Macclesfield Learning Zone - Equality and Diversity Code of Practice

This Code of Practice is designed as the framework for implementing The Macclesfield Academy, Park Lane School and Macclesfield College Equality and Diversity Policy within the Macclesfield Learning Zone. It has been jointly developed by The Macclesfield Academy, Park Lane School and Macclesfield College, who are partners in the Macclesfield Learning Zone (MLZ).

1. PROMOTING EQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITY

1.1 Communicating the Equality and Diversity Policy

Partners in the MLZ commit to taking active steps to communicate The Macclesfield Academy, Park Lane School and Macclesfield College Equality and Diversity Policy to all students, parents/guardians, governors and staff, and to ensuring that all visitors and contractors are made aware of its values, principles and standards.  It will do so by:

  • providing all governors and staff with a copy of the Policy
  • providing all students with either a copy of the Policy or an appropriate  summary
  • providing parents/carers of students under 19 years with a copy of the Policy on request
  • drawing the key commitments of the Policy to the attention of all visitors and contractors
  • including the Policy in staff and student inductions
  • displaying the Policy in Reception areas and on websites
  • ensuring that the Policy’s values, principles and standards are reflected in everything we do.

1.2 Learner Entitlement

MLZ partners have developed Learner Entitlements which reflect the values, principles and standards set out in the Equality and Diversity Policy and actively promote equality of opportunity.

The Learner Entitlement for LZ6 has been jointly developed and reflects the Cheshire and Warrington Learner Entitlement for 14 to 19 year olds.

1.3 Language and behaviour

MLZ partners expect governors, staff, students, parents/carers, visitors and contractors to behave in ways which demonstrate respect for others.  This means that governors, staff and students should each play their part in creating a positive, welcoming environment within the MLZ and that every individual should avoid language or actions which might cause another hurt or offence.   

1.4 Marketing and publicity

MLZ partners will ensure that:

  • services and facilities are designed to meet the learning needs and aspirations of the communities the MLZ serves
  • MLZ marketing and publicity material is distributed widely to provide the community with easy access to information and guidance
  • websites are accessible to a recognised quality standard – W3C
  • publicity materials are available on CD or in large print, on request
  • all publicity material will emphasise the MLZ’s commitment to equality and diversity, including using images and text as appropriate
  • publicity materials will avoid stereotyping of roles and demonstrate a variety of opportunities
  • steps are taken to widen participation by targeting groups of people who have been traditionally under-represented in further education.
1.5 Student admissions/recruitment and induction

MLZ student recruitment and admissions procedures will ensure that all students (and their parents/carers) receive comprehensive pre-entry guidance and opportunities to take part in activities which facilitate transition.  Admissions and recruitment procedures will be welcoming, professional and free from bias.  MLZ partners will seek to meet the needs of all students, including those with learning difficulties and/or disabilities.  The MLZ will respond positively to disability legislation by ensuring that students with additional needs are appropriately supported through the admissions and recruitment process, that steps are taken to understand and plan to meet their needs, and that priority is given to physical access to buildings and learning facilities.

All students will receive an induction appropriate to their needs and designed to help them to make friends and to settle them quickly into their new learning environment.

1.6 Staff induction and development

All new staff will receive an induction to the MLZ and their own institution to enable them to settle quickly into their new roles.  Induction will include awareness and understanding of the Equality and Diversity Policy and Code of Practice.

All staff are entitled to training and development to improve their effectiveness in their post.  Applications for training and development will be considered fairly, without unfair discrimination.  All staff will receive awareness training on equality and diversity and, where appropriate or requested, more specialised training in promoting, delivering and monitoring equality and diversity.  

DELIVERING EQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITY

Curriculum and learning resources

Learning resources will be free from racist, sexist and other prejudiced or discriminatory assumptions, images and language.  The only exception to this is where materials are used to promote positive discussion of equality issues.  Within legislative requirements, the curriculum will be designed to be inclusive and to promote access and progression.  Where appropriate, credit will be given for prior learning and experience.

Macclesfield College will develop its provision to include programmes designed to attract into FE those groups of people or individuals who have traditionally been under-represented in further education. This will include community outreach to meet the needs of specific target groups such as older learners, people living in sheltered accommodation or attending day centres, and ex-offenders.

Teaching, learning and assessment

MLZ partners are committed to achieving the highest standards in teaching and learning.  We will seek to develop inclusive, personalised learning strategies to meet the needs of individual students and to help them to achieve their full potential.  In so doing, partners will take active steps to develop staff in the best international teaching and learning practice and to ensure that best practice is promoted and shared.

Assessment will be fair and MLZ partners will strive to ensure that assessment techniques provide all students with the opportunity to gain credit for their knowledge, skills and achievements.  Initial and diagnostic assessments will be available to all post-16 students to help identify their learner needs. Formative assessments will provide students with feedback which will enable them to improve and build upon current performance.  Wherever possible, assessment will be adapted to take into account the additional needs of students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities so that they can demonstrate effectively what they have learned.  Where necessary, application will be made to awarding bodies for special arrangements to meet individual students’ additional assessment needs.

Tutorial and learner support

All students will receive tutorial support appropriate to their age, stage and programme.  Tutorial programmes will be designed to support students’ learning, track their progress and provide pastoral support.  Personal Tutors will adopt an inclusive, personalised approach which recognises individual learner needs.

All learners will be supported according to their individual needs.  Students will be assessed to identify individual support needs and steps taken to respond to these needs.   Within Park Lane Special School, The Macclesfield Academy and LZ6 some students will be supported via Statements of Special Educational Needs. However, within available resources, every attempt will be made to provide additional support where this will enable students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities to participate fully in School or College life and to achieve their full potential.

Information, advice and guidance

At Macclesfield College the Student Guidance Centre is open throughout the day and some evenings to provide all College and LZ6 students with access to a full range of information, advice and guidance. Learner Support Funds can provide financial assistance to College students. A College Counsellor is available to give support with personal matters to LZ6 and College students. Learning mentors support students at The Macclesfield Academy. The Academy, Park Lane Special School and College work closely with the Connexions Service and appointments can be arranged with Connexions’ Personal Advisers.

During their time at the MLZ, all students will have access to careers education and guidance, including objective information, advice and guidance about alternative educational pathways.  Resources for careers and educational guidance will be free from racist, sexist and other prejudiced or discriminatory assumptions, images and language.  MLZ partners will challenge stereotypes about careers and job roles so as to encourage students to access information, advice and guidance on a wide range of alternative options and opportunities.

Work experience will be available to students at appropriate times to help them to prepare for the world of work.

Staff recruitment, selection and other Human Resources practice

The MLZ’s staff recruitment and selection procedures reflect best equality and diversity practice.  All appointments (including internal appointments) will be advertised and advertisements will emphasise that the MLZ partners are equal opportunities employers.  Care will be taken over:

  • the wording, design and composition of job advertisements
  • consideration will be given as to the best place to advertise each post.

A job description and person specification will be drawn up for each vacant post and care will be taken to avoid artificial barriers to recruitment.  All job applicants will receive a copy of the Equality and Diversity Policy.  Application forms will require only essential information.  Equal opportunities monitoring information will be collected on a separate form.

The aim of selection is to appoint the most suitable candidate in relation to the job requirements.  Thus selection criteria will relate to qualifications, skills and experience relevant to the post and any tests or exercises will be carried out in circumstances similar to the normal job environment.

Long-listing/short-listing will be carried out by a properly constituted panel.  Short-listed candidates will be appropriately briefed and have the opportunity to visit the School or College to meet prospective managers and colleagues.  Interviews will be conducted by an appropriately constituted panel of trained interviewers.  Wherever possible, attention will be paid to the gender balance of the panel.  Questioning will be confined to matters relevant to the post, and will not normally concern applicants’ personal lives.  A record will be made of the reasons for the appointment/non-appointment of short-listed candidates.  De-briefing will be offered to unsuccessful candidates on request.     

The College Corporation and School Governing Bodies are keen to diversify their workforce. The College is registered under the Two Ticks Scheme and all three partner institutions welcome and facilitate applications from disabled applicants. Active steps are also taken to attract applicants of ethnic minority heritage, who are under re-presented in the workforce.

Access and environment

MLZ partners understand and accept their responsibilities under the Disability Discrimination Act and Special Educational Needs and Disability Act. We welcome applications from staff and students with disabilities and will seek to accommodate them.  All MLZ campus buildings are fully accessible.

Complaints, bullying and harassment

MLZ partners will not tolerate bullying or harassment of any kind against students or staff.  Complaints/grievances about bullying or harassment will be fully investigated and disciplinary action taken as appropriate.

MLZ partners will respond positively to complaints and try to learn from them to improve customer service.  Complaints need to be made under the appropriate Complaints Procedures and will be investigated and resolved as per those procedures. 

MONITORING EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY

Target setting and action planning

Each year the MLZ’s Equality and Diversity Committee will develop an action plan with clear targets for implementing the Equality and Diversity Policy.  Action points and targets will be SMART, with clear milestones, so as to ensure that progress can be monitored and reviewed.  The annual Equality and Diversity Action Plan will be considered and endorsed by the governing bodies of MLZ partners in the autumn of each academic year.
                       

Monitoring progress

The Equality and Diversity Committee will monitor progress monthly against the actions and targets set out in the annual Equality and Diversity Action Plan.  An annual progress report will be made to the governing bodies of MLZ partners.

3.3       Evaluating the impact of equal opportunities action      
            MLZ partners will evaluate the impact of equal opportunities action through the following:

  • teaching and learning observations
  • feedback from students, parents/carers and staff by means of surveys or other measures of attitudes and opinions
  • monitoring and analysis of complaints
  • inspection by Ofsted or other quality assurance bodies.

The MLZ will comply fully with Race Equality, Gender Equality and Disability Equality legislation which require annual review of the impact of policies on black and minority ethnic/disabled staff and students, and on men and women, and will publish the outcomes annually.

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