What is Equality?
Equality means to be free from discrimination with the aim to ensure that no individual or group receives less favourable treatment by virtue of a characteristic (e.g. race, sex, disability) thereby enabling all people to have equality of access to the provision of goods,services, facilities, premises and employment.
The word “diverse” means “varied and different”, and so“diversity” is about more than equality. It is about valuing variety and recognising individual and group differences. Diversity is about capitalising on everything that makes us unique and encouraging an environment of respect and understanding.
What is Inclusion?
Inclusion should reflect a process of positive development within the learning and training environment (your college) to make education more welcoming, learner-friendly, and beneficial for a diverse community (our students).
What is Equality?
What is Homophobia?
What is Discrimination?
What is our approach to bullying and disrespect?
What can you do?
If you have never experienced it, you won't know what people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or Transgender sometimes have to tolerate - take a look at this short video for more insight.
Stonewall and Further Education
Stonewall's 2012 research The School Report found that one in five students experienced homophobic bullying in Britain's FE colleges in the last year and almost all of them hear the use of homophobic language.
Almost three in five (58 per cent) of lesbian, gay and bisexual college students are never taught anything about lesbian, gay and bisexual issues in their lessons. Research by the Skills Funding Agency also found that the greatest barrier to learning for gay students was 'insensitive curriculum content'. By using a curriculum which reflects the lives of lesbian, gay and bisexual people you can help to make sure that gay students feel included and have the information they need to stay safe.
Lesbian, gay and bisexual students have the same needs as all other students; that is to study in an environment which allows them to fulfil their potential and to feel like a part of their student community. All professionals working with students should want to make sure that lesbian, gay and bisexual students learn in a supportive environment, but many lack the confidence to do this in practice.
Practical guides for school and college staff and individuals who work with young people on challenging language, supporting LGB young people, working with faith communities and more.
Can we help?
Read below for a summary of the changes that have taken place in the UK since the year 2000 to make the world a fairer place for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender (LGBT) people in the UK.
In 2000: Government lifts the ban on lesbians and gay men serving in the Armed Forces. Before 2000, gay and lesbian people could not serve in the Armed Forces.
2001: Age of consent for gay men reduced to 16. Sex between men was illegal until 1967, when the Sexual Offences Act came into force in England and Wales and made it legal for two men aged 21 and over to have sex. In 1994 the age that gay men could legally have sex was lowered to 18, and in 2001 it was finally lowered to 16 – making it equal to the age of consent for straight people.
2002: Equal rights granted to same-sex couples applying for adoption. Before this neither same-sex couples nor unmarried straight couples could adopt or foster children.
2003: Repeal of Section 28. Section 28 was a law that made it illegal to ‘promote’ homosexuality in schools- in 2003 it was repealed (stopped being the law), and local authorities were free to support the gay people in their communities.
2003: A new law comes into force protecting gay people from discrimination in the workplace.Until 2003 employers were able to discriminate against gay people by not hiring them or not promoting them, just because of their sexual orientation.
2004: Civil Partnership Act passed.Before this there was no legal recognition of same-sex relationships. Civil partnerships, gave same sex couples the same legal rights as married straight couples, and meant that they could make the same public declaration of their love and commitment that straight couples do when they get married.
2005: The 2003 Criminal Justice Act gives courts power to give tougher sentences for crimes motivated by homophobia.Until 2005 if a person was attacked for being gay or because the attacker thought they were gay then it was treated like any other crime. The Criminal Justice Act changed that, so that these were classed as ‘hate crimes’ and were treated more seriously.
2007: It becomes illegal to discriminate against people because of their sexual orientation when providing them with goods or services. Before 2007 any service provider could discriminate against a lesbian, gay or bisexual person who bought something from them or used their service.
2008: The Criminal Justice and Immigration Act makes a new criminal offence of ‘incitement to homophobic hatred.’Before this there was no law against behaviour or materials which stirred up hatred towards gay people.
2009: A new law gives better legal recognition to same-sex parents.
2010: The Equality Act was passed. This important law extended what is known as the ‘Public Equality Duty’ to gay people. There used to be lots of different laws protecting gay people from discrimination in different parts of their lives at home, at school and at work. The Equality Act 2010 made things simpler by bringing all the protections for gay people into one law. It also made sure gay people were entitled to the same legal protection given to other groups of people who might face discrimination. The public equality duty meant that in addition to this, public service providers like schools and hospitals had to take positive steps to show how their service was accessible to and supportive of gay people.
Struggling to balance Religion and LGBT Issues
"I felt like I had to choose between the two most important things in my life. My faith was my family, my friends, and all my connections. But I could not deny my sexuality. There will always be a sadness in me that it had to be one or the other." PACE