At School-Home Support (SHS), equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) are central to our vision that ‘every child has the support they need to thrive and achieve’. We are committed to creating a diverse workforce that is representative of the communities we support, and an inclusive culture where all our staff can thrive and reach their full potential.
Our three-year diversity and inclusion strategy (2020-22) has 5 key priorities that we are focusing on. This is overseen by our Senior Project Manager and Project Coordinator, with the support of our EDI working group, which is responsible for driving forward improvements across the organisation, including at a senior and trustee level.
1. Further embed EDI into our policies, processes and communications:
This involves regularly reviewing all of our policies, processes and communications at School-Home Support to ensure they reflect our EDI values and are in line with current best practice.
- A full review of our internal staff policies has been completed to ensure that they comply with School-Home Support’s legislative requirements and reflect EDI best practice wherever possible. These changes were updated in our policy documents and staff handbook as of 2021/22 academic year.
- We have begun to actively collate and make greater use of case studies which reflect the diversity of the families that we work with, ‘piggy-backing’ off national inclusion dates and sharing relevant and creative content, which amplifies the voices of underrepresented groups.
- We are trialling a web accessibility app to increase the accessibility of our digital content for people with disabilities.
- We have created an inclusive language guide to capture the most inclusive ways for us to communicate and ensure that we, as an organisation, are consistent in the way that we write to external audiences.
- Staff now have the option to include their gender pronouns in various settings e.g. email signature, work badge, as a tool for visibly demonstrating trans allyship both internally within the organisation and externally.
- EDI focus for 2022 World Book Day, which resulted in our corporate patterns purchasing 65 children’s books exploring important EDI themes to distribute in our partner schools
- We plan to translate our key documents that we use in schools and with families into a number of different languages
- We will continue to look into ways to improve the accessibility of our digital content as part of a wider redesign of the School-Home Support website
2. Strengthen the diversity of our Board of Trustees: We are actively monitoring board diversity with a specific intent to ensure we attract and recruit more applicants from a wider range of backgrounds.
- Signed up to the ACEVO and Institute of Fundraising’s diversity leadership principles, indicating that we want to work towards making changes to address the diversity deficit in charity leadership.
- Completed a board diversity audit and EDI action planning suggestion to identify identify gaps on our board and areas for improvement
- Launched a targeted recruitment campaign for new new young trustees with lived experience of disadvantage and/or as an SHS service user to join our board
- Updated our job ad and recruitment pack to demonstrate our commitment to diversifying the board and diversified the recruitment sources we are using to target those with lived experience and/or from a BAME background
- Appoint and induct two new young trustees alongside reviewing ways to make our board culture more inclusive
- Take part in Transform programme to help us implement longer term changes for future rounds of trustee recruitment
3. Recruit and retain a diversity of talent across all levels of the organisation
We plan to review our recruitment and selection processes and career progression routes to allow us to increase representation at all levels of seniority.
- Updated the equality monitoring form used during our recruitment process to help us identify where barriers exist to diverse talent entering the organisation.
- Working towards applying to become a Disability Confident Committed at the end of March. This has involved us updating the wording in our job adverts, guaranteeing an interview for all disabled candidates who meet the selection criteria and looking into which specialist recruitment platforms we can use to attract more applications from disabled candidates.
- EDI recruitment recommendations collated to support our new HR manager to improve our current recruitment processes, with inclusion being a central part of this.
- Continuously review equality monitoring data and identify any steps we might want to take to address issues in the future
- Continue our work on the Disability Confident Employer Scheme to make our recruitment process more disability-inclusive.
- Look into making changes to our recruitment processes, including feasibility of using anonymised applications, anti-bias training for hiring managers and more diverse recruitment sources.
- Identify steps we can take to increase diversity in senior leadership and middle management teams.
4. Ensure that we are meeting the diverse needs of our service users and that our services are accessible to all
We will be actively monitoring who is using our services, the quality of support they are receiving and outcomes across the various communities that we work with, to ensure that we are meeting the diverse needs of our beneficiaries and that our services are accessible to everyone.
- Developed key EDI metrics to help us monitor and report on outcomes for our young people by protected characteristics e.g. gender, ethnicity, SEN.
- Identified areas that we are working in where certain communities are underrepresented on our practitioner’s caseloads
- Started collecting feedback from our service users via our end of support survey and user voice week consultation, to help us quality monitor our services and identify any potential barriers for our families in accessing our services.
- Add demographics questions to our user voice surveys so that we can compare responses amongst this data
- Use data collected to identify areas for improvement and target actions
- Pilot a child survey to capture regular feedback from our young people which will directly inform our practitioner’s practice.
5. Increase and improve our provision of learning, development and engagement opportunities for staff to maximise EDI good practice
We are providing regular training and events for staff to encourage them to reflect on and consider how we can all improve our working practices through a greater awareness of and commitment to EDI best practice. We are also consulting with all staff on a regular basis to understand what improvements we can make in regards to inclusion at School-Home Support.
- Introduced mandatory EDI training for all new starters
- EDI training is embedded into our annual training programme, on topics including anti-racism, LGBT inclusion, and working with SEN young people.
- Termly staff led EDI network events including group discussions and film screenings.
- Signed up to Stonewall’s Diversity Champion programme to help us embed LGBTQ+ inclusion across the organisation
- Feedback collected from staff in annual staff satisfaction survey in regards to EDI initiatives and areas for improvement
- Confidential process via an EDI champion for staff to raise EDI concerns or issues, as a way to hear from voices that may be concerned about repercussions of raising EDI issues
- Look into subject specific training for communications and HR teams
- Develop cultural competency framework
World Autism Awareness Day 2022: School-Home Support works with families to ensure they have access to the right support for them
School-Home Support Practitioners share their creative methods for working with children to tackle factors affecting mental health
Have your say and tell us what we’re doing right or where we can improve. We’d love to hear everything, good and bad.