Learn and Grow are a regional community learning and development charity with forty-six staff. Most of their staff have direct contact with learners in the community.
Learn and Grow’s management team identified a need to improve their approach to equality and human rights throughout the organisation. There had been some good practice but no real effort to share or roll out best practice approaches across all teams. They weren’t sure where to start, and had limited funds and staff time to spend on improvement.
Two members of the management team took the lead and went on an in-depth equalities mainstreaming course. They also read up online about equalities and human rights issues that particularly affected Learn and Grow. This gave them a good idea of what might be needed. They then visited staff teams to speak to staff and explain to them how the organisation wanted to improve its approach to equality and human rights. They asked staff to get in touch and suggest ways of improving practice.
Reviewing all of the knowledge they have gained so far, they decided that the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s free online Equality Act Starter Kit was enough to give a basic introduction for all staff. They asked managers to set aside an afternoon for each staff member to complete it. Staff also identified a need for more understanding of specialist equalities issues, so managers were asked to work with staff to identify training opportunities.
Over the next six months all staff completed the Equality Act Starter Kit. Twelve staff members went on to complete more specialist training courses including Autism Awareness in Learning, Anti-Racist Practice, and Disability Etiquette. They shared material and information with colleagues.
In the annual staff survey there was a significant leap in how confident staff said they felt in dealing with equality issues.