At Arise, we believe that everybody should feel welcome, safe and empowered to be their entire selves at work. Whilst we encourage all forms of diversity and inclusion, it’s important to remember that alone, they are not enough. For a school, college or university to truly thrive, staff must feel as though they belong. Here are some steps that schools, colleges and universities can take to ensure that a sense of belonging is fostered within the workplace.
Address inequalities within the workplace
It is important to be honest and address inequalities within education. Are you a school or college in a diverse area with no people of colour on SLT? Does your school struggle to hire people of colour? Or retain staff members of colour? If so, it’s important to consider why this is. You cannot address a problem without acknowledging that a problem exists!
Be consistent with EDIB
Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging should not be treated as tick box exercises. Schools, colleges and universities must ensure that EDIB and culture change are promoted and implemented consistently, not just, for example, during Black History Month, Pride Month or in response to national news. People of colour are more likely to feel comfortable at work if they are adequately supported and believe that their employers are consistently working hard to ensure that the workplace is a safe and happy environment for all.
Respond to bullying and harassment
All staff should feel welcome and supported at work. Part of doing this is ensuring that there are relevant protocols and procedures in place for staff who have experienced any form of harassment or bullying. All reports of bullying and harassment must be taken extremely seriously and managed sensitively in line with any policies within your educational setting. If you do not have a bullying and harassment policy, please create one as a matter of urgency! Furthermore, it is worth considering how staff can report bullying and harassment as the fear of repercussion and backlash is very real, particularly if the bullying or harassment is coming from senior leadership. Having the means to make an anonymous report is a good place to start in this respect.
To find out more about how ARISE can support your school, college or university please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to book a session for senior leaders, governors