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Race Equality Policy
The University is required under the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 (RRAA) to maintain a Race Equality Policy. The Race Equality Policy and the associated Action Plan are linked to the University's Equal Opportunities Policy. The Race Equality Policy and Plan enable the University to ensure that there is no racial discrimination within BSU and to promote equality of opportunity and good relations between people from different racial groups.
The University values the diversity brought to its workforce by individuals, and believes that the University benefits from engaging staff from a variety of racial, ethnic and national backgrounds, enabling it to meet the needs of the student population within a multicultural society. The University treats all employees and students with respect and dignity. It seeks to provide a working environment free from racial discrimination, harassment or victimisation.
Implementing the Policy
Responsibility for implementing the Race Equality Policy lies with the Chair of Equality and Diversity Steering Group (EDSG) and the Vice-Chancellor. The EDSG consists of academic and professional services staff, student representatives and senior management. The Vice-Chancellor nominates the Chair. The EDSG meets every other month to discuss current actions on the Equality and Diversity agenda. The minutes of the meeting are available from HR.
The demography of Bath & North East Somerset (B&NES) is that 3% of its population are Black Ethnic Minority (BME). Bristol, 10 miles from Bath, has a BME population of around 8%*.
Bath Spa University is a medium-sized University with approximately 5500 students and offers a variety of courses including Science, the Social Sciences, Humanities, Visual and Arts, Performing Arts, Education and Teacher Training. The University's BME student population is 6.26%**.
The University currently employs approximately 771 full and part-time staff, of which 401 are academic staff and 370 professional services staff. 3% of academic staff and 1% of professional services staff are BME**.
* Statistics from The Office for Neighbourhood Statistics
** University statistics, 2007
The recognised Trade Unions and the BSU Students' Union have been consulted on the Policy and the Action Plan. Regular consultation and feedback from all those who are affected by the policy is essential in the monitoring operation of the policy. Consultation and feedback are obtained through a variety of methods to ensure a broad range of opportunities for people to participate. These include regular Equality and Diversity meetings, focus groups, workshops, questionnaires and individual feedback via the University's Diversity Champions, or Representatives. A list of these contacts is available via Human Resources. Data is collected from central government statistics, HEFCE and internal sources such as the BSU Equal Opportunities Staff Survey. These data sources are regularly monitored to provide up to date information to underpin the University's diversity policies and practice.
The Race Equality Policy is fundamental to the University's Mission and Strategic Plan. The University is committed to ensuring that there is no racist practice in any of its activities, whether as an employer or as a provider of higher education. The University adopts the definition of institutional racism in the Macpherson Report (1999) on the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry. (See note below). It will examine the design and impact of its policies, procedures and practices to ensure that black and minority ethnic people receive fair and appropriate services and treatment.
In line with its wider Equal Opportunities Policy, the University will:
- Remove any barriers to accessing education, facilities and support to ensure students from all racial groups achieve the highest level of programme outcomes consistent with their motivation and ability.
- Remove any barriers to employment and career progression for staff from different racial groups in order to build a workforce that reflects the ethnic diversity of the relevant wider population. This will be regional or national or other, depending upon the nature of the job(s) under consideration.
- Show consideration and respect for the religious and cultural traditions and practices of all staff and students.
- Develop an inclusive learning, teaching and working environment by promoting mutual respect and valuing differences between people from different racial backgrounds.
- Challenge and deal appropriately with any racial discrimination, racist behaviour and language in accordance with the University regulations and procedures.
- Continue to develop systems for expanding the collection, analysis and use of ethnic monitoring data of staff and students. The data will be used to set targets that will inform the University's work in promoting good race equality practices and provide comparative benchmarking. Staff information will be collated by the HR Department, and Student information by Student Services. These data will update the policy and related documents annually.
- Carry out a regular annual review of the University's progress against the Race Equality Policy and Implementation Plan to be presented at the EDSG and report every third year to the Board of Governors on progress, or sooner if required.
- Where there is evidence that shows racial discrimination or potentially discriminatory practice, make the necessary changes to the University's activities.
- Develop guidance and provide training to all staff in order to implement the Race Equality Policy and to ensure compliance with legislation.
- Make race equality considerations integral to its planning, review and decision-making process. The University will begin to do this by implementing its specific duties, as identified below.
The General and Specific Duties
The Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 places a general duty on public bodies to eliminate unlawful racial discrimination and to promote equality of opportunity and good relations between people of different racial groups. Specific duties have been introduced to support this aim and the University is required to:
- Develop a Race Equality Policy
- Assess the impact of the University's policies, including its Race Equality Policy, on students and staff of different racial groups
- Monitor the admission and progress of students and the recruitment and career progress of staff by racial group
- Annually publish the results of its monitoring data
- Publish the Race Equality Policy along with the results of the University's assessments of progress
Meeting the General and Specific Duties
The University will use an initial screening process to identify which of its functions, policies, procedures and practices are relevant to race equality. Detailed impact assessments will be carried out concerning the needs and views of students and staff.
Existing monitoring systems will be further developed to produce robust data to help monitor the Race Equality Policy and plan for continuous improvement. The responsibility of monitoring information will rest specifically with the EDSG and the Vice-Chancellor, and more generally with the Heads of Schools and Departments for their areas of responsibility.
The arrangements for assessing the impact of the University's policies for assessing progress and publishing monitoring data are set out in the Action Plan available on the University's website.
The Race Equality Policy and Action Plan will be published on the University's website along with the results of assessments of progress and monitoring data here. The policy will thereby be promoted and made easily available to prospective and existing staff and students, and other interested parties.
A summary of the impact assessments, monitoring data and progress against the Race Equality Policy (and Equal Opportunities Action Plan) will be reviewed annually by the EDSG and reported every third year to the Board of Governors by the Chair of the Equality and Diversity Steering Group. The summary will also be made available to the Vice-Chancellor and disseminated through the University's staff newsletter and the Students' Union.
Cross reference with other relevant policies and proceduresThe University will ensure that working towards racial equality is explicit in all relevant policies and procedures and in the way services and activities are planned and delivered. This will ensure that promoting race equality cuts across all the functions of the University, having implications for the following policies and procedures:
Policies Plans relating to the Strategic Plan, Equal Opportunities and Quality Assurance
- Strategic plan
- Annual operating statement
- Equal opportunities policy
- Quality assurance (Quality assurance manual)
Teaching and Learning
- Learning and teaching Strategy
- Curriculum development and review
- Research strategy
- Academic appeals and student complaints
Student access, support and guidance
- Admissions and access
- University prospectus
- Guidance and support services
- Widening participation
- Human resource strategy
- Recruitment and selection
- Learning & development
- Staff Development and Review
- Grievances and complaints
- Dealing with racist behaviour through the Harassment Policy, and the Complaints Procedure for students
- Tackling racist and inappropriate language
- External relations and links to local communities
Accountability and Responsibilities
Board of Governors
The Board is responsible under the RRAA to promote racial equality. It:
- is responsible for ensuring that the Race Equality Policy is implemented, monitored and continuously reviewed according to the requirements of the Act
- will receive regular reports and/or updates to allow this responsibility to be met
The Vice-Chancellor is responsible for ensuring that:
- Race equality is implemented across the activities of the University
- All staff, managers and the Board of Governors are aware of their responsibilities under the Race Equality Policy and that they receive appropriate training and support.
- Students are clear about standards of behaviour expected by the University
- Appropriate disciplinary action is taken against staff or students who racially discriminate
Managers and Supervisors
All employees who have managerial and supervisory responsibility for colleagues or students are responsible for ensuring that:
- Race equality is implemented in their areas of responsibility
- Staff in their departments are aware of their responsibilities and are provided with the appropriate training and support
- Complaints of racism and racial harassment are dealt with quickly and appropriately
Individuals with specific responsibilities
The Chair of the EDSG:
- will ensure that progress against the Race Equality Policy is widely communicated and reported; and that managers and staff are equipped to fulfil their responsibilities
- with the Dean of Academic Development will monitor the implementation of both the Race Equality Policy and Equal Opportunities Policy in relation to teaching and learning
- is responsible for ensuring that all students receive fair, equal and appropriate treatment
- is responsible for dealing with complaints of racist behaviour or harassment in accordance with the Complaints Procedure
The Director of Human Resources is responsible:
- for ensuring race equality in relation to employment and will monitor the implementation of both the Race Equality Policy and Equal Opportunities Policy in this area
- for the implementation of the Harassment Policy and ensuring that complaints of racist behaviour, harassment and bullying, language, incidents are dealt with appropriately
The Marketing Manager will ensure that the University is projected externally as an organisation that is committed to racial equality and that is actively engaged with local black and minority ethnic communities.
The Head of Student Services will ensure equal access to, and delivery of, University services and support according to individual needs.
The Equal Opportunities HR Contact is responsible for providing legal and practical advice and support to both network members, managers and supervisors.
- Have a responsibility for implementing the Race Equality Policy and for ensuring fair, equal and appropriate treatment in all aspects of their work
- Will be provided with guidance and training to tackle racist behaviour or incidents and equip staff to recognise and challenge racism and racist stereotyping by the University
- Have a responsibility to keep up to date with relevant anti-discrimination legislation and the implications this will have for their work and expected standards of behaviour
Visitors and Suppliers
Visitors, as far as possible, will be made aware of the University's Race Equality Policy and Equal Opportunities Policy. Suppliers of goods will be expected to adhere to both policies and will be advised accordingly.
The University will ensure that its tendering, contract and procurement arrangements with external organisations are fair and are not racially discriminatory. It will review the criteria used for awarding contracts and the methods of assessing and monitoring individual operators' own employment and service delivery practices.
Working with communities
The University will seek to secure the confidence, involvement and participation of under-represented groups and sections of the community as students, staff, governors, goods and service providers.
The University has an important role to play in promoting good relations
between people of different racial groups and will work in partnership
with the local community and other agencies to develop and promote
positive attitudes to racial and cultural diversity.
Failure to adhere to the Policy
The University will make it clear that it will not tolerate discriminatory or racist behaviour, language or practices.
Breaches of this policy by staff or students will be investigated and dealt with through the disciplinary or complaints procedures.
The Macpherson Report (1999) defines 'institutional racism' as:
The collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture or ethnic origin. It can be seen or detected in processes, attitudes and behaviour which amount to discrimination through unwitting prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness and racist stereotyping which disadvantage minority ethnic people (para. 6.34).
The report goes on to recommend:
It is incumbent upon every institution to examine their policies and practices to guard against disadvantaging any section of our communities'. There must be an unequivocal acceptance of the problem of institutional racism and its nature before it can be addressed, as it needs to be, in full partnership with members of minority ethnic communities (paras. 46.26-7.
The Government passed the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 in response to the findings in the Macpherson Inquiry (1999).
Macpherson, W. (1999) the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry: Report of an inquiry by Sir William Macpherson of Cluny, London: The Stationery Office. Online.