College is an Investor in Diversity

The Sixth Form College, Solihull is celebrating achieving the Investors in Diversity Stage 2 award from the National Centre for Diversity.

The College has been working towards this status for the past ten months and Interim Vice Principal Sonia Wood has engaged the entire College community towards this goal.

Sonia commented:

“I’m delighted that the College has fulfilled the criteria necessary to be considered an Investor in Diversity. We have always taken equality and diversity very seriously, but we recognised that improvements were possible and everyone has worked hard to make those achievements. This has included all staff making a conscious effort to ensure we take every opportunity to celebrate our diversity and consider equality in all we do. Achieving this standard is recognition that this philosophy is embedded in all we do.”

In their report, announcing the award, the National Centre for Diversity praised the College for its commitment to equality and diversity, highlighting how well embedded in the College Missions Statement (Aspire, Invest, Respect) it is. They also made reference to how we showcase equality and diversity via the College website and marketing materials.

Interviews and surveys with staff and learners demonstrated the College’s inclusive attitude. Two surveys were done with students, resulting in more than 1,000 responses to the first survey and more than 800 responses to their second. This represents a very good sample of student opinion and their responses were largely very positive. This was echoed by the staff surveys, in which all staff agreed that Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policies were in place, understood and followed. One member of staff commented, “Everybody is able to work without fear of discrimination.”

Examples of good practice have been highlighted in the report, including praising the emails and display materials put together to emphasize additional learning support needs such as dyslexia friendly tips. The work with students via faith groups and the LGBT network were also praised.

Staff have undergone training to help the College achieve this award, including Unconscious Bias, Safeguarding and Prevent training.

Irfaan Arif from the National Centre for Diversity commented:

“I’d like to congratulate The Sixth Form College, Solihull for showing great commitment and thank all staff and learners that gave me their time to discuss Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.”

14 September 2017