Did you know that the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) have recently published their findings in its assessment of how schools, colleges and universities are meeting their specific duty to publish equality objectives? Do your Equality Objectives shape up to the legal requirements?
Last year, the EHRC published outcomes from its research into the publishing of equality information, and I reported on their findings in my December 2012 equality newsletter (to jump back to this article, click here). My June 2012 equality newsletter gave a link to practical national guidance on the specific duties, which contains a one page overall summary, five pages of essential reading, and further pages answering frequently asked questions about the duties (to jump back to this article, click here).
Now the EHRC have published their findings into how education providers are meeting their second specific duty to publish equality objectives. All Universities (130) were assessed, with a random sample of colleges (189 out of 341), secondary schools (383 out of 6592) and primary schools (390 out of 20,569). Although aspects of good practice were displayed by some organisations in each sector, the overall assessment was that many are not meeting their legal duties.
For example, of the 189 colleges sampled, 32% were not publishing equality objectives on their website. This compared to 12% of universities, 73% of primary schools and 69% of secondary schools. Of those that published, only 23% of colleges had objectives that made clear reference to the general duty (this compares to 37% universities, 36% primary schools and 41% secondary schools.)
Less than half of the organisations sampled had objectives that covered both staff and students. And a common finding for many - objectives were not sufficiently specific or measurable.
The EHRC have produced fact sheets for each of the above sectors (and other public sector bodies, for example local authorities, the NHS and the Police).
To read more information and to download the EHRC research report, click here
To download the fact sheet for colleges, click here
To download the fact sheet for universities, click here
To download the fact sheet for secondary schools, click here
To download the fact sheet for primary schools, click here
To download the fact sheet for local authorities, click here