Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Statement

Purpose

AQA is committed to creating and sustaining a positive and inclusive working environment for our employees. Our aim is to ensure that employees are equally valued and respected and that our organisation is representative of all members of society. We define diversity as valuing everyone as an individual – we value our employees, job applicants, students, teachers, associates and visitors as people. This is reflected within our values and behaviours and our leadership habits that:

  • we treat everyone well and with empathy
  • we lead with integrity and authenticity

Commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion

We believe that everyone stands to benefit when we embrace and value the diversity of thoughts, ideas and ways of working that people from different backgrounds, experiences and identities bring. It helps our employees to grow and learn, enables them to realise their potential, improves decision-making, boosts engagement and innovation, and enables us to better meet the needs of our diverse customer base of teachers and students.

To this end, we have made the following commitments:

  • To create an environment in which individual differences and the contribution of all team members are recognised and valued.
  • To not tolerate any form of unacceptable behaviour, harassment, discrimination, bullying (including cyber bullying) or victimisation in any area of employment or in the provision of our services to our customers.
  • To provide guidance and training to employees, contractors, trustees and associates on diversity, inclusion and equality of opportunity.
  • To encourage anyone who feels they have been subject to or witnessed discrimination to raise their concerns with their manager, People Group or an Employee Forum or Trade Union representative.
  • To make every person aware of their personal responsibility for implementing and promoting equal opportunities in their day to day dealings with people and encourage employees to treat everyone with dignity and respect.
  • To regularly review all our employment practices, policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the requirements of this statement.
  • To monitor the effectiveness of our commitment to diversity and inclusion and the supporting policies and procedures and share with the consultative bodies at least annually.

We require all members of our community to recognise these commitments and act in accordance with them. In addition, we will comply with all relevant legislation and good practice.

No individual will be unjustly discriminated against. This includes, but is not limited to, discrimination because of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.

Dealing with discrimination

Unacceptable behaviour, harassment, discrimination, bullying (including cyber bullying) or victimisation of any individual is perceived as contradictory to our aspirations for a supportive working environment and will not be tolerated. Any allegations of such behaviour will be investigated, and ultimately disciplined, in accordance with the Dignity and Respect at Work Policy and Procedure.

Responsibility

Our Board of Trustees has overall responsibility for ensuring that we operate within a framework of equality of opportunity.

Our Executive team have overall management responsibility, delegated to all managers throughout the organisation.

All employees have a duty to support and uphold the principles of our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and its supporting policies and procedures.

Responsibility for the review of this statement lies with the Director of People. This statement will be reviewed regularly and if necessary, revised in the light of legislative or organisational changes. It will be made available to the public through the AQA website and other means.

For further information please email Human Resources at hrmanchester@aqa.org.uk.