Huddersfield New College stands in solidarity with all who fight for greater justice and equality, and against racism, violence and all forms of discrimination
Our approach to Equality and Diversity is award winning – Huddersfield New College has been named the UK's Organisation of the Year for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020) and FE Provider of the Year (2018, 2019, 2020). In 2018 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 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!
Back row (left to right); Drew Norbury, Joe Howson, Erika Montgomery, Will Bacon, Jay Bolt
Middle row (left to right); Tom Smith, Samantha Daley, Chelsea Redshaw, Katie Amitrano, Kam Rogerson and Jess Law
Lower Row (left to right); Emma Fisher, Carol Wiltshire and Rebecca Hakier
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 2019/2020, alongside two high profile ‘Diversity Weeks’, we will offer a continued programme of advice, support and information.
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.
Erika Montgomery, Director of Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement
“As the College’s Equality and Diversity Director 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 and 2020’ by the National Centre for Diversity.”
Kam Rogerson, Assistant Principal, Curriculum & Quality (Vocational) and Wider College Life
"I've recently joined the Diversity Team, and I am really looking forward to working with this dynamic and energetic group of staff and students. As a member of the team, I have witnessed their energy and commitment to their roles, and how that the work they undertake genuinely has a positive impact on our College community. In my role as Assistant Principal, I work to ensure the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion is embedded across all areas of teaching and learning, assessment and training, so that it has a strategic prominence in the College, and my links with this team will continue to ensure that this remains an important part of who we are."
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 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.”
Chelsea Redshaw, Schools and Employer Engagement Officer
"I joined HNC in 2018 having previously studied at the College as a student. I am really excited to be joining the Diversity Team, and as the College's Employer Engagement Officer working with local industry leaders to secure placements, I am well placed to promote Equality and Diversity beyond HNC, benefiting not only our students but also our wider community. The work we do to promote Equality, Diversity and Inclusion within our work placements means that our students can expect the same outstanding experience whether they're learning inside or outside the classroom. I really look forward to working with the Diversity Team and I can't wait to see what we can achieve together!"
Emily Bolton, Progress Tutor and Health Promotion Champion
“As the College’s Health Promotion Champion, I work alongside the Diversity Team to deliver events that promote health and well-being on campus. These events play an integral part in promoting themes of health, well-being 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 Well-being 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 well-being.”
Jay Bolt, Course Leader for English Language
“I am in my tenth year of teaching at Huddersfield New College and I am proud to have been appointed as a Diversity Champion. I am passionate about promoting equality for all, and in helping to build and support our strong LGBTQ+ communities amongst both staff and students. I have worked within College to help develop our approach to supporting our transgender students by addressing issues such as gender neutral toilet facilities and recommending a software update that allows for preferred names to be recorded on all internal records. Throughout the year we fundraise for a range of LGBTQ+ charities, raising awareness of a range of LGBTQ+ issues, and I take huge pride in the respect and support evident across our students body at these events."
Emma Fisher, Health and Social Care Teacher
“The 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.”
Katie Amitrano, Access Arrangements Assessor
"I have been part of the Diversity Team since July 2019 and I enjoy working with the Student Diversity Champions in planning and promoting events to raise awareness for a range of themes relating to equality and diversity. In the last year I have been involved in a range of projects and activities for International Women's Day, Food Allergy Awareness Day and Anti-bullying Week. As an active member of the Diversity Team, I feel that I am working to ensure that everyone at HNC feels safe, supported and comfortable. My role as an Access Arrangements Assessor has allowed me to develop a strong rapport with a range of students which has given me an even greater understanding of the necessity to promote an inclusive ethos for our learners. I am passionate about my role as a Diversity Champion and it's a genuine pleasure to be part of an award-winning team which genuinely celebrates each and every member of the HNC community"
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 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."
Jessica Law, Senior Progress Tutor
“I have been part of the 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.”
Samantha Daley, Deputy Head of Admissions and 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 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 of the themes surrounding Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. My role includes promoting the work of the Diversity Team on our website, virtual learning environment, social media pages and College environment, and I ensure that all the literature and promotional material produced by the Marketing Team embodies our rich and diverse community.”
Rebecca Hakier, Progress Tutor
"I am really excited to be joining the Diversity Team. Having worked as a Progress Tutor for the past four years, I have a wealth of experience with working with young people to promote respect and tolerance within our College community. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion are embedded within our tutorial programme, and I am proud to be a part of a College that truly holds these ideals at its very heart. As a Diversity Champion, I look forward to forging even stronger links between the Tutorial Team and the Diversity Team, so that together we can continue to ensure our students receive an outstanding learning experience. The work that we do as a College has a genuinely positive impact on the lives of our young people and I look forward to being a part of the team that helps us to maintain our fair and supportive learning environment."
Tom Smith, Teacher of Sport
"As a new member of the College, I'm proud to be joining such an outstanding 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."
Will Bacon, Teacher of Business
"I joined the College four years ago, and during my time here I have witnessed all the fantastic ways in which the Diversity Team have celebrated and promoted Equality and Diversity at HNC. I have always embedded Equality, Diversity and Inclusion within my teaching, and I enjoy discussing these topics with my students. My role as Diversity Champion will revolve around supporting the NCDC group here at HNC. I will also be working towards my Level 1 qualification in Sign Language. I am passionate about ensuring that all students are included and that individual differences are celebrated. I look forward to working with the Diversity Team to help celebrate our diverse community".
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."
“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