Equality Outcomes for Orkney College UHI (2017-2021)

Background content

Background

Under the Scottish specific duties of the Equality Act 2010, we are required to set and publish our new Equality Outcomes by the end of April 2017. Institutions published their first set of equality outcomes in 2013.

Equality outcomes are results which an institution aims to achieve that will further one or more of the parts of the public sector equality duty (PSED) (eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations). They are the changes that will results as a consequence of institutional action that will improve equality for individuals, communities or society. While there is no set format for how equality outcomes should be presented, they must demonstrate that they will enable better performance of the PSED of the Equality Act 2010 by giving due regard to:

  • Eliminating unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Equality Act 2010.
  • Advancing equality of opportunity between people from different groups, considering the need to:
    • Remove or minimise disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics
    • Meet the needs of people with protected characteristics
    • Encourage people with protected characteristics to participate in public life or in other activities where their participation is low
    • Fostering good relations between people from difference groups, tackling prejudice and promoting understanding between people from difference groups.

The duty to set equality outcomes is thus relatively new and setting equality outcomes has inevitably been a developmental process. Members of the Access and Inclusion Group met early in 2017 to discuss progress made against our original equality outcomes and their relevance to the College’s strategy for the forthcoming four years.

Four Equality Outcomes were originally published and it was felt that this was an appropriate number for the College to progress.

Members who reviewed the original outcomes felt that:

  • Equality Outcome 1 was still relevant and appropriate;
  • Equality Outcome 2 needed amending to bring further clarity and focus;
  • Equality Outcome 3 was still relevant however the wording needed amending slightly;
  • Equality Outcome 4 was not possible to achieve given that Orkney Islands Council’s policies apply so this should be abandoned and another outcome devised as a replacement.

The discussion felt that the proposed changes and introduction of a replacement outcome would ensure that there was identified focus for staff, students, the curriculum and a specific important issue which the College wishes to address.

Involvement

Following the proposed changes, both staff and students were asked for their views about the proposed changes.

Feedback indicated that there was not a requirement to revise the proposed changes and therefore the following four equality outcomes will be taken forward by the College for the next four years, with subsequent review and report produced of progress in 2019.

Equality Outcome 1

Students understand their responsibility regarding anti-discriminatory practices in relation to the protected characteristics. Students achieve this within a curriculum that is inclusive and ensures a non-discriminatory experience.

Protected Characteristics

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and Maternity
  • Religion and Belief
  • Race
  • Sex
  • Sexual Orientation

General Duty

Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation or any other prohibited conduct

Advance equality of opportunity by:

  • Removing or minimising disadvantage
  • Meeting the needs of particular groups that are different from the needs of others
  • Encouraging participation in public life
  • Foster good relations

Equality Outcome 2

Continually develop staff awareness of protected characteristics to inform their inclusive practices.

Protected Characteristics

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and Maternity
  • Religion and Belief
  • Race
  • Sex
  • Sexual Orientation

General Duty

Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation or any other prohibited conduct

Advance equality of opportunity by:

  • Removing or minimising disadvantage
  • Meeting the needs of particular groups that are different from the needs of others
  • Encouraging participation in public life
  • Foster good relations

Equality Outcome 3

Gender balance encouraged for courses where statistics suggest that they are male or female dominated

Protected Characteristics

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and Maternity
  • Religion and Belief
  • Race
  • Sex
  • Sexual Orientation

General Duty

Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation or any other prohibited conduct

Advance equality of opportunity by:

  • Removing or minimising disadvantage
  • Meeting the needs of particular groups that are different from the needs of others
  • Encouraging participation in public life
  • Foster good relations
  • Work with schools and SDS to promote relevant courses

Equality Outcome 4

Work to develop an ethos where mental health is not a barrier to study, and ensure that staff have the resources and knowledge to support students.

  • Stronger networking & partnership working
  • Staff development

Protected Characteristics

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and Maternity
  • Religion and Belief
  • Race
  • Sex
  • Sexual Orientation

General Duty

Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation or any other prohibited conduct

Advance equality of opportunity by:

  • Removing or minimising disadvantage
  • Meeting the needs of particular groups that are different from the needs of others
  • Encouraging participation in public life

Foster good relations