Comments should be sent to the HEFCE by Friday 25 October 2002
HEFCE Race Equality Scheme: consultation
This document explains how the Council plans to meet its statutory duty, under the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, to eliminate unlawful racial discrimination and to promote equality of opportunity and good relations between people of different racial groups. It seeks comments on the scheme, which provides a strategic direction for integrating fair treatment into the Council's functions, identifies initial priorities, and sets out an action plan to address the issues.
Outcomes of consultation (February 2003)
Table of contents, foreword and introduction (read on-line)
HEFCE Race Equality Scheme
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A Race Equality Scheme
Our monitoring arrangements
Annual operating statements
Leadership, governance and management
Widening and increasing participation
Excellence in teaching and learning
Links with business and the wider community
Supporting HEIs in developing staff in higher education
The employment duty
Arrangements for publishing the scheme, results of consultations and progress reports
Access to information and services
Individual programmes and projects
Annex A - Consultation
The HEFCE Race Equality Scheme is intended to respond to the spirit as well as the letter of the Race Relations (Amendment) Act. The scheme aims to integrate race equality and fair treatment issues into our core priorities and functions.
Leadership and commitment at all levels of the organisation are central to the success of the scheme. In everything we do, we need to consider proactively how we can ensure that we do not consciously or unconsciously discriminate against or disadvantage individuals or groups. We must also positively promote good relations between people of different ethnic groups.
Higher education institutions are individually subject to the requirements of the Act, and it is not our intention to substitute for the work that they will need to do for themselves. Our scheme is designed to complement the work that is, and will be, taking place in the sector, and to offer support and guidance where this is useful and needed. But we recognise that the scheme is work in progress, to be consulted on and refined as necessary.
The underpinning and detail of the approach are described below. And the practical steps to be taken are presented as an Action Plan to alert those in the Council and in the sector to the work that needs to be done if we are to address the issues effectively and meet the requirements of the Act.
We would like to thank Focus Consultancy Limited for helping us to develop our scheme.
Sir Howard Newby
1. The Race Relations Act 1976, as amended by the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 the Act places a general duty on public authorities to promote race equality. Under the new duty, and through all relevant functions, public authorities are required to have due regard to the need to:
eliminate unlawful racial discrimination
promote equality of opportunity
promote good relations between people of different racial groups.
2. The Council is subject to the Act and was required to produce a Race Equality Scheme by 31 May 2002. We have developed a scheme that includes:
the values, principles and standards that guide our approach to race equality
the overall strategic aims and objectives adopted to promote race equality
clear timescales and actions
how often each part of the scheme and the scheme as a whole will be reviewed
how complaints about the way we are meeting our duties or other complaints about race equality will be dealt with
targets and how we aim to achieve them
how the scheme relates to our other policies and strategies
a consultation strategy
an action plan to ensure that all our staff are aware of the scheme and understand what it involves.
3. We have taken the view that the Race Equality Scheme should form part of our overall Equal Opportunities Policy, and be linked to our wider strategic aims and objectives as long as it can be easily identified, monitored, assessed and reviewed as meeting the requirements of the general and specific duties under the Act.
4. The scheme is designed to set a strategic direction and identify initial priorities and an action plan, in recognition of the breadth and complexity of the issues. We intend to review the scheme after the first year and to refine it as necessary.
5. As part of the process of developing the scheme, independent consultants Focus Consultancy Limited worked with HEFCE senior managers, Board members, staff from ethnic minorities, and a project steering group. The steering group, led by Steve Egan, Director of Finance and Corporate Resources, will advise on and steer implementation of the scheme. Steve Egan has overall responsibility for the HEFCE scheme as a whole, and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.