An award-winning inclusive and diverse community  

Our approach to Equality and Diversity is award winning – in 2019 the College achieved 'Leaders in Diversity' Level 3 for the third consecutive time, as well as being named as the UK Organisation of the Year in the National Centre for Diversity Grand Awards for the third year running. We first achieved ‘Leaders in Diversity Level 3’ in 2014 and again, for the second time, in 2016. 2019 also saw the College named as the TES 'Sixth Form College of the Year'. Our outstanding approach to celebrating and enhancing the diversity of our community has seen us win a number awards, which you can read more about here.

Equality and Diversity is at the heart of our thriving, vibrant, and inclusive environment where young people are given the opportunity to explore and celebrate their own differences and those of others. Most importantly, each and every student feels part of the same community in which their own uniqueness is valued. 

Our awards reflect how we work hard to ensure that everyone in our college family is treated fairly, with respect and dignity. We actively seek to eliminate any form of inequality or discrimination on campus and in all aspects of our work. This also helps our young people to prepare for the diverse world they will experience when progressing to university or work.

Our approach focuses on ensuring that we help everyone understand the vital aspects of the protected characteristics as defined in the Equality Act 2010: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, sex and sexual orientation. We are passionate about bringing the positives of diversity alive through opportunities to engage, celebrate and explore. We believe that this can be fun and exciting, and delivered in a way that is enjoyable for all.

The College’s commitment to equality and diversity is set out in our Equal Opportunities Policy and associated action plans. Our staff, students and governors are all central to achieving our equality and diversity aims and ensuring our college is a pleasant, supportive and safe environment in which to study and work.

Our award-winning approach means that each and every student, regardless of background, can thrive – our team of Student and Staff Diversity Champions take responsibility for embedding the ethos of the College, and celebrating our approach at every opportunity.


Meet the Diversity Champions!

Image of Staff Equality and Diversity Team

Back row (left to right); Lisa Matusiewicz, Laura Mallalieu, Tom Smith, Joe Howson, Erika Montgomery, Drew Norbury, and College Receptionist, Angela

Lower row (left to right); Emily Bolton, Emma Fisher, Jess Law, Samantha Daley and Neville Phillips

Our focus is very much on bringing Equality and Diversity to life in order to help our young people become informed, well-rounded young adults. This can range from discussing with a student the impact of using a particular term on an informal basis to large scale events. We passionately believe that by helping students to understand the vital importance of this topic through engaging activities and opportunities to get involved, they will develop a deeper understanding of why Equality and Diversity are so important.

Each year, our programme of work changes in response to feedback. Previous activities have included anti-bullying focus weeks, International Women’s Day celebrations, charitable events and a ‘tree of kindness.’ In 2017/18, alongside two high profile ‘Diversity Weeks’, we will offer a continued programme of advice, support and information.

You can gain a flavour of our work here. Our guide for students also gives a useful insight into how we communicate with students about this topic.

Our news section features many of our events, please visit this for an insight into how we bring Equality and Diversity alive for students.


Our award-winning approach to Equality and Diversity is led by a team of staff who are all passionate about helping students to celebrate and value individual differences. Our Diversity Champions all volunteer their time and expertise in a variety of ways. The team also champion Equality and Diversity throughout the College, encouraging students to ask questions and share ideas and feedback.

Here we provide a brief introduction to the team and an insight into why they are so passionate about ensuring we are an inclusive environment.

Neville Phillips, Assistant Principal for Additional Learning Support and Progression

"In my role as Assistant Principal for Additional Learning Support and Progression, I continuously promote Equality and Diversity. I have recently joined the Equality and Diversity Team working alongside the College's Diversity Champions. This dynamic group of staff and students are highly motivated and come together to drive initiatives to raise awareness of Equality and Diversity throughout the academic year. From being a part of this team, I have witnessed the energy and commitment to not just Equality and Diversity, but also in the promotion of the wider themes of Fairness, Respect and Inclusion. The variety and breadth of events and activities the Team host is truly amazing and offer a constant reminder of why I chose to pursue my career in an inclusive sixth form."

Erika Montgomery, Equality and Diversity Manager and Specialist Teacher

“As the College’s Equality and Diversity Manager I have the privilege of working with a dynamic team of Diversity Champions. Our collective aim is to celebrate the rich diversity of our College community and ultimately promote equality. We are a creative team and enjoy planning a varied calendar of events each year including: our ‘Respect’ competition, National Anti-Bullying Week, Cultural Diversity, International Women’s Day, LGBTQ+ and Disability/Hidden Disability Awareness events. I always look forward to the effervescent meetings with our Student Diversity Champions, in which they share ideas about future projects to further promote and celebrate the rich diversity of our College community. I also enjoy building partnerships with a range of local organisations and charities in order to fundraise and raise awareness of wider equality themes, including community cohesion and youth engagement. My passion for promoting equality, diversity and inclusion stems from a career in teaching and a core belief that with encouragement and support, the bounteous talents of our students can be harnessed and nurtured. I am incredibly proud to be a member of the brilliant Equality and Diversity Team at Huddersfield New College and honoured to have been awarded ‘UK Lead for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion 2017’ by the National Centre for Diversity.”

Drew Norbury, Games Development Teacher

“I have been a proud employee of Huddersfield New College for almost ten years and an active member of the Equality and Diversity Team since September 2016.  As an individual I pride myself on an egalitarian and libertarian approach to life, and I strive to treat others as I would expect to be treated. I believe that everyone deserves to be treated equally and with respect.  It is this ethos that encouraged me to become a teaching professional within a College that works hard to celebrate equality and diversity. During my time at New College, I have worked extensively with students from a range of backgrounds, and I take pride in building relationships with my students so that they feel confident and able to approach me if they need additional support. Recently I have arranged a trip to a production by ‘Mind the Gap’, a local theatre production company that works with students who have additional learning needs, to help those with Autism gain work experience placements.”

Emily Bolton, Progress Tutor and Health Promotion Champion

“As the College’s Health Promotion Champion, I work alongside the Equality and Diversity Team to deliver events that promote health and wellbeing on campus. These events play an integral part in promoting themes of health, wellbeing and diversity to staff and students, which I believe contributes to making the College an outstanding place to work and study. I thoroughly enjoy participating in these events; it’s so encouraging to see our students actively engage in celebrating diversity. My showcase event, the Wellbeing Fair, is now in its third year, and is an integral date in the College calendar for promoting a range of health-related matters, which also relate to diversity, for example, in terms of mental health and wellbeing.”

Emma Fisher, Health and Social Care Teacher

“The Equality and Diversity Team plays an essential role in creating the positive and welcoming atmosphere that we are lucky to have here at the College, and I am privileged that I am able to be part of this. We are constantly working to find different ways in which we can promote and celebrate equality and diversity amongst both staff and students, and I have worked on a variety of projects since becoming a Diversity Champion. As a member of the Health and Social Care Department, one of the areas that I am actively engaged with is promoting awareness of hidden disabilities. I believe that it is so important to do this as you never know what another person is going through around you and you should never make assumptions. I love how the College is supportive of its diverse and vibrant community and I am proud that the work that we do as a team contributes to this.”

Laura Mallalieu, Student Welfare Officer 

"Though I am a new member of the Equality and Diversity Team, I have worked closely with the Team as a part of my wider role for several years now. I coordinate the College's LBGTQ+ support within College, provide 1:1 support to students, host our weekly LGBTQ+ group, train staff, support transitioning students, and signpost young people on to external services when necessary. This year, I will be focusing on applying for the Stonewall Award in recognition of our support for our LGBTQ+ community here at College. I also enjoy supporting our Equality and Diversity events, ensuring that our students have the opportunity to get involved and enjoy taking part!"

Joe Howson, Teacher of Sport

"I have recently joined the College's Sport department. I have always been interested in helping to support minority groups within sport at both elite and community level, and working alongside the Equality and Diversity Team means that I can explore this further. I have been working on projects to increase participation in sport from underrepresented groups such as women and students from BME backgrounds. Working within the theme of 'This Girl Can', I have organised an employability event with influential female guest speakers. Sport is a traditionally a male dominated industry, and these events play an integral role in inspiring the next generation. I have also worked alongside 'Kick it Out' for a recent event celebrating the organisation's 25th anniversary, helping the College to further embed an inclusive learning environment within our department and the wider college community. I am passionate about providing sport for all, and helping to remove any barriers that may arise."   

Angela Dalgleish, Receptionist

“As the College’s Receptionist, I am in a unique position to see how positively visitors to the College view our dedication to promoting equality and diversity on campus. I love how we as a College involve our students in celebrating equality and diversity through different events and projects, and I believe our success as a team is enhanced by our Student Diversity Champions.  I recently had the pleasure of working with the student team and together we have updated our ‘Equality and Diversity Mini Guide for Students’.  I was so impressed with their enthusiasm for promoting equality and diversity within the College, and their understanding of why respect is so important. They truly are wonderful ambassadors for themselves and the College.  As well as producing student guides relating equality and diversity, I have also created pocket guides for staff and Governors.  I am very proud that my work in this area led to being short-listed for the ‘Most Innovative EDI Initiative’ of the Year at the National Centre for Diversity Grand Awards 2017.”

Jessica Law, Progress Tutor

“I have been part of the Equality and Diversity Team since September 2016 and have really enjoyed contributing to the awareness-raising events and activities that help to promote these values throughout our community. As a team we work hard to embed and further promote the College’s mission of providing high quality education in a friendly, supportive and inclusive environment. As a Progress Tutor, I have the opportunity to work with students on a daily basis to help spread our core messages of respect and tolerance. I feel lucky to be part of a team that encourages a proactive approach, and inspires our staff and students to challenge misconceptions and stereotypes. I am really proud to be a part of an organisation that aims to make a positive difference to the experience of others.”

Lisa Matusiewicz, Student Support Assistant and Hearing Impairment Specialist

"My roles in College allow me to support a variety of students inside and outside of the classroom. I help support students with skills such as organisation, and help to facilitate their learning while in lessons. I am also an active member of the College's Gym, and I run a female only fitness session on a Thursday lunchtime. The sessions are open to both staff and students, with the aim of building confidence; I enjoy empowering the women within our College community to feel good about themselves and to take their physical and mental health seriously. I love being a part of a College that works hard to enable a positive and comfortable environment for all, and it's an honour to be a part of the Equality and Diversity Team helping to celebrate our individuality."

Samantha Daley, Communications Officer

“I am proud that the College I am part of genuinely celebrates equality and diversity, and that we have been recognised for our work in this area by the National Centre for Diversity. Although I have always worked closely with the Equality and Diversity Team due to my role in the College’s Marketing Department, an opportunity arose to join the team formally, and I haven’t looked back! I really enjoy helping to support the College in raising awareness and standards of the themes surrounding equality, diversion and inclusion. Part of my role as Diversity Champion includes working alongside the Student Diversity Champions as a Mentor, and it’s a wonderful opportunity to help spread tolerance and respect throughout our community.”

Tom Smith, Teacher of Sport

"As a new member of the College, I'm proud to be joining such an outstanding Equality and Diversity Team. In my previous role I was heavily involved in promoting the themes of Equality and Diversity, and I have been able to apply this experience to my role as Diversity Champion here at HNC. I have contributed to a number of events since joining the team, and was heavily involved in the College's 'Rainbow Laces' campaign, working with the Proud Terriers, Huddersfield Town Football Club's LGBTQ+ support group. My aim for my role as Diversity Champion is to promote tolerance and respect in Sport. I am currently organising a 'Sports Equality and Diversity Week', which will see the College welcome inspirational and influential guest speakers. We will also be hosting a range of activities and workshops to give our students and staff the chance to participate in a wide range of sports, including wheelchair basketball and rugby." 

Image of student Diversity Team

Our Student Diversity Champions joined our team for many and varied reasons. Find out why below!

"I am a Student Diversity Champion because I am passionate about embracing a wide variety of different cultures and promoting acceptance and equality."


"I am a member of the Student Diversity Team because I think it is important for everyone to be able to express their sexuality and to be treated equally."


"Equality and the celebration of diversity are important to me as I believe that everyone should feel respected and comfortable with who they are."


"I am proud to be part of a team that spreads a message of inclusion and acceptance."


"I enjoy working as a member of the Student Diversity Team and being surrounded by a diverse group of people."


"I applied to become a Student Diversity Champion because I believe that kindness and respect are very important."


"I firmly believe that everyone deserves to be treated equally and I want to contribute to raising awareness of acceptance and difference."


"As a Student Diversity Champion, I would like to help others within the LGBT+ community to feel comfortable in being themselves."


"I want to raise awareness of disability and believe that every person should have access to opportunities... to do anything and everything."


"I became a Student Diversity Champion because youth mental health and gender equality are very close to my heart."


"I applied to become a member of the Student Diversity Team because I would like to step outside of my culture and view the world from a different perspective."


"As a Student Diversity Champion I enjoy being part of a team that empowers others!"

Below you can find a selection of feedback and quotes reflecting the impact of our work in this important area. 

"Equality of opportunity is central to the College’s mission.  Learners are valued for who they are and this in turn results in a respectful and harmonious learner community, in which all members accept each other’s differences."

- Ofsted

“I am very impressed at the work that has been done at HNC to embed EDI into all aspects of College life and this cascades from governors and leaders to all staff and students.  Congratulations to HNC in achieving Leaders in Diversity for the second time. It is an award that is truly deserved because of the exemplary practice and commitment to EDI that I have observed, which ensures there is an inclusive culture within College. HNC does live the values!”

- Jo Barton, Leaders in Diversity Assessor