Equality and Diversity
Equality and Diversity in our Learning Community
Belfast Metropolitan College believes that everyone has a right to study in a harmonious welcoming environment. We are committed to creating and ensuring an atmosphere where learners, customers, staff, governors and other stakeholders celebrate equality and diversity in all activities.
We respect all our students, staff and service users, and we celebrate our similarities and value our differences. We seek to provide a supportive learning setting which demonstrates respect for and acceptance of difference.
To this end, we do not tolerate any form of discrimination, bullying or harassment. We will ensure, to the best of our ability, that learners, customers, staff, governors and stakeholders are not discriminated against either directly or indirectly. The College deals with bullying and harassment issues through our Student Code of Conduct. We emphasise our commitment to equality of opportunity through our Equal Opportunities Policy for Students and Equal Opportunities Policy for staff.
We value everyone as an individual and want to prepare our students for work in a diverse community. We therefore seek to promote a welcoming environment which accepts and understands difference.
Our information leaflet on Promoting Equality and Diversity in Belfast Metropolitan College is also a useful source of information.
One of our key pieces of legislation is section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 (Section 75) which places a duty on all of us to promote equality of opportunity and good relations. Nine categories of difference are specified in this legislation: age, gender, religious belief, ethnicity, sexual orientation, marital status, political opinion, between persons with or without dependents or with or without a disability. We have produced a suite of documents to meet these legal obligations. One of the key equality documents is the College’s Equality Scheme. This Scheme was initially approved by the Equality Commission in January 2012. For ease of reference we have developed an Equality Scheme Information Leaflet.
Equality Scheme Complaints
A person can make a complaint to the College on an equality related matter by way of Chapter 8 of our Equality Scheme if they believe that they may have been directly affected by our alleged failure to comply with our Equality Scheme. Should any concerns arise please contact the College using the contact details below:Louise Moore
Human Resources Department
Belfast Metropolitan College
Tel: 028 9026 5367
Email: [email protected]
Disability Action Plan
The College also has a legal obligation under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 to provide a Disability Action Plan. We report on progress against these actions to the Equality Commission annually.
Under the Special Education Needs and Disability (NI) Order 2005 we have established a Centre for Inclusive Learning who identify the support needs of students with a disability who require additional assistance.
Please see Inclusive Learning for further information
In addition to providing support for students with a disability, we have a Student Wellbeing team who support all students particularly those who are or have been in care, those who are or are at risk of homelessness, single parents, those with caring responsibilities and criminal justice experienced students. Our professionally qualified team will help, guide and support all students to achieve their full potential and to guide them on any personal issues they face in the process.
We have established a confidential notification process for students who are transgender and for students who have a criminal conviction, to ensure that they can advise us of their specific circumstances and be assured that they can avail of additional support systems as required.
We would advise students and prospective students to read the information in the webpages linked above and to avail of the College support.
The College subscribes to AccessAble Access Guide so people have more information prior to attending the College about its physical accessibility from car parks to classrooms, cafés and Libraries and the journey in between.
We aim to ensure that our website and virtual learning environments are as accessible as possible and have a variety of accessible features on the website including greyscale options, translations and the Blackboard Ally tool.
As part of our drive to promote equality of opportunity and good relations, we use a process known as equality screening. This helps us identify policy decisions which could adversely impact people in any of the nine categories of difference identified by s75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998: age, gender, religious belief, sexual orientation, ethnicity, marital status, political opinion, people with or without a disability and people with or without dependants. To access policy decisions which have been equality screened by the College and to see the outcome of that screening exercise, please select an option below:
Equality Impact AssessmentCertain policies may require further equality analysis. This process is known as an equality impact assessment. This is a thorough and systematic analysis of a policy decision, whether that policy is formal or informal, to determine the extent of that policy on the Section 75 categories (stated above) and to determine if the impact is an adverse one. It is also an opportunity to demonstrate the likely positive outcomes of a policy and to seek ways to more effectively promote equality of opportunity and good relations.
ConsultationWe recognise the importance of consultation as part of the implementation of our statutory equality duties. We have already consulted on our Equality Scheme and will continue to seek views on equality impact assessments and other matters determined by the College to be relevant to the Section 75 statutory duties. We also advise consultees of policies which have been equality screened. We will make all relevant information available to consultees in appropriate formats to ensure meaningful consultation.
If you require information in an alternative format, please contact contact Corporate Development on 028 9026 5455, or e-mail on corporatedevelopment[AT]belfastmet[DOT]ac[DOT]uk.
Internal Policy and Equalities Executive
Belfast Metropolitan College
Tel: 028 9026 5000