Equality and diversity is so much more than just “treating everyone the same” …
Equality and diversity enhances everyday life and simple changes to normal activities can ensure all individuals are included and given equal opportunities to achieve. Our newsletter offers updates on E&D, Safeguarding, Prevent Duty, Mental Health Awareness, and Health and Safety, as either found in the news or highlighted as our topic of the month.
In this issue:
- Equality and Diversity
- Prevent Duty
- Safeguarding and Mental Health Awareness
- Health and Safety
Equality and Diversity in the News
The UK has been ranked 8th in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) which assesses 68 variables including the gender earnings gap, leadership opportunities for women, and tolerance of minorities. The GTCI shows every country’s ability to retain and attract new talent, and is an excellent indicator for a country’s level of equality. The full report can be found online at https://www.tatacommunications.com/press-release/2018-global-talent-competitiveness-index/
The Equality Challenge Unit, Higher Education Academy, and Leadership Foundation for Higher Education are set to merge in August creating Advance HE. The new sector aims to be a more holistic and responsive agency, with the new name reflective of the group’s mission to strive for excellence across the sector. Advance HE will support the development of Teaching and Learning, Leadership and Governance, and Equality and Diversity in Higher Education.
The Prevent Duty
Are schools contradicting British Values by banning the hijab?
This question has come about after St Stephen’s Primary School in Newham, London banned girls under the age of 8 from wearing a hijab. Alongside the hijab ban, they also banned fasting during the month of Ramadan. This ban has caused massive controversy as parents from the school complained that they were not consulted about the ban. 100 Muslim women were asked why the chose to wear a hijab and their responses highlighted the sheer variety of different reasons that cause individuals to don the garment, including looking like their mother and expressing their identity as a teenager. The ban could be seen to contradict the British Values of Individual Liberty, and Mutual Respect and Tolerance.
London’s School of Oriental and African Studies is “frequently asked” why they have not referred any students to Channel, says the University’s Director. Student officials have stated that Muslim students had complained about being questioned by Prevent Officers about how often they prayed. Many people from minority backgrounds feel afraid to express their political views because of the Prevent legislation in place. Critics of the Prevent Legislation feel it discriminates against Muslims, as they account for a disproportionate number of referrals to Channel.
Remember those all-important contact numbers:
Anti-Terrorism Hotline: 0800 789 321
Crime Stoppers: 0800 555 111
And above all, be vigilant! If in doubt report anything suspicious to 101 or 999.
Safeguarding and Mental Health Awareness
An investigation into the effect of maternal imprisonment on children has shown that 17,000 children are affected every year and 95% of those children are forced to leave their homes as they are left with no adult carer. Currently there is no Government agency responsible for ensuring that the welfare of these children is safeguarded and their rights are protected. The research shows that the mother’s imprisonment has a negative effect on not only the relationship between mother and child, but also the child’s education, health and wellbeing.
The Lancashire Safeguarding Children Board will be providing 18 Briefing sessions for social, health and education workers in an attempt to put professionals on alert to spot signs of ineffective parenting due to the parents’ cannabis habit. The sessions come after 3 cases in 5 years in which the parents’ cannabis use was highlighted as a significant factor in a child’s death. The chair of the Lancashire Safeguarding Children Board has said that she feels people are losing sight of the damage cannabis can do.
A former administrator for Bradford’s’ Safeguarding Children Board is facing 5 years in jail following his conviction of 6 offences between 2013 and 2015. Heathcliffe Bowen was dismissed from his role on the Safeguarding Board in October 2014, and his psychiatric report suggests he suffered with severe anxiety and depression triggered by the disciplinary proceedings at work, and this corresponds with the time in which he was most involved in sexually explicit online chats with young children. Bowen is said to have had a “deep and entrenched interest” in underage boys and had “never shown any shame or remorse”. He was convicted of six offences relating to attempts to engage children in sexual activity and attempting to meet one child after sexual grooming, and was also found guilty of possessing and distributing indecent images of children.
Health and Safety
Posture is strongly linked to mind, mood and self-esteem; poor posture is the leading cause of back pain – the number 1 reason for days off work – and only 30 minutes of poor posture can increase stress levels. Lumo Lift is a posture support device that attaches to your clothing and vibrates slightly when your posture starts to slack.
An air ambulance was told to move by a saleswoman after landing on a cordoned-off area off area of a housing development while taking an emergency doctor to a heart attack victim. The woman also tried to stop the crew from lifting one of the fences as the were rushing to the victim.
One stranger has reminded the world that good people do still exist after they left £100 in the lap of a woman sleeping on a train after overhearing her phone conversation, in which she became stressed and upset over her financial situation. Ella Johannessen has put up a Facebook post thanking the kind stranger and asking people to share it in the hope that they will see her gratitude.
That’s all for this month – see you in March!