Equal Opportunities Policies

The College welcomes diversity amongst its fellows, students, staff, members of common room, and visitors, recognising the particular contributions to the achievement of its educational purposes that can be made by individuals from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences.

In relation to staff, the policy and practice of the College require that all the staff are afforded equal opportunities within employment and that entry into employment with the College and the progression within employment will be determined only by personal merit and the application of criteria which are related to the duties of each particular post and the relevant salary structure. In all cases, ability to perform the job is the primary consideration. Subject to statutory provisions, no applicant or member of staff will be treated less favourably than another because of his or her sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, racial group, religion or disability.

In relation to students the College aims to provide education of excellent quality at postgraduate level for able students, whatever their background. In pursuit of this aim, the College is committed to using its best endeavours to ensure that all of its activities are governed by principles of equality of opportunity, and that all students are helped to achieve their full academic potential.

This statement applies to recruitment and admissions, to the curriculum, teaching and assessment, to welfare and support services, and to staff development and training, as far as the College takes the lead in these matters and when it does not it will act in its support capacity to its best endeavour.

The College espouses the University Equal Opportunities Policy. This policy statement is supported by equal opportunities policies and codes of practice for staff and students, the collegiate University’s code of practice on harassment, and the College’s race equality policy.

Single Equality Scheme

The Single Equality Scheme provides relevant equality information and statistics as well as setting out a framework for how the College will work to promote equality and diversity both among its members and other people involved with the College. A document containing the results of the latest staff equality survey is available here.

Race Equality Policy

  1. The College is committed to promoting equality of opportunity and good race relations and avoiding racial discrimination.
  2. Background
    1. The Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 has placed a general duty on public authorities, including the College, to promote race equality and in particular:
      • Eliminate unlawful racial discrimination
      • Promote equality of opportunity; and
      • Promote good relations between people of different racial groups
    2. The Act has placed further specific duties on the College to publish a Race Equality Policy and an action plan for its implementation, and to put in place appropriate monitoring and audit to allow for effective assessment of the impact of the policy and constructive development of new policies and the enhancement of existing policies.
    3. This policy has been developed with regard to the guidance and code of practice issued by the Commission for Racial Equality. See the Equality & Human Rights Commission (EHRC) website.
    4. To support these aims the College will ensure that in the conduct of all its activities, steps are taken to avoid the occurrence of racial discrimination, whether direct or indirect, and to promote good relations between different racial groups.
    5. Any discriminatory behaviour, including harassment, or bullying by individuals or groups, will be regarded extremely seriously and could be regarded as grounds for disciplinary action, which may include expulsion or dismissal.
  3. Consultation
    1. At all stages in the implementation and review of this policy, consultation will be an important feature. This will include fellows, staff and students and in particular those from different racial groups, and members of common room where appropriate.
  4. Community Partnership
    1. The College will work in conjunction with the University in partnership with the community and racial equality organisations and networks to develop a positive environment in which diversity and difference are valued.
  5. Training
    1. Training of members of staff at all levels is essential to ensure that the Colleges commitment to race equality is fully achieved. The purpose of training is to inform individuals and also to ensure that principles within the Race Equality Policy underlie decision-making processes throughout the College.
  6. Monitoring and Auditing
    1. The College has appointed an Equality Committee headed by the President, to oversee equality issues and policy, and to develop an action plan. It will meet termly and report to the Governing Body. Annually, it will carry out a review and report.
    2. The College is developing procedures to ensure that such monitoring is undertaken as is necessary to ensure that the College is able to identify possible improvements in its practices, whether in relation to teaching, learning and assessment; management and governance; admissions, access and participation; students support and guidance; behaviour and discipline; partnership and community links in conjunction with the University; staff recruitment; training and career development; and service delivery.
    3. The Colleges race Equality Action Plan sets out in greater detail the way in which arrangements for monitoring are to be developed.
  7. Responsibilities
    1. The Governing Body is responsible for securing compliance with the general and specific duties and for overseeing implementation of the Action Plan.
    2. The President is responsible for providing consistent and high quality leadership in the promotion and implementation of the Action Plan.
    3. The Equality Committee is responsible to the Governing Body for the development, implementation, monitoring, prioritisation and review of equal opportunities policies generally.
    4. All College Committees are responsible for ensuring that this policy is embedded in their duties and functions in relation to fellows, students and staff.
    5. All College Officers and Heads of Department have a duty to take forward specific actions under this policy as identified in the action plan in addition to the general duties under the Act.
    6. All members of College and common room and staff have a duty to comply with this policy and to ensure it is complied with.
    7. The College will impose on contractors and service providers a requirement to comply with the race equality policy as set out in the contract or agreement.
  8. Publication
    1. The College will publish the Race Equality Policy and the results of the monitoring and assessments undertaken. This will include providing information on consultation undertaken as part of the assessment process, and the report will be presented to the Governing Body annually in Michaelmas term and published.
  9. Review
    1. The Race Equality Policy will be reviewed annually to assess its effectiveness. Governing Body will undertake the review during Hilary Term, through regular monitoring of the action plans and the reports prepared by the relevant College Officer.

Published by The Bursar, Wolfson College, Oxford, OX2 6UD; May 2002 document reference: EC.02.03 Revised and approved by the GB 12/6/02