Empowering Teaching & Learning Communities to Effectively Promote Equality & Celebrate Diversity
Our Oustanding Teaching, Learning and Assessment (OTLA) project, a collaboration between Darlington Learning & Skills Service; Bishop Auckland College and South West Durham Training, has been trialing different ways of raising staff confidence around Equality and Diversity (E&D) with the ultimate aim of improving our learners’ access to, and engagement in, meaningful E&D provision.
In order to do this, we set up a community of shared practice amongst staff, both across and within our settings. We were aware that there were pockets of excellent practice, but that shared ideas and resources between or within settings rarely occurred.
|Sharing practice, both virtually, by means of online discussion boards such as Padlet, and literally, via a series of E&D themed meetings and CPD events, allowed everyone an opportunity to openly discuss their fears, to solve problems and to share ideas. From here new initiatives to support staff to explore E&D were sparked. We asked staff to share their ideas with others, and we encouraged everyone in our settings to try at least one new way of celebrating and promoting E&D with their learners.|
|One such idea was the creation of a set of E&D Toolbox Talks. Toolbox Talks are a feature of the construction industry, where prior to beginning work on site, employees would come together for a briefing about different aspects of the job. Each E&D Toolbox Talk encourages learners and tutors to explore together different aspects of equality and diversity, from hidden heroes within their subject areas, to two-minute debates on topical issues. Each month, learners and staff submit ideas for new cards, and as such, the Toolbox grows and responds to learner need. The idea is simple, and staff can use the cards in any way they wish, differentiating according to the unique requirements of their classes.|
Collaborative work such as this means that all learners benefit from high quality equality and diversity work, regardless of the subject area or the setting it was developed in. Bringing skills and knowledge together across settings and subject areas is bearing fruit; breeding creative and innovative practice, and ways of celebrating and promoting E&D that would never have come about in silo.
If you would like to know more about our E&D project, contact Vicky Meaby our Equality and Diversity Champion.
Click here for more information on the North East and Cumbria OTLA.
Chris Burney and Vicky Meaby, Darlington Learning and Skills Service