Public Sector Equality Duty: Annual Report 2021
Reporting on the academic year 2020-21
Introduction: Duties under the Equality Act (2010)
Public bodies, of which the College is one, have both general and specific equality duties. The general duties are to have due regard in decision-making to:
- Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Equality Act 2010.
- Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not, by
- Removing or minimising disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics;
- Taking steps to meet the needs of people from protected groups where these are different from the needs of other people; and
- Encouraging people from protected groups to participate in public life or in other activities where their participation is disproportionately low
- Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not,
- Tackling prejudice, and
- Promoting understanding between people from different groups.
The specific duties are:
- To publish relevant, proportionate information (including quantitative data) showing compliance with the Equality Duty by 31st March each year, and subsequently at intervals no greater than one year from the last publication. This includes information relating to persons who share a relevant protected characteristic who are:
- Its employees (if it has more than 150 – public bodies with fewer than 150 employees are still required to report on how they have had due regard to the equality duty but do not need to publish numerical data where this might compromise individuals’ confidentiality), and
- Other persons affected by its policies and practices (e.g. students)
- To prepare and publish at least one specific and measurable objective that the College thinks it should achieve to meet any of the three aims of the equality duty by 31 March each year. Objectives must be published at least every four years.
- The protected characteristics are: age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, and sex and sexual orientation. Marriage and civil partnership are also protected in respect of the first general duty, in employment only.
This report is designed to meet first of the specific duties. It has been prepared for Green Templeton’s HR and Academic Committees and will be presented for approval by Governing Body.
The information included relates to the College community’s staff and students. The report covers the academic year 2020-21 (1 October 2020 – 30 September 2021); where data are presented, they refer to academic year unless otherwise stated. The College collects data and information on some of the protected characteristics and also relies upon the University to provide data on students. Not all protected characteristics are addressed for all measures by these data. In some cases the numbers are too small to be meaningful.
This report should be read alongside the College’s Equality and Diversity Policy. In 2020-21, the E&D Fora agreed to review and present a redraft of this policy for consideration by Governing Body. A draft has been prepared and will be taken to GB in Michaelmas 2021.
The College’s Equality Policy states that the Human Resources (HR) and Academic Committees will have responsibility for co-ordination of policy development and the identification of priorities, and will report to Governing Body on an annual basis. The Senior Tutor presents student-related data and the Human Resources Manager presents staff data.
In 2019 the college appointed an E&D Champion, Dr Neo Tapela. Dr Tapela is a Research Associate of the college. She co-chairs the E&D Forum with the Senior Tutor, who is the E&D lead.
In 2019, an Equality & Diversity Forum was established. The remit of this forum is outlined in the appendix to this document. It met 4 times during 2020-21.
In 2021, at the request of the E&D Forum, the college appointed a member of Governing Body to be an E&D Champion, with membership of the E&D Forum. This is Dr Susan James Relly.
As the College has fewer than 150 members of staff it is not required to publish staff data as part of this report.
Equality Report 2020-21
Green Templeton’s Equality Objectives
The College’s priorities are to:
- Increase the proportion of women and black and minority ethnic (BME) members among its fellowship, and, in particular, on its Governing Body;
- Improve the recruitment and retention of BME staff and their representation among senior roles;
- Improve accessibility for disabled students and other members of the community;
- Embed equality and diversity in all activities, in particular taking a more proactive approach to encouraging people from protected groups to participate in college activities and to ensure they feel supported to do so.
The Equality & Diversity Forum were of the view in May 2021 that these priorities should remain in place for the next reporting period, 2021-2022. However, the Forum would like to see timescales included, particularly for objective 1.
Report on Progress with Equalities Objectives in 2020-21
Objective 1: Increase the proportion of women and black and minority ethnic (BME) members among its fellowship, and, in particular, on its Governing Body;
Objective 2: Improve the recruitment and retention of BME staff and their representation among senior roles;
Representation of women in senior staff and fellowship roles
The representation of women in senior roles remains strong. 7/10 members of the College’s senior management team are women. Data collected on staff in April 2021 identify that across all roles, the gender split is almost 50/50, but 60% of women held senior roles (Grade 6 or above).
With the appointment of a new Principal in September 2020, now one of three members of the College’s executive management team is a woman (Principal, Bursar, Senior Tutor). The Vice Principal is female.
The appointment of fellows is overseen by the Fellowship Committee, reporting to Governing Body.
College fellows are elected from among the university’s academic community. The College supports the university’s objective to increase the representation of women in senior roles. To exercise some influence over recruitment, the Principal sits on all panels for new appointments to the university which have an association with the College. Data on the proportion of women elected to the fellowship and, particularly, to the Governing Body are monitored by Governing Body.
In 2018-19, 13/43 (30%) members of Governing Body were women. In 2019-20, 11/38 members were women (29%). During 2020-21, with the arrival of the new Principal, Governing Body agreed to a review of college fellowship categories and processes. This is now underway and is expected to be concluded during the next reporting period, 2021-22. A key driver for this review is to support equality objective 1.
The college appoints only a very small number of academic staff responsible for providing clinical teaching, all on a part-time/stipendiary basis (a Senior Doll Fellow, who is a member of Governing Body, plus 5 Doll Fellows). In 2020-21, 2/6 Doll Fellows are women.
Representation of BME fellows in the community and on Governing Body
Currently, we do not hold data on fellows’ ethnicity. A new, optional, equality questionnaire will be deployed for fellowship appointment and renewals once the fellowship review of categories, criteria and processes has been completed in the next reporting cycle.
3/6 of the college’s Doll Fellows are people of colour.
It is expected that we will be able to report BME data on GB in the next report.
The recruitment and retention of BME staff and their representation among senior roles
Staff data were collected in April 2021. 18% of GTC staff identify as BME, which compared to 22% of the population of Oxford as a whole. This is a steep rise on 2019 when the proportion of staff identifying as BME was just 3%. The E&D Forum noted that the population of Oxford should not be a limiting benchmark given the significant population of BME students in college. However, whilst Oxford is diverse, Oxfordshire is not, and so geography may continue to be something of a limiting factor in the future as long as staff are required to commute to work in the college.
No members of the college’s Senior Management or Executive Management teams are people of colour.
The College has reviewed its procedures for the recruitment and selection of college employees in order to ensure equality of opportunity. HR committee has previously raised concerns about the lack of diversity among the staff. In 2019, HR Committee discussed introducing ‘blind recruitment’, whereby short-listers would not be able to see the personal details of applicants. This trial did not take place, having been overtaken by the arrival of COVID in March 2020.
In recruiting a new Junior Dean (June 2021), a new Digital Communications Officer and a new Doll Fellow (both August 2021) it was agreed to include a new statement to encourage applications from BME groups:
‘Green Templeton College welcomes applications from people from all sections of the community and are particularly encouraging those from diverse groups, such as LGBTQ+ and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic candidates, who are currently under-represented in the college staff team.’
The Digital Communications Officer role was advertised on two new fora, which it is hoped will provide to a better reach into more diverse candidate pools: Black Young Professionals Network (BYP) and Diversity Jobsite.
In May 2021, all staff were asked to complete the following online course, Tackling Race Bias at Work.
Objective 3: Improve accessibility for disabled students and members of the College community.
This is a key consideration as the College embarks upon a new estates project (‘Tennis Court Project’), led by the Bursar and overseen by the Buildings Committee, which includes the development of new student accommodation, a café and dining hall. This project is currently in the planning phase. Currently, our accommodation does not permit us to provide many facilities for disabled students and college members.
Disabled students are supported in College by the College’s disability lead (Senior Tutor) and Officer (Academic Registrar). The Academic Registrar regularly provides alternative examination arrangements in College for students with specific requirements. Disabled students’ support is overseen by the College’s Welfare Committee.
In April 2020, 20% of staff disclosed a disability. The majority of these are mental health related, such as depression or anxiety. Staff are supported by line managers, by the HR Manager and by referrals to Occupational Health, as required. The college has also introduced and EAP (Employment Assistance Programme) which is available to staff to use 24/7.
The college has installed electronic gates to the front entrance of college, making the grounds more accessible for wheelchair users. Additionally, a dog pen toilet area has been installed in the grounds to support anyone who needs to bring a guide dog into college.
Renovations will take place in Summer 2021 on some rooms in student accommodation at Rewley Abbey Court to ensure that the entrance is accessible for students/visitors with disabilities by levelling up the ground.
The college is still in the queue for the University’s estate disability audit. Once the audit has been completed the college will be added in full to the University’s Access Guide. In the meantime, key information about college accessibility features via the Oxford Accessibility Project.
The college is working towards bringing its website in line with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (2.1) Level AA (WCAG) and is working with developers XIST2 to address the non-compliant elements of our website (detailed on a webpage of Accessibility known issues). In April 2021, we completed work on several accessibility issues identified as ‘high priority’ by AbilityNet during a January 2021 audit. We continue to work with our developers to tackle the known instances of non-accessible content that have been identified. All new content published will aim to meet the accessibility criteria. Our aim is to make the website fully accessible and continue to work within our college to provide training and guidance on best practices for digital accessibility. We are also working to improve the accessibility of our social media posts and email communications.
Objective 4: Embedding equality and diversity in all activities, in particular taking a more proactive approach to ensuring that people from protected groups feel supported and are encouraged to participate in college life.
Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the college was again required to significantly reduce its operations in 2020-21, particularly as a result of two further national lockdowns (in MT20 and HT21). Many college staff were required to work remotely, and most academic and social activities took place online. The pressures of managing frequent COVID outbreaks among the college community also diverted staff resources towards providing essential, additional welfare and practical support for students who were required to isolate. Social distancing also meant that certain activities earmarked to become annual E&D events – e.g. the Diversity Dinner – were unable to take place at all. Despite these restrictions, the E&D Forum continued to meet throughout the year and a number of actions were taken in pursuit of this objective. These are detailed below.
GTC BLM Taskforce’s Equality Action Agenda for Black Lives (Appendix 2).
This Action Agenda, written by Dr Neo Tapela, was developed by the Black Lives Taskforce established in July 2020 in the wake of George Floyd’s murder in May 2020. Its report was presented to Governing Body and endorsed in MT20. It outlines ten recommended actions to counter anti-Black racism and promote equality at GTC. The first five are given highest priority. These are:
- Hold an Anti-Racism Campaign. Led by the Black Lives Matter taskforce, the digital ‘Different/Equal’ campaign ran in MT20. This was followed by a further series of black cultural events later in the year, led by the GCR Black Students rep. These included click and collect dinners on the theme of ‘By the Fireside’, a talk and workshop featuring George the Poet, and the creation of an anti-racism literature resource for the college, the Maarifa Library Collection. A Different/Equal lanyard will be provided to all new students starting at Green Templeton in MT21 along with a note explaining what this symbolizes and represents.
- Create a GCR Black Students Rep position. This was agreed by the GCR in time for elections in MT20. The first Black Students Rep, Josephine Agyeman-Duah, was elected in MT20.
- Establish a ring-fenced scholarship for black students, coupled with mentorship. The University launched a scholarship specifically for Black British students, the ‘Black Academic Futures‘ Scholarship, and invited the ‘poorer colleges’ (which includes GTC) to admit the first cohort of DPhil students by drawing on funds specifically set aside to support less well-funded colleges to pursue scholarship partnerships with the University. We will welcome our first student in 2021. Each scholar is provided with full DPhil funding (with stipend) for three years and will be supported by a specific black students’ mentoring scheme run by the University. We have subsequently submitted an expression of interest to seek to recruit a second scholar for MT22 entry, however significant funds will need to be identifed to secure this scholarship. The college has committed to providing 50% of the costs for a MT22 scholar, however our preference is to seek CCS7 funding via the University rather than draw on our own reserved funds.
- Take positive action to increase BAME fellows/staff recruitment and progression. See above reporting on equality objective 2
- Appoint GB head to oversee priority delivery. Dr Susan James Relly has been appointed as the E&D and BLM champion representing GB.
In November and December 2019, all members of college staff attended three-hour, mandatory Equality & Diversity Training seminars, which included a session on implicit bias, run by the former Director of the University’s Equality & Diversity Unit. College staff who were not employed by the college in November 2019 were asked to complete the following online course in May 2021, Implicit Bias. As reported above, in May 2021 all staff were required to complete the University’s Tackling Race Bias at Work online course.
Student Experience Survey 2021
The E&D Forum recommended that equalities data be collected as part of our annual student experience survey (HT21) so we can monitor how far this feedback exercise reflects the college student community. Of our students who completed the survey, 66% were women, 55% were white, 24% were BAME and 18% were LGBTQ+. This means that women and white students are over-represented in the student survey compared with our student population data (University and college data on sexual orientation are not available).
The Action Agenda also lists a number of recommended immediate actions, including the recruitment of a paid Equalities Officer, the creation of a Black Students Association (via the GCR), and the introduction of routine training and programming for students and staff.
The college is in the process of agreeing a new medium- and long-term strategy; this will be confirmed by GB in MT21 and implemented thereafter. Included in this strategy is a commitment for E&D to be incorporated into all elements of college life and decision-making.
The Catering team completed training in 2019 to ensure we routinely offer a wide and varied range of meals for all nationalities and faiths – including a firm and ongoing commitment to supporting vegan and vegetarianism as part of our sustainability agenda.
Fellows of faith, gender or sexuality
We do not currently appoint fellows to provide support related to specific protected characteristics (e.g. a Tutor for Women). This is something we will want to consider as we review college officer positions.
Report on equality practices not covered by the objectives
Student data reporting: gender, race and disability
As the college is not the admitting body for students it has limited influence over its population. All equalities data are collated and reported by the University.
The balance at GTC remains in favour of a female majority (58% in 2019). There have been some small fluctuations in this over the last few years. A gender balance towards a female majority is in line with the representation of women on postgraduate programmes in UK universities (according to HESA).
2020-21: 57.7% GTC students are women cf. 48.7% OU (all students)
Students of colour
The University uses the term BME to collate these data.
The proportion of Green Templeton graduate students reporting as BME (45.8% in 2019) has risen since 2016 and continues to be higher than the University average.
2020-21: 47.1% BME students at GTC cf. 32.1% OU (all students)
The proportion of our students who disclose a disability is broadly in line with the wider graduation student population, though is lower than the UG population. This is understood to be because of the greater number of international students among the graduate population.
Student disability data 2020-21: 12.2% GTC cf 14.8% OU (all students)
Not all international students are aware of the support available for disabled students, despite all students being encouraged to disclose during the admissions round and this being reiterated at college induction. It was agreed to spend slightly longer in 2021 explaining the value of and process for disability disclosure at this year’s college inductions.
We have a prayer room and routinely support our Muslim community during Ramadan and Eid by offering post-sundown meals for collection. We have also hosted dinners to celebrate different religious festivals.
We provide visual support by flying the Pride flag. We have an LGBTQ+ rep on the GCR. In 2020-21, we committed to supporting a Gender Expression Fund, which enables trans students to apply for some financial support specifically related to the hidden costs of transitioning.
Author: Dr Alison Stenton, GTC Equality Lead
6 September 2021
For reporting to HR Committee and Academic Committee in MT21 and approval by Governing Body in MT21.