An award-winning inclusive and diverse community  

Our approach to Equality and Diversity is award winning – in 2017 the College was named as the UK Organisation of the Year in the National Centre for Diversity Grand Awards. We achieved ‘Leaders in Diversity Level 3’ in 2014 and again, for the second time, in 2016. 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!

Higher row (left to right); Matt Burton, Our College Receptionist Angela, Zoe Shackleton, Anna Fletcher, Erika Montgomery, Emily Boulton, Drew Norbury

Lower row (left to right); Jess Law, Emma Fisher, Alicia Holdsworth, Joanne Caton, Samantha Daley


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.

Zoe Shackleton, Assistant Principal, People and Place

“I am proud to work at Huddersfield New College, an environment in which all individuals can genuinely be themselves and in which diversity is valued. Our fantastic staff and students work hard to ensure that the College is truly inclusive and that we live our mission and values in the way that we conduct ourselves and in our relationships with others.  I have been a member of the College’s Equality and Diversity Team, a small team of staff representing all areas of the College, for over seven years and our hard work in raising awareness of different equality and diversity related themes, and in educating and supporting others, has been recognised by many including Ofsted and the National Centre for Diversity.  To be awarded the accolade in 2017 of the UK Number One Organisation for equality, diversity and inclusion is a highlight of my career, and is a true reflection of the work that we do as a College and as a community to enrich and enhance the lives of our students and staff through the celebration of diversity, and fundamental values such as respect and tolerance.”

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.”

Matt Burton, Teacher of Physical Education

“I am proud to be part of the College’s Equality and Diversity Team. As a Teacher of Physical Education, I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to take part in sport, regardless of ability, and I have endeavoured to ensure that I play a role in promoting diversity and removing barriers within sport wherever possible. As a department, our staff and students have led a recent campaign to promote Stonewall’s ‘Rainbow Laces’, showing support for sport’s LGBTQ+ community.  I feel that the messages and principles we promote play a vital role in providing an enjoyable, inclusive and respectful environment for our students. I have been a member of the team for two years and have really enjoyed working alongside some outstanding colleagues and I am proud of our achievements.”

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.”

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.”

Anna Fletcher, Course Leader, Health and Social Care

“I am proud to have been a Diversity Champion for three years, and during my time on the Equality and Diversity Team I have been involved in a range of events and celebrations to promote the diversity of our College community. I really enjoy working with colleagues from across the College to help ensure that the themes of equality and diversity are promoted, and welcome the chance to help educate staff and students on the work that we undertake and its importance. I love that the team works so hard to support a variety of charities, both national and local, and I am pleased that our students chose the ‘Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice’ as our charity of the year for 2017/18. As well as being involved with various fundraising and awareness-raising projects throughout the years, I have also been instrumental in supporting the College in becoming a Mindful Employer, helping to contribute to the College being an outstanding place to work and to addressing stigma attached to mental illness.”

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.”

Jo Caton, Course Leader, Physical Education

“As a longstanding member of the Equality and Diversity Team, I have been privileged to watch our team grow from strength to strength. Equality and diversity underpins everything that we do as a College and I am proud to have been an integral part of embedding the principles of respect and inclusivity into our community. The benefits and rewards of being involved with activities and discussions that enrich the lives of our young people are extensive; we as a staff and our students are extremely lucky to be part of an institution that is truly inclusive.”

Alicia Holdsworth, HR and Payroll Officer

“I love how our work as Diversity Champions contributes to the family feel at the College. We have lots of fun, but we are still exploring some crucial topics! I take responsibility for our LGBTQ+ strand of work, which includes providing training support for staff and contributing to the induction presentations for new staff. There is nothing more rewarding than when a student tells you they feel accepted for the first time in their education or life, or you help another to reconsider and change their own views or stereotypes.”    

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.”


Our new Student Equality and Diversity Champions have recently been recruited; please revisit this section soon for an insight into why they joined the team!

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

“The end result of the work the College does is ultimately felt in the welcoming atmosphere when you arrive. It doesn’t matter who you are, all that matters is that you want to do well. I struggled to fit in at school, but here students are helped to really see that differences do not matter, and I made friends with people that in high school I would never have thought about even talking to.” – Student 2017

"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 enjoy working here – I have a good manager”

“We respect management which is a big bonus”

“I care about the College and students and want to be part of the structure”

“No other place like it here”

“We are asked in appraisals about how we meet the values”

- Staff feedback

“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 

Find out more

Find out more about Equality and Diversity, including our policies and procedures, here.