Equality is not about treating everyone the same.
Promoting and advancing equality and diversity in teaching, learning and assessment is the responsibility of all involved. Equality and diversity should feature throughout the learner’s journey, from planning and delivering the correct programmes to meeting the needs of every individual and raising awareness of local and national issues. Every person the learner encounters on their journey should implement high standards to promote equality.

Diversity in education: diversity is all around us and everyone should contribute to respecting and celebrating diversity. Understanding difference and celebrating the qualities of individuals allows us to remove stereotyping and prejudice.
One to One Support Services has 3 key values which celebrate and promote equality and diversity:
  • Respect
  • Responsibility
  • Customer First
For every learner, equality and diversity should be a part of their learning journey.

Equality legislation
For many years there has been a number of acts in place to ensure discrimination can be addressed such as; The Race Relations Act, Disability Discrimination Act and the Age Discrimination Act.

These are a few acts that have been established and improved over a number of years however in 2010 the various Acts were updated and extended to produce one Equality Act.

The purpose of the Equality Act is to protect people from discrimination.

The Equality Act 2010 has 9 protected characteristics:
Age: Where this is referred to, it refers to a person belonging to a particular age (e.g. 32 year olds) or range of ages (e.g. 18 - 30 year olds).

Disability: A person has a disability if she/he has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on that person's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

Gender reassignment: The process of transitioning from one gender to another.

Marriage and civil partnership: Marriage is defined as a 'union between a man and a woman'. Same-sex couples can have their relationships legally recognised as 'civil partnerships'. Civil partners must be treated the same as married couples on a wide range of legal matters.
Pregnancy and maternity: Pregnancy is the condition of being pregnant or expecting a baby. Maternity refers to the period after the birth, and is linked to maternity leave in the employment context. In the non-work context, protection against maternity discrimination is for 26 weeks after giving birth, and this includes treating a woman unfavourably because she is breastfeeding.

Race: Refers to the protected characteristic of Race. It refers to a group of people defined by their race, colour, nationality (including citizenship), and ethnic or national origins.

Religion and belief: Religion has the meaning usually given to it but belief includes religious and philosophical beliefs including lack of belief (e.g. Atheism). Generally, a belief should affect your life choices or the way you live for it to be included in the definition.

Sex/Gender: Male or Female

Sexual orientation:
Whether a person's sexual attraction is towards their own sex, the opposite sex or to both sexes. Equality Human Rights
There is no hierarchy to the protected characteristics, each have equal value.

Visit the Equality and Human Rights website for further information, guidance, advice and a variety of publications.

The Equality Act is legislation to protect against discrimination. Everyone is required, by law, to adhere to the requirements of the Act. In addition, as part of the Equality Act, the public sector has additional duties:

Public sector equality duty
A public authority must, in the exercise of its functions, have due regard to the need to:
(a) Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under this Act;
(b) Advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it;
(c) Foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.

Judgements are made in relation to:
Outcomes for learners; teaching, learning and assessment; and management and leadership.
Within each section there are expectations relating to equality and diversity, these are outlined below:
  • Outcomes for learners
  • Achievement gaps are narrowing between different groups of learners
  • Consider the 9 protected characteristics of the Equality Act 2010
  • Be aware of the under-represented groups enrolled and recognise their needs, provide support to reduce any achievement gaps Raise aspirations for all learners giving consideration to socio and economic backgrounds
  • Quality of teaching, learning and assessment
  • Equality and diversity are promoted through teaching and learning.
  • Use induction and learner sign-up to promote equality, diversity, respect and responsibility - tackle discrimination, victimisation, harassment, stereotyping or bullying
  • Plan the scheme of work/assessment plan to embed equality and diversity relevant to topics
Plan ALL sessions to promote equality of opportunity- Staff use materials and teaching methods that foster good relations and are sensitive to and promote equality of opportunity

Create an on-going group profile to recognise and plan for individual learning needs - staff are aware of and plan for individual needs in teaching sessions

Effectiveness of leadership and management
Leaders’ and managers’ activity promote equality and diversity, tackle bullying and discrimination, and narrow the achievement gap

  • Understand the requirements of the college equality scheme
  • Set challenging targets for curriculum, groups and individuals to succeed, and monitor these carefully with an aim to narrowing achievement gaps
  • Monitor the quality and effectiveness of equality and diversity through course reviews
  • Understand the needs of all individual learners and support them to succeed, consider potential barriers to success and make adjustments to provide equality of opportunity
  • Use learner feedback to evaluate the effectiveness of equality and diversity
  • Ideas and activities
This section includes a number of activities and information that will enable you to provide a positive learning experience for all learners and improve their knowledge of equality and diversity.

Each activity includes a brief description of how it can be used and each should be adapted to meet the individual needs of your learners.
  • Information and guidance to embed equality and diversity
  • The learner’s journey
  • Do’s and don’ts
  • Outstanding judgements from the Common Inspection Framework 2012
  • Self evaluation checklist and planning 
  • A-Z of equality and diversity
  • Independent and/ or group activities
  • A series of independent study activities
  • The protected characteristics
  • Discussion topics
The learner’s journey
Start of the journey

Top tip: consider the learner journey and embed, promote and celebrate equality and diversity at every point.
Initial advice and guidance should ensure the learner is correctly informed and supported to access an appropriate course of study that will enable them to achieve their career goals.

The nine protected characteristics of the Equality Act 2010 should be considered and support should be established as necessary to ensure there are no barriers to learning.

Induction should promote a positive understanding of equal opportunities, legislation and the rights and responsibilities of all learners.
During the journey

Top tip: remember equality of opportunity should be embedded throughout the learner journey.
Considering the individual learning requirements and supporting progress and achievement will only be successful if equality of opportunity is embedded effectively.

Include equality and diversity in the scheme of work, clearly evidencing where and how equality and diversity is going to be linked to the curriculum topics.

Explore ways to link topics to the promotion of diversity and the world at work.

Learning materials should promote positive images of equality and diversity and support individualised learning.
Provide differentiated learning opportunities within all classroom activities.

Embrace opportunities to promote equality and diversity within classroom discussions using non-stereotypical language and discussions to challenge assumptions and prejudice.

Encourage learners to develop their understanding of equality and diversity through debate and classroom discussion groups.
Embrace naturally occurring opportunities to address issues as they arise, e.g. prejudice and stereotypical views.

Supporting the journey
Top tip: Use the tutorial entitlement activities to link to topics that will enhance the learner journey and raise aspirations.
Broaden horizons with outstanding trips, visits and guest speakers and support individual needs through regular progress checks and target-setting. 

Learner profile
Identify the individual learning requirements of all learners in your groups.
Communicate with the student support team to maximize the effectiveness of ALS in the classroom.

Create and include tutorial activity in addition to support that will raise aspirations and broaden horizons along with developing awareness of topical issues.

Wider learning
Encourage learners to take part in wider learning activities such as volunteering and citizenship projects.
Progress reviews

Identify and constantly monitor progression and support learners to achieve. Remove any potential barriers to success.
How to….promote positive equality and diversity

Do Don’t
  • Use positive diversity images in marketing
  • Use stereotypical images
  • Create an individualised learner profile and use it to inform the learning plan
  • Plan generic delivery for all
  • Use induction to promote equality and diversity
  • Use a tick box induction to say equality and diversity is covered
  • Use case studies to support learning and embed equality and diversity scenarios
  • Ask a basic question such as, “Is everything ok for equality and diversity?”
  • Provide opportunities in professional discussions to link equality and diversity with curriculum topic
  • Use only the study units for equality and diversity and say it is covered
  • Create a learner centred learning plan to meet their individual needs
  • Complete the ILP just to fill the form in
  • Complete learner centred progress reviews establishing the individualised journey and setting specific and negotiated learning targets to challenge the learner and support achievement
Complete the progress review paperwork in a generic fashion, asking the same questions and recording the same responses

Provide and plan wider learning opportunities such as information for conference events or volunteering activity, working groups or mentor systems

Ignore opportunities to engage learners with local community activity and professional development events

Use learning materials to support individualised learning and promote positive use of images and non-stereotypical language

Use a standard issue pack without individualising the use of all learning materials

Ensure individual learning requirements are identified at the start and throughout the journey, making sure relevant support is in place

Record individual support requirements and do nothing about it because you say there is no support available

Provide a variety of study activities that not only support individualised learning but promote and celebrate equality and diversity through use of language, images and interesting facts

Plan and use the same learning activities for all learners regardless of their individual learning plan

Use the learner ILP to support and guide the learning journey

Fill the ILP in just to tick the box and say it is complete
Outstanding Provision for equality and diversity

This includes the Common Inspection Framework outstanding judgements in relation to equality and diversity.

Outcomes for learners

The success rates of most groups of learners are likely to be at least in line with similar groups of learners nationally, with the majority well above the norm. In exceptional circumstances, where success rates of any group of learners are below those of all learners nationally, the gap is closing rapidly, as shown by a wide range of success indicators.

The success rates of the large majority of groups of learners are likely to be in line with or above similar groups of learners nationally, with the majority above. Where success rates of any group of learners are below those of all learners nationally, the gap is closing. In exceptional circumstances, where the performance of groups of learners is low overall, it is improving at a faster rate than nationally.

The success rates of the majority of groups of learners are likely to be in line with similar groups of learners nationally. Where the performance of some groups of learners is below those of all learners nationally, the gaps are closing overall.

Success rates are consistently low, too variable or in significant decline.

Quality of teaching, learning and assessment
Equality and diversity are integrated fully into the learning experience. Staff manage learners’ behaviour skilfully; they show great awareness of equality and diversity in teaching sessions.

Advice, guidance and support motivate learners to secure the best possible opportunities for success in their learning and progression.

Equality and diversity are promoted and learners’ behaviour is managed well, although some work is still needed to fully integrate aspects of equality and diversity into learning.

Advice, guidance and support provide good opportunities for learners to be motivated and make the necessary connection between learning and successful progression.

The promotion of equality and support for diversity in teaching and learning is satisfactory.

Advice, guidance and support help to motivate learners to succeed in their learning and progress.

Learning activities and resources are not sufficiently well matched to the needs of learners and, as a result, they make inadequate progress.

Staff show insufficient understanding and insufficiently promote equality and diversity in teaching sessions.

Effectiveness of management and leadership
Equality and diversity are promoted actively, resulting in a learning environment where bullying and discrimination are not tolerated. There are likely to be no achievement gaps between different groups of learners.

Equality and diversity are promoted actively, resulting in a learning environment where bullying and discrimination are not tolerated. There are very few achievement gaps between different groups of learners.

Equality and diversity are promoted adequately, resulting in no serious instances of bullying or discrimination. The achievement gap for all groups of learners is narrowing.

Equality and diversity are not promoted, unlawful discrimination is not tackled and achievement gaps between particular groups are not being closed.

Self-evaluation and planning
Use this section to check the recommendations and action plan for improvements
  • Using the course specification/guidance, identify topics within the curriculum that provide opportunities to promote equality and diversity
  • Write the scheme of work and identify where equality and diversity will be promoted  
  • Prepare  
  • Plan all sessions to address stereotypical views, use images and learning materials to promote positive equality and diversity  
  • Plan specific sessions from the scheme of work where opportunities to promote equality and diversity are applicable to the topic  
  • Prepare the learning environment to promote positive images to include - role models within the profession, diversity and equality  
  • Prepare the learning environment to ensure easy access for all learners  
  • Create a group profile to recognise individual learning needs and strategies to support learners. Understand potential barriers to learning and remove them  
  • Deliver  
  • Inspire all learners and support them to achieve their full potential  
  • Provide learning activities and materials to promote independent learning  
  • Motivate and engage ALL learners  
  • Promote learners’ spiritual, moral and cultural development  
  • Promote equality of opportunity, raising aspirations and widening horizons  Raise awareness of cultural and linguistic diversity  
  • Widen participation   
  • Raise aspirations and widen horizons through inspirational curriculum delivery, wider learning and guest speakers  
  • Provide opportunities for learners to engage in activities beyond their previous experiences and explore employment opportunities that will broaden their aspirations  

Action Plan
  • Plan 
  • Prepare  
  • Deliver 
  • Widen Participation 
  • A-Z of equality and diversity
A. Access and advice Every learner has the right of equal access to study and progression.
Advice should support individual needs and allow for progression throughout the learning journey.
Aspirations Always raise the aspirations of every learner as an individual.  Have high expectations of all learners and provide inspirational learning for all.

B. Barriers Barriers should be identified and removed whenever possible before they create a problem.  Should barriers to learning be identified during the learner’s study, these should be addressed immediately to ensure the learner can progress without disruption or discrimination.

C. Celebration of individuality Recognise and celebrate individuality and difference.  Educate learners and colleagues to appreciate the value of difference in society.
Citizenship Encourage citizenship activity within all curriculum areas.  Identify ways to get the learners involved in community projects.
Customer first Always recognise your learners as your number one priority and put their needs first.

D. Diversity Celebrate diversity within the college, community and wider society. Encourage learners to recognise difference in cultures and respect individual difference.
Discrimination Educate learners on the importance of not discriminating.  Ensure the learners can complete their learning journey without fear of discrimination.  Enforce policies if discrimination is present.
Data Take responsibility for monitoring data of underrepresented groups and act accordingly to address any achievement gaps. 

E. Enrolment Consider the needs of learners on an individual basis and ensure they are able to enrol in a programme of study relevant to their career aims and aspirations
Employability Promote and develop employability skills to provide all learners with the best start to their career journey.

F. Feedback Provide continual, constructive feedback, both written and verbal, to support individual progression and achievement on a daily basis. Frequent use of verbal constructive feedback can significantly support progression in every session.

G. Good practice Model good practice in every session every day.  Ensure the learner not only receives a good learning experience but can be guided to play a positive role in the learning journey of others
H. Help and support Always provide the correct help and support for every individual. Guide the learners to appropriate support services as necessary. Never refer a learner on to a support service without following this up to check that the learner is receiving the appropriate support.  This will ensure that the learner can continue with their study without barriers to learning.

I. Inclusion Never cause a learner to feel excluded in any way.  Ensure that there are no barriers to inclusion. Consider all aspects of the learner’s journey and consult with learners to make sure they do feel inclusion is a priority.
Individualised learning Recognise every learner as an individual. Plan and deliver the curriculum to meet the needs of individuals. Consider the changing needs of individuals as they progress through their learning journey.
Initial assessment All learners complete initial assessment. Use this as a starting point to their learning journey, along with other information about the individual’s starting point. Consider targets and progress. Recognise the individual’s needs within the many different learning environments and methods of learning.

I. Induction Promote equality and diversity as a key part to the induction.  Celebrate difference and promote individualised learning and support. Ensure all learners are aware of their rights and responsibilities in accordance with the equality legislation.
Inspirational learning Every day and in every session always provide inspirational delivery.  Make a difference in the learning journey for all of your learners.  When learners are inspired they go on to achieve great things.  Every part of the learning journey should inspire the learners, from resources, delivery and learning activity through to wider learning and access to guest speakers and work experience.  Ensure the learner’s journey is a valuable and enriching one.

J. Journey From the point of first enquiry to the certification of achievement, a learner should be treated and supported as an individual.  Always promote equality and diversity to develop and enrich their understanding of diversity, difference and equality.  Open their minds to a world of difference and equality in achievement.  Raise learner’s aspirations and empower them to aim higher.K. Knowledge Use tutorial time to promote equality and diversity issues and awareness. Embed equality and diversity in to the everyday curriculum with natural promotion linked to study.

L. Language Promote the positive use of language amongst learners to encourage respect for self and others.
Learning for individuals should always be your number one priority.  Promote and embed equality and diversity within all aspects of learning from individual support through to topic related subjects and raising aspirations.
M. Methods of learning Provide a variety of learning methods in all sessions based on the individual learning needs of each learner.  Recognise how individual learning works well and support this with the appropriate learning activity.
Marketing Promote a culture of positive equality and diversity within all aspects of marketing.  This will not only include images but also information in leaflets and verbal communication.

N. Need Recognising individual need – support each learner as an individual and understand every learner requires very different learning and support.

O. Outcomes Monitor outcomes of minority groups per qualification, level, age and subject sector area.  This information is available along with all other data information.  Provide a positive learning experience for all and outcomes will be positive for all.

P. Progression Individual progression is not just the achievement at the end of a course and moving on to a higher level.  Progress should be evident session by session and day by day.  Monitor the progression of each individual learner.  Provide an individual learning experience that includes specific support, advice, guidance and targets.

Q. Quality High standards of quality should run throughout all aspects of the learner’s journey.  If you are unsure if you meet these standards you can use the checklist provided on the equality and diversity toolkit on STAFFnet.

R. Resources Promote the positive use of language amongst learners to encourage respect of self and others.
Respect and responsibility Promote a culture of respect and responsibility for all.  Demonstrate this within your own practice and encourage learners to adopt the same approach.

S. Support for learning Promote all support services available to learners and provide continual support and guidance for individuals throughout their learning journey.  Also, see N and H

T. Targets Set small smart targets frequently throughout the learner’s journey.  Make targets relevant to their achievement.  Monitor progress against targets carefully.  Use targets and achievement to motivate learners.
Teaching Deliver inspirational teaching in every session.  Support individual learning and provide a positive learning session for all.  Use a variety of teaching methods to engage every learner and ensure subject knowledge and skill promote equality and diversity at every level.
Technology Use technology to support individual learning.  Encourage learners to use and access technology in and out of college to enhance their learning experience. Develop your knowledge of technology that specifically supports individual learning needs.
Tutorial Make best use of tutorial time to set meaningful targets and monitor progress.  Use group tutorials effectively to promote equality and diversity.

U. Understanding of learners Do not make assumptions of any learner.  Get to know learners and understand their individual learning styles and skills.

V. Value Value each learner as an individual, encourage them to actively participate in the group learning and celebrate their achievements, big or small, throughout their journey.

W. Wider learning Plan a full year of wider learning. Include inspirational guest speakers, trips and visits. Aim to raise aspirations and widen horizons.
X. eXemplary practice to promote equality and diversity
 Embrace equality and diversity and at every opportunity promote equality and diversity.

Y. You - the one to make a difference Encourage learners to explore equality and diversity topics that they may not fully understand.  Look at current affairs and broaden the learners’ understanding of every day issues faced by their community.

Z. Zero tolerance Do not dismiss any inappropriate comments or views.  Make it known that there is zero tolerance of discrimination and prejudice. Bullying and harassment of any kind will not be tolerated.  Promote positive attitudes.

Equality and diversity is an essential part of learning and the learner’s experience. Throughout this booklet there are a number of topics identified and activities to promote discussion and develop the learner’s knowledge along with guidance on expectations from Ofsted and legislation relative to the public sector.

Please use the information and activities to ensure equality and diversity is a key feature within your provision.

Further reading
Equality and diversity in the lifelong learning sector. Ann Gravells and Susan Simpson 2009 Learning Matters Ltd.

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