Diversity Policy

Background

For Reach to Teach, a strong and positive commitment to diversity is not an option, but a necessity. As an organisation that strives to transform opportunities for children from different cultures, religions and challenges, we must harness the unique experiences of our staff –our backgrounds, perspectives, knowledge and capacities - and be open to employing staff from the widest range of backgrounds to reach our potential as an organisation 

There is also a regulatory requirement: under the Charity Governance Code, the Board is responsible for the following:

  • Ensuring the charity follows the principles of equality and diversity, going beyond the legal minimum where appropriate.
  • Ensuring there are plans in place to monitor and achieve the board’s diversity objectives.
  • Publishing an annual description of what it has done to address the diversity of its Board, and the charity’s leadership, and its performance against its diversity objectives, with an explanation where they have not been met.

The term ‘diversity’ includes the nine protected characteristics of the UK Equality Act 2010, as well as different backgrounds, life experiences, career paths and diversity of thought.

Policy Statement

Reach to Teach recognises that we can only achieve our aims through strong teamwork that embraces and recognises the benefits of its staff diversity. We will therefore value, and draw on on the unique experiences, backgrounds, perspectives, knowledge and capacities of all colleagues to reach our goals as an organisation:

  • We will lead and manage inclusively, across different cultures, ethnicities, religions, genders and sexual orientations.
  • We will provide opportunities for growth and development of individuals and teams, based solely on merit and aptitude.
  • We will engage with all colleagues, partners and stakeholders in ways that respect, and benefit from, their perspectives and experiences.
  • Reach to Teach opposes all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination. We are committed to providing equality in the workplace, and all opportunities will be afforded to individuals irrespective of age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, race including colour ethnic or national origins and nationality, religion or belief or sexual orientation (“the protected characteristics”).
  • We are committed to creating a working environment that is free from discrimination and harassment in any form in which all beneficiaries, staff, partners, suppliers and other stakeholders are treated with dignity and respect, and all feel valued, included and empowered. 
  • Reach to Teach will not unlawfully discriminate in the arrangements we make for recruitment and selection, or in the opportunities afforded for employment and training. We aim to ensure all our working practices are applied fairly and consistently.
  • This policy will be monitored and reviewed on an annual basis.

Specific Responsibilities

 The Board and CEO have overall responsibility for the effective operation of the policy and for ensuring compliance with the Equality Act 2010 and associated legislation in the UK and India.

  • All staff have a responsibility not to discriminate or harass other staff and to report any such behaviour to their line manager.
  • The CEO and senior management are responsible for ensuring that the culture and ways of working of Reach to Teach realise the need to embrace diversity and benefit from the unique experiences and talents of our staff.

Creating Equal Oportunities

Reach to Teach aims to ensure equal opportunities in the following ways:

1. Recruitment and Selection

  • The recruitment and selection procedures are designed to be free from bias or discrimination. The recruitment procedures for staff are set out in the UK and India staff handbook, and for Board members in the Board Handbook. These procedures are conducted objectively and are based upon specific job related criteria. Candidates are selected for roles based solely on aptitude and ability.

2. Staff Conduct

  • The UK and India Staff Handbooks set out in detail the behaviour expected of all staff to prevent discrimination, harassment and bullying and the procedures in place for investigating possible breaches of these policies.
  • The Board Handbook includes a code of conduct which all trustees are required to follow.

3. Career Development and Training

  • All staff are given an appropriate induction to enable them to fulfil the responsibilities in their role. 
  • The Reach to Teach Personal Development Process (PDP) is designed to enable staff to develop their full potential, by setting clear objectives, and it includes regular feedback discussion with line managers. Also, staff are provided with on the job training, and where appropriate external training is arranged. We will also train staff on the diversity policy, and in particular, focus this training on behaviour and practices to prevent discrimination and harassment.

4. Terms of Employment

  • All staff in the UK and in India receive terms of employment which are consistent with international best practice in NGOs, and in line with the laws in the UK and India.
  • Reach to Teach’sPDP process and compensation reviews are managed in a transparent manner, based on objective criteria which are free from bias.
  • We also aim, as far as is reasonably practicable, to accommodate the requirements of different religions and cultures. 

The Monitoring Procedures

  • The CFO, supported by the new HR Manager in India, is responsible for monitoring and reviewing the operation of this policy, and for ensuring all employment policies and practices adhere to the policy.
  • As part of the annual PDP process the SMT will review the opportunities provided to staff for career development and training.
  • Each year starting in late 2018 the Board will review its performance and this review will include a review of process for recruiting trustees and building the diversity of the Board.
  • Supported by enhanced HR leadership within the organisation, the Diversity Policy will be reviewed on an annual basis –both the text and how successfully it is being implemented.