Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Policy

York Learning
Author: Alistair Gourlay, last updated by Alison Thorne
Date of Publication: October 2017
Revised August 2023
First date of review August 2024

York Learning is a service provided and delivered by York Council.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy Statement

York Learning is committed to providing equal rights, access, opportunities, and mutual respect for everyone who the service is in contact with. We recognise that people may be disadvantaged in a range of circumstances, and we will actively work to engage with staff, partners and learners to understand these issues and make reasonable adjustments to reduce and where possible eliminate any disadvantage.

We aim to embed equality, diversity and inclusion into everything we do.

Equal Opportunities Actions

We will:

  • adhere to, and actively support, the Equality Act 2010 and City of York Council’s Equalities and Inclusion Approach, respecting the protected characteristics of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, sex, and sexual orientation
  • Ensure all staff complete Equalities Training and understand and follow equal opportunities practices.
  • Strive to develop and promote service responses and teaching practices that are fully inclusive.
  • Make reasonable adjustments where possible, where a need has been identified, at each stage of the learner journey, to ensure our services are accessible for all.
  • Challenge negative perceptions and behaviour that discriminate against any individual or group on the basis of their personal characteristics.
  • Respond to individual and group needs and concerns on the basis of respect, individuality and equality.

Our work will be carried out in a way that ensures that learner voices are heard and influence on the provision of services for themselves and their communities.


All staff have access to a copy of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy and comply with it.

York Learning monitors its policy and practices and regularly reviews its services to ensure that there are no procedures, practices or barriers that discriminate against users or employees.

This includes:

  • Regular training of staff teams to ensure up to date knowledge of Equality and Diversity issues.
  • Close monitoring of feedback from service users to identify any perceived discrimination in the way they were treated by York Learning staff.
  • Monitoring of current practices, resources and acceptable terminology within teams, bringing these to the attention of colleagues and adjusting our working practices accordingly
  • Identification of potential areas of direct or indirect discrimination that are leading to under-use of the service.

The following principles define our service:

  • The location of York Learning, and any venues it uses for regular, planned activities comply with the Equalities Act (2010) guidelines.
  • The environment, information and teaching resources should reflect the diversity of our service users, colleagues and community.
  • We identify and discuss any special language, communication or access needs and take whatever steps are necessary to provide a consistent quality of service and information.
  • We endeavour to ensure that all learners are digitally included and have equality of access to all learning opportunities.
  • We reflect the diverse nature of society through notices, displays, materials and publications by using positive images and/or use of languages.
  • We seek to actively encourage use of the service by all groups/ individuals, representing the diversity within the city and surrounding area.

Legal Context 

The Service welcomes and abides by all statutory provisions on equality and diversity.  The Equality Act, 2010, recognises nine “protected characteristics”:

  • Race;
  • Disability;
  • Sex;
  • Age;
  • Sexual orientation;
  • Religion and belief;
  • Gender reassignment;
  • Pregnancy and maternity;
  • Marriage and civil partnerships.

Under the Act, the service has a “public duty” to give due regard to:

  • Eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation;
  • Advance equality of opportunity. This includes the need to:
    • Remove or minimise disadvantage experienced by persons who share a protected characteristic;
    • Take steps to meet the needs of people who share a protected characteristic that are different from the needs of people who do not share the protected characteristic. This includes taking steps to take account of disabled people’s impairments, even when that means treating disabled people more favourably or using positive action to achieve this duty;
    • Encourage persons with a protected characteristic to participate in public life or any other activities where participation is disproportionately low.
  • Foster good relations – which can include tackling prejudice and promoting understanding between people of different groups.


Where a service user feels that they have encountered discrimination by York Learning, or York Learning have failed to make reasonable adjustments, the complaints procedure will be activated. Appendix 1 outlines the types of unlawful discrimination and can also be found here which can also be found here   Types of discrimination are also defined via the link https://www.gov.uk/discrimination-your-rights/how-you-can-be-discriminated-against

Areas of particular concern will be logged, discussed at curriculum or management team meetings and any appropriate action taken in line with York City Council’s Equality and Inclusion Policy.

Where there is evidence of discrimination by another party, the details will be referred to the appropriate organisation for investigation.

THE EQUALITY ACT:  How you can be discriminated against?

Discrimination can come in one of the following forms:

  • direct discrimination – treating someone with a protected characteristic less favourably than others
  • indirect discrimination – putting rules or arrangements in place that apply to everyone, but that put someone with a protected characteristic at an unfair disadvantage
  • harassment – unwanted behaviour linked to a protected characteristic that violates someone’s dignity or creates an offensive environment for them
  • victimisation – treating someone unfairly because they’ve complained about discrimination or harassment

You’re protected from discrimination:

  • at work
  • in education
  • as a consumer
  • when using public services
  • when buying or renting property
  • as a member or guest of a private club or association

You’re legally protected from discrimination by the Equality Act 2010.

You’re also protected from discrimination if:

  • you’re associated with someone who has a protected characteristic, for example a family member or friend
  • you’ve complained about discrimination or supported someone else’s claim

Failure to make reasonable adjustments happens when an organisation fails to make reasonable adjustments for a disabled person, to avoid the disabled person being placed at a substantial disadvantage when compared to a non-disabled person.

In the majority of cases, the Service will be legally liable if a court found that discrimination, harassment or victimisation had occurred. However, it is also important to realise that individuals can also be held responsible for their own actions.