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What is Equality & Diversity, Bullying & Harassment?

A handshake between two people at the start of a focus group

Although sometimes used interchangeably, the terms 'equality' and 'diversity' are not the same. This section explains such terms and associated terminology together with an insight into Selby College's commitment to equality and diversity, anti-bullying and anti-harassment.


Equality is about creating a fairer society, where everyone can participate and has the opportunity to fulfil their potential.

By eliminating prejudice and discrimination, Selby College can deliver services that are personal, fair and diverse. An equalities approach understands who we are, based on social categories such as gender, race, disability, age, sexuality and religion.


Diversity literally means difference. When it is used as a contrast or addition to equality, it is about recognising individual as well as group differences, and placing positive values on diversity in the community and in the workforce.

One way in which Selby College has responded to the issue of diversity in recent years has been the development of flexibility in working practices. For example, allowing an employee to work a flexible working pattern to accommodate child care arrangements.

This approach recognises that in order to provide accessible services and to ensure Selby College promotes inclusive working environments, we may need to respond differently to both individuals and to groups.

Types of Discrimination

Understanding how discrimination can impact on individuals' lives is essential to prevent potential discrimination within teaching and learning situations and ensure confidence in dealing with discrimination issues if and when they arise.

Discrimination is less favourable treatment based on someone's protected characteristic. A protected characteristic is an individual strand of diversity as covered under the Equality Act.

The Equality Act 2010 covers nine protected characteristics, these are:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender Reassignment
  • Marriage and Civil Partnership
  • Pregnancy and Maternity
  • Race
  • Religion or Belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation


Persecution of the victim through intimidating, unfair, sarcastic, physical, malicious or angry behaviour that causes them to feel uneasy or threatened.

  • Deliberate withholding of knowledge or information.
  • Shouting
  • Ridicule of the recipients work, ideas opinions, appearance or behaviour
  • Deliberate occupation of public, shared space or communal areas to routinely exclude others or make them feel uncomfortable
  • Making offensive and abusive remarks
  • Insulting or nicknaming, comments and actions
  • Sending offensive text messages or unwanted e-mails or attachments
  • Making unwanted and deliberate physical contact


Any behaviour that is unwanted, inappropriate, unsolicited and unacceptable to the person receiving it, causing them unease, stress, distress and a possible loss of self-esteem.

Selby College's Disability Statement

Selby College is committed to diversity and equality of opportunity. The aim is to create an environment in which people treat each other with mutual respect regardless of age, disability, family responsibility, marital status, race, colour, ethnicity, nationality, religion or belief, gender, gender identity, transgender, sexual orientation, trade union activity, unrelated criminal convictions or any other type of discrimination.

The above sets out the equality characteristics. The legislation that protects the rights of these characteristics is contained within the Equality Act 2010

Further Help and Support

It is important to report any discriminatory behaviour, bullying or harassment, to raise awareness of the unacceptability of such behaviour and for the matter to be fully investigated.

The college is committed to preventing discriminatory behaviour, bullying or harassment and will take any allegations extremely seriously. Any allegation will be investigated as a matter of urgency and if proven may lead to disciplinary action.

Selby College will also ensure that any person reporting discriminatory behaviour, bullying or harassment, is not victimised as a result.

Selby College will also take very seriously any allegations proven to be malicious.

Selby College wants to ensure that all employees, students and visitors of/to the college are treated with dignity and respect and can lead their lives free from harassment, bullying, intimidation, victimisation and unlawful/unfair discrimination.

The above is intertwined within the core values of Selby College.