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Advancing equality and diversity in universities and colleges


Meeting the challenges

Projects were selected that address equality challenges in the English FE sector.

  • Engaging with employers to advance equality in workplace learning
  • Addressing underrepresentation and stereotyping by disability, race and gender in apprenticeships and traineeships
  • Enabling careers advisers to challenge stereotyping and advise people with different protected characteristics
  • Increasing understanding of issues faced by learners with specific intersectional identities, for example disabled black learners
  • Advancing equality for groups with different protected characteristics in offender learning
  • Supporting access, inclusion and progression for care leavers with different protected characteristics
  • Addressing the recommendations from the Skills Funding Agency’s research into sexual orientation and gender identity equality in adult learning
  • Addressing the recommendations from the Skills Funding Agency’s research on learners’ views of religion and belief equality in adult learning

The projects also address the need to embed, sustain and spread good practice.

Embed >

Projects have demonstrated strong partnership working and set up mechanisms for good practice to be integrated into the current curriculum (for example, making changes to assessing apprenticeships within an existing qualification model) and operational structures, such as contractual agreements with providers.

Sustain >

Projects have demonstrated this through adopting an institution-wide approach to culture change, long-term action plans, strategic commitment at an institutional level through senior management involvement and match-funding, and mechanisms for continual appraisal of practices that are working.

Spread >

Projects have adopted a number of ways of ensuring that the work undertaken is shared extensively within their organisation, within the local community and the wider sector. This includes the use of virtual support networks, social media and updating existing national resources.

As well as responding to these priorities, the 2014/15 projects cover all nine equality characteristics protected by the Equality Act 2010.

  • Age
  • Race
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage or civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Religion or belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation