Equality & Diversity Policy
Oxford Catalyst is committed to encouraging equality and diversity and eliminating unlawful discrimination among its workforce and students.
We aim for all students, prospective students, staff (including contracted staff), parents and carers to feel respected with due regard for their privacy and wellbeing, without discrimination, harassment or victimisation, regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation (“protected characteristics” of the Equality Act 2010). In addition, we will aim to ensure our students do not experience any inappropriate discrimination because of cultural background, linguistic background, special education needs, academic or sporting ability.
Oxford Catalyst recognises that only in an environment which respects and values the positive contributions of each of its members will they be enabled to achieve their full potential and to gain benefit and enjoyment from their involvement in Oxford Catalyst Courses.
This policy is designed to support students, prospective students, staff, parents and carers in showing how Oxford Catalyst achieves its aims and its legal duty to comply with the Equality Act 2010. It should be read in conjunction with Oxford Catalyst’s other policies, notably the Safeguarding (Child Protection) Policy, Anti-Bullying Policy and Complaints Policy.
Our policy aims relate to all in our employment and all students, parents and carers.
To treat everyone with dignity and respect
To oppose and avoid unlawful discrimination due to protected characteristics (Equality Act 2010)
To promote a working and learning environment where equality and diversity are valued
Oxford Catalyst will:
Have due regard to the policy aims when formulating policy and making decisions which may have implications for people with protected characteristics.
Seek opportunities to create a shared positive atmosphere, to challenge prejudice and promote tolerance, open-mindedness and respect.
Encourage students to contribute to their education and that of others by sharing their cultural experiences, values and perceptions.
Encourage staff and students to tell us about any disabilities so that we can consider what reasonable adjustments or support may be appropriate and ensure the needs of all staff and students are identified and met through equality of access.
Raise awareness of mutual responsibility for compliance with this policy, the law and provision of basic human rights.
Work to ensure that all staff and students feel comfortable and confident to raise any issues of difficulties arising from discrimination.
Take seriously reports or complaints of abuse, bullying, discrimination, harassment, prejudice or victimisation, and investigate them swiftly and in line with Oxford Catalyst’s policies and procedures.
Recognise that treating people equally does not necessarily involve treating them all the same.
As an employer, ensure that discrimination and harassment is eliminated in our employment practice and actively promote equality across all groups within our workforce.
Breaches of the policy
All forms of discrimination by any person within Oxford Catalyst will be treated seriously. A note of such breaches will be kept by whichever member of staff deals with the incident. It will be made clear to offending individuals that such behaviour is unacceptable, and a warning will be issued that future breaches may result in action in accordance with the Oxford Catalyst policies and procedures. Particularly serious complaints could amount to gross misconduct and lead to dismissal without notice.
Further, sexual harassment may amount to both an employment rights matter and a criminal matter, such as in sexual assault allegations. In addition, harassment under the Protection from Harassment Act (1997) – which is not limited to circumstances where harassment relates to a protected characteristic – is a criminal offence.
If you believe that you have suffered discrimination you can raise the matter through our Complaints Procedure or Anti-Bullying Policy. Complaints will be treated in confidence and investigated as appropriate.
You must not be victimised or retaliated against for complaining about discrimination and, in the case of employees, it does not affect their right to make a claim to an employment tribunal within three months of the alleged discrimination. However, making a false allegation deliberately and in bad faith will be treated as misconduct and dealt with accordingly.
Oxford Catalyst will regularly evaluate the outcomes of this equality and diversity policy and its practice, and review the policy at least annually.
Oxford Catalyst, October 2019