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At West Suffolk College everyone has a right to be treated with respect and dignity, learners, staff, visitors or service user. It is our aim to provide an inclusive working and learning environment where everyone in the College community is fully respected and supported.

The College will make sure that you are not treated unfairly for reasons which cannot be legitimately justified. West Suffolk College is proud of and values the contributions made by the rich diversity of all who work and learn here.

This page and the documents within contain information about how equality and diversity is managed at West Suffolk College and how we aim to meet our duties arising under the Equality Act 2010.

What is equality?

Equality is about making sure individuals or groups are treated fairly and equally and no less favourably, specific to their needs, including areas of race, gender, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation and age. By promoting equality, we can remove discrimination in all of these areas. Bullying, harassment and victimisation are also considered as equality and diversity issues.

What is diversity?

This means recognising, valuing and taking account of peoples' different backgrounds, knowledge, skills, needs and experiences – to contribute and realise their full potential by promoting an inclusive culture for all staff and students.

Equality and Diversity at West Suffolk College

In 2015/16 we had total students enrolment of 11,187 at West Suffolk College, of which 3,369 were full-time. There were 1,666 apprenticeships and nearly 1,000 workplace learners. In support of these programmes we worked with more than 1800 employers. We worked with all of our local upper schools. We also had 155 14-16 year olds and 1328 adults studying with us, in addition to 50 students with Additional Learning Needs.

We are a member of University of Suffolk and provide full and part-time degree courses for 610 students. Our annual graduation is held in the Cathedral, and is a very important day for our students and the town alike.

West Suffolk College takes great care to ensure the recruitment and selection of students, their admission to the appropriate course, their learning, teaching and assessment is fair and free from unlawful discrimination.

The College employs 757 permanent and fixed term staff. There are 31% hourly paid staff. A range of employment-related policies and procedures have been developed which demonstrate our commitment to equality and diversity.

Training and development in equality and diversity is provided to staff to ensure that they understand our commitment to equality and are able to operate our policies and procedures confidently and competently.

Policies and Monitoring

We collect and monitor data relating to staff and learners to understand and, if necessary, address the effects of our policies and procedures. We are collecting staff and student data to cover all of the protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010. The current results are shown in the analysis of staff and student data for 2013-14, below. Staff are actively encouraged by our HR department to provide more information about their protected characteristics.

Managing Equality and Diversity

Responsibility for Equality and Diversity at West Suffolk College lies with the Vice Principal Curriculum and Quality with day to day management undertaken by the Assistant Principal for Quality Improvement. The Equality Board is chaired by the Assistant Principal for Student Learning and Success.

Please see the links below for other policies and documents related to equality and diversity: