In 2021 college Principals have affirmed that Equality Diversity and Inclusion, and specifically Racial Equality is one of the four priority areas for the CWM partnership. This gave rise to the Racial Equality Project.
- To celebrate the rich diversity of the West Midlands and lever up talent and opportunity across the region.
- To influence racial equality in the West Midlands by taking action if there are gaps in participation or outcomes.
Lead: Pat Carvalho, Birmingham Metropolitan College
Steering group of Principals from participating colleges:
Initially our aggregated ILR and workforce data was reviewed, alongside the 2011 Census data when this was published.
In our college workforce we investigated:
- The make-up of the college workforce at all levels of employment and the governing body to see if it was representative of the region, using census data
- The progression/promotion of college staff of all backgrounds and roles
In terms of learner outcomes and progression, we wanted to check:
- Learners’ achievement outcomes at every level and sector to check for equality
- Learners’ destination outcomes at every level and sector
- The progression of Black learners to good jobs
In terms of learner representation across employment and education sectors we investigated:
- The participation of learners in every employment sector to check that it is representative of the region.
- The participation of learners in every type of learning (A-level, BTEC, T-Level, Adult Skills, Apprenticeship, L4+) to see whether it is representative of the region.
- Whether Black learners well represented in the priority sectors in the West Midlands
On review of the data, the steering group chose five areas for action and the relevant workstrands and operational groups were set up.
Improving outcomes of 16-18 learners of mixed heritage
Led by Haroon Bashir of Halesowen College, seven colleges are working with Leaders Unlocked on ways to engage students in a deep dive into why students of mixed heritage have greater withdrawal and non-achievement rates compared with students of single heritage. Students will present findings to colleges in summer 2023 which will inform actions.
Increasing diversity of apprentices
Led by Anumit Kaur of Dudley College, colleges are seeking to increase the diversity of people choosing to take up apprenticeships, which has an over-representation of White learners. They are identifying best practice by sharing their marketing messaging and collateral and planning ways to increase engagement with parents, communities and employers.
Improving outcomes of female African adult learners
Led by Sam Coles of Birmingham Metropolitan College, this workstream investigates the retention and achievement of African female learners which is out of line with the average for all adults. Colleges are carrying out an appreciative enquiry to look at individuals’ barriers and see whether there are patterns that might be addressed through personal and practical support.
Increasing the diversity of the FE workforce through recruitment and selection
Led by Peter Haynes of Solihull College and University Centre and Mary Carter of City of Wolverhampton College, HR teams are reviewing their selection processes to identify areas for improvement. They are collaborating around a joint recruitment campaign to promote opportunities in FE.
Aspiring managers programme for BAME employees
Led by Rebecca Gater of Solihull College and University Centre, this workstream seeks to increase the number of college BAME employees progressing to line management roles. Colleges are piloting a new programme, supported by Black Leadership Group, which links employees with a sponsor to support their learning and development.