Embedding Equality

Welcome to part 3 of The Quality Series. In this session, we’re joined by: 

  • Rebecca Conway, Head of Policy and Strategy, Federation of Awarding Bodies 
  • Karen Bennett, Senior Policy Lead, Education & Skills Funding Agency 
  • Kasim Choudhry, Managing Director, BAME Apprentice Network

The conversation starts with reasonable adjustments and whether there is enough awareness and implementation at endpoint assessment. Rebecca Conway answers that there seems to be a wide awareness of reasonable adjustments in EPAOs, considering they are a legal obligation, but, she adds “it’s always worth pushing the promotion of reasonable adjustments a little bit more, making sure people are aware of the full breadth of the reasonable adjustments available”. 

“It is best practice [to assess learners on enrolment]. It should be talked about, and make sure you have a look at the guidance for that.”
Karen Bennett 

Around initial assessment and reasonable adjustments, Karen Bennett mentions that it’s important for all stakeholders to know their roles and responsibilities, to have the conversation early on and all the way through the programme as well. Learning difficulties shouldn’t be dismissed because they weren’t found right at the beginning. Because things change, it’s important to try and pick them out at any point to support the learner as best as possible. 

Then, the panel discusses the importance of data in ED&I. There is a clear lack of data when it comes to reasonable adjustments, including how many are being requested, and as organisations don’t know what kind of number to expect, it affects how they look at and think about their plan. Kasim Choudhry points out that data is important if you’re going to do something with it. What does the data actually mean? How is it translating into change?  

Talking about the lower rate of diagnosed learning difficulties in BAME backgrounds, Kasim explains that it is due to a number of factors: self-doubt, lack of resources, access to support, and not least of all discrimination. He recounts his experience trying to get an autism diagnosis for his son and the bias he encountered in a system that is already very difficult to navigate. 

On the subject of dropout, looking at new numbers released by the government, the panel agrees that retention could be improved if equality had a bigger focus.  

Catch the full event on-demand below. You can still submit questions when viewing on-demand, we’ll get back to you as soon as possible! 

You can expect:

  • Discussions around equality within end point assessment and the importance of reasonable adjustments
  • The intersectionality of neurodiversity and other types of diversity
  • The role of data when building an equality focused provision

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