Equality and Diversity

As part of the Shetland Islands Council, Shetland College UHI is committed to meeting certain objectives in regards to equality and diversity. This commitment is outlined in the Joint Equality Statement 2013-2017:

Shetland's Community Planning Partners are committed to fulfilling the three key elements of the general equality duty as defined in the Equality Act 2010 :

  • Eliminating discrimination, harassment and victimisation
  • Advancing equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not
  • Fostering good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not

The protected characteristics are :

  • age
  • disability (including physical impairment, learning disabilities, mental health issues and long-term conditions)
  • gender reassignment,
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race, this includes ethnicity, colour and national origin
  • religion or belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation
  • marriage/civil partnership (for which only the first duty applies)

Everyone has ‘protected characteristics’, but it is the treatment individuals and groups receive, the level of autonomy they have, and the positive or negative outcomes for them, that are its focus. Therefore Shetland’s Community Planning Partners will :

  • Remove or minimise disadvantages experienced by people due to their protected characteristics
  • Meet the needs of people from protected groups where these are different from the needs of other people
  • Encourage people with protected characteristics to participate in public life or in other activities where their participation is disproportionately low.

As well as being legal requirements, these steps contribute to fairer, more efficient and more effective services. Therefore Shetland’s Community Planning Partners will :

  • take effective action on equality
  • make the right decisions, first time around
  • develop better policies and practices, based on evidence
  • be transparent, accessible and accountable
  • deliver improved outcomes for all.

Promoting Equality and Diversity at Shetland College UHI

For Shetland College to meet the needs of all learners, it is very important that equalities practice is an integrated and celebrated part of the life and work of the college. This is reflected in our equalities outcomes:

  • The student voice forms one of the key strategic priorities of the college strategic plan. Learners are encouraged to provide feedback (both positive and negative) on all aspects of their experience at Shetland College UHI.
  • The college is committed to ensure that all staff undertake equality and diversity training.
  • The college encourages learner representation on all cross college committees.
  • The college has set up and implemented a series of learner forums to encourage learners to be involved in improving the learners’ experience of the college.
  • Learners can access an on-line talk box to express their suggestions to improve the learners’ experience of the college.
  • A dedicated post which incorporates student engagement has been created; part of the role is to work with staff in co-ordinating and ensuring that student engagement is embedded across all sections of the college.
  • Targeted marketing to ensure under-representative groups are encouraged to apply and enrol for college courses.
  • Voluntary groups and charities have been encouraged to regularly visit the college to promote their activities and engage with learners and staff.
  • College has an established and highly qualified Additional Support Team which supports learners within their studies.
  • Equalities is a standing item on the agenda at the Quality Improvement Committee.
  • The college is represented at the UHI Equality and Diversity Group.
  • As part of our support services we are able to offer student counselling to all our learners.
  • SMT and some Heads of Sections have attended Mental Health training for Managers.

LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual) Awareness

In February the college celebrates LGBT history month, a fantastic opportunity to showcase diversity. Eye-catching displays are placed in Briggistanes and the college library, bringing together quotes, case-studies and images from the PostSecret website which are relevant to LGBT issues. In 2015, QR codes were used to share a range of relevant videos, which were also placed on the website. A number of related publications were put on display in the library.

Equality Impact Assessments

It is beneficial for Shetland College UHI to regularly review the impact of college policy on different groups. This helps to ensure that all areas of the college are working towards the same equalities outcomes.

Find out more about Shetland College UHI Equality Impact Assessments

Equality Outcomes

Other Resources