Mainstreaming Equality in Orkney College
Mainstreaming equality means integrating equality into the day-to-day working of the College. This means taking equality into account in the way the College goes about its business as a provider of education.
As Orkney College UHI is not an incorporated College and Orkney College staff are OIC employees, many of the actions that are being taken to mainstream equality cover all the Council’s work and therefore Orkney College UHI. Orkney Islands Council Mainstreaming Report can be found at http://www.orkney.gov.uk/Council/C/Equality-and-Diversity.htm
This section details specific steps which relate to Orkney College.
Strategic Aim 1 for Orkney College UHI is to
- ‘To provide a diverse range of high quality education, training, and research to meet market needs and encourage participation within an inclusiveness agenda’. Objectives include-
- ‘To continually review the further education (FE) and higher education (HE) portfolio and to promote diversity and inclusion in all its contexts'
An example of working towards the above is that over the last 2 years two new full time courses have been added to our portfolio of courses which accommodate students that need to study at access 2 and 3 level and/or disaffected young people. Extra staff, resources and facilities have been secured to support the courses.
Orkney College UHI continues to work in partnership with local secondary schools to help provide a curriculum that suits every pupils’ needs and to have a major role in the pupils achievement of a positive destination when leaving school.
The ethos for the Curriculum for Excellence is adopted by the College and all F/T FE course are linked to the achievement of 4 capacities of the CfE.
Orkney College UHI Staff
Staff of Orkney College UHI are committed to monitoring and reviewing progress in delivering our Equality Outcomes for the promotion of equality and diversity across the organisation. Ongoing staff development will be undertaken to support staff to achieve the above.
The Student Voice
Orkney College undertakes with students an annual questionnaire titled ‘Promoting Equality for All’ Students help to develop the questionnaire to help ensure understanding by students when they complete it. This is now an embedded procedure within College and the information gained from these questionnaires is used to inform practice to ensure equality for all students.
There are other mechanisms for students to put their ideas forward or raise issues, either anonymously via suggestions boxes or at course review meetings and /or Orkney College cross College Committee Meetings. Orkney College demonstrates its support to encourage students to attend committee meetings by offering a financial incentive.
Developing and implementing ways to secure the student voice remains a major objective within Orkney College.
Student support is available to all who need it for their studies. It is offered to all so as not to stigmatise anyone who receives it. Partnerships with other agencies enable the College to be able to offer counselling to our students who would benefit from it. Evaluation of the support given is undertaken annually and any changes thought necessary to improve the service is made.
Senior Staff from the College sit on the Orkney Equality Forum. This forum work closely with partners within the Orkney Community Planning Partnership where Orkney Equality Forum has responsibility for national outcome 7 in our Single Outcome Agreement with the Scottish Government: We have tackled the significant inequalities in Scottish society.
Staff from the College also sit on the UHI Equality and Diversity Group.
Orkney College has an Equality and Diversity Committee made up of staff from across the College and student reps. This committee feed directly into the College Management Team.
Equalities training is part of staff induction.
Orkney College staff take part in staff development, along with other OIC employees, in activities that support equality for students e.g ‘Getting it Right for every Child’
As well as playing a role is achieving the OIC equality outcomes for example EO 1 and 4, Orkney College has developed its own 7 Equality Outcomes. Staff and students were involved in the developing of these outcomes and will play an active part in their delivery.
Equality Impact Assessment
As Orkney College is part of Orkney Islands Council, its uses the same equality impact assessment tool. Any policies or procedures only applicable to the College will continue to be impact assessed by College staff.
Analysis of Student Information
Our College systems will be appropriately developed to ensure improved access to robust statistical evidence that can support analysis and decision making down to course level.
The College published it first Mainstreaming Report as part of Orkney Island’s Council Mainstreaming Report, in April 2015, and subsequently publishes at intervals of not more than two years from the publication of the first report.
The College will publish not later than 30 April in the designated year and at four yearly interval will publish an updated set of Equality Outcomes.