Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

The Education and Training Foundation (‘ETF’) values all the diverse forms of excellence that can be found and supported in the sector. We aim to promote equality, diversity and inclusion through our various roles:

  • As a commissioning body, committed to ensuring any contracts we award are to suppliers that can prove their work is accessible to all and encourage a more inclusive and diverse workforce
  • As a collaborative player, working with the sector to create a more diverse teaching workforce
  • As an employer, committed to an open and fair People Strategy that ensures all staff have equal opportunities to develop and excel.

How the ETF can help

Our Advancing Equality and Diversity programme on Foundation Online Learning will equip you to implement equality and diversity strategies across your organisation, including how to improve your practice in line with Ofsted’s criteria.

In 2019-20, we launched our flagship Centres for Excellence in SEND offer and by March 2020, over 700 of you had joined the Centres to access support.  We’re delighted to announce that the Centres for Excellence in SEND will continue in 2020-21.

Our Diversity in Leadership programme is aimed at increasing the diversity of the further education sector by, among other things, challenging bias and reducing barriers to attaining leadership roles for BAME and female staff.

The ETF has worked with the Council for Disabled Children to develop a new publication called ‘Tomorrows leaders: a world beyond disability’. It is written for those learning and working in education and highlights the importance of having the highest aspirations for our young people and supporting them to achieve them.

The ETF has set out what we have done and what else we will do to in order to achieve our vision and mission. The strategy can be downloaded below.

Our commitments to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

To demonstrate our commitment to EDI, we have made pledges to the following:

Time to Change Employer Pledge

In October 2019, we signed the Time to Change Employer Pledge. We pledged to normalise the conversation about mental health in the workplace by ensuring commitment from our Senior Management Team through the internal change programme – known as SHAPE. We are dedicated to ending the stigma around mental health and continue to champion our employees, so they feel comfortable and supported by those around them.

Ongoing activity includes wellbeing walks, meditation sessions, onsite gym and yoga, open discussion forums, MHFA training and Senior Management Team support.

More information can be found on the Time to Change website.

Disability Confident Committed Employer  

In October 2018, we were awarded Disability Confident Committed Employer status. This means, as an organisation, we are committed to:

  • ensuring our recruitment process is inclusive and accessible
  • communicating and promoting vacancies
  • offering an interview to disabled people
  • anticipating and providing reasonable adjustments as required
  • supporting any existing employee who acquires a disability or long-term health condition, enabling them to stay in work
  • at least one activity that will make a difference for disabled people.

More information about this award can be found on the Disability Confident website.

Workplace Wellbeing Index

The Education and Training Foundation, one of 103 organisations to take part in Mind’s second annual Workplace Wellbeing Index, has been recognised with a Bronze Award, meaning we are committed to achieving change within our workplace.

Mind’s Workplace Wellbeing Index is a benchmark of best policy and practice, celebrating the good work employers are doing to promote and support positive mental health, and providing key recommendations on the specific areas where there is room to improve.

Mind surveyed more than 54,000 employees across the 103 employers participating in the Awards and found that 7 in 10 had experienced a mental health problem in their lives, with just over half (53 per cent) affected by poor mental health in their current workplace.

We will be taking forward the recommendations from MIND through our organisational change programme, SHAPE. The ETF is committed to being a mentally healthy workplace and wants to ensure our employees have the space to have open and honest conversations about their mental health and wellbeing.

Armed Forces Covenant 

In March 2020, the ETF became a signatory of the Armed Forces Covenant. In doing so, it has committed to upholding the Covenant’s key principles; namely that no member of the Armed Forces Community should face disadvantage in the provision of public and commercial services compared to any other citizen, and that in some circumstances special treatment may be appropriate, especially for the injured or bereaved.

The ETF has pledged to uphold those principles in a number of ways, including:

  • Seeking to support the professional learning and development of Armed Services personnel through the ETF’s Workforce Development offer.
  • Seeking to support the resettlement, training and employment of veterans, young and old, including the transition to Further Education and Skills technical teaching careers.
  • Endeavouring to offer a degree of flexibility to veterans when they are studying their ITE programme or any other workforce development support offer, through Further Forces or any other ETF programme.

More information can be found on the Armed Forces Covenant website.

Staff Forum

In July 2020 we initiated a new staff forum to ensure we carry out effective ED&I practice in everything we do. One of the functions of the forum will be to support an external-led ED&I audit, in turn allowing us to formulate an updated strategy and set of priorities to help us excel at creating and supporting an inclusive and diverse internal workforce.