Students across BMet expressed their views on range of “equality and diversity” topics today, at a special workshop designed to support an anti-racist strategy at the college.
Following over a thousand student responses to a “Have Your Say” survey by award-winning youth focused social enterprise, Leaders Unlocked, the event gave students and staff the chance to discuss the findings and explore BMet’s activities in relation.
In January, learners, many being from Leaders Unlocked’s Student Commission On Racial Justice, answered a number of survey questions relating to teaching & learning, support, safety & wellbeing, events, social life & college culture, world of work & aspirations and complaints, structure & process.
Examples of questions included:
- does your course curriculum consider contributions and opinions of a variety of cultures?
- do you feel confident that you would get adequate support for your mental health, regardless of your ethnicity and race?
- are the students at college diverse in their ethnicity and race?
- are students encouraged to explore a wide range of career options, regardless of their ethnicity and race?
- if you reported a race-related incident at college, do you believe that appropriate action would be taken?
Megan Briggs, Project Coordinator at Leaders Unlocked, joined students and key members of staff including CEO and Principal at BMet, Pat Carvalho, to form five working groups linked to the survey topical areas.
Speaking of the event, Pat Carvahlo said:
“It is great for BMet to play an important role in such a forward-thinking event. The opportunity enabled students to have their say on a range of topics, that will directly impact and shape the college’s future initiatives and planning in a positive direction.
“We are so proud of our students who continually play an active role in pushing our agenda for a fairer community at BMet and beyond. Leaders Unlocked and the Student Commission on Racial Justice, are a key force in our desire for change and we look forward to further opportunities.”
Led by Student Commission on Racial Justice representatives on round tables, participants brainstormed their ideas and formulated possible actions moving forward, which they later presented to attendees.
Aahil, a media student, who led the roundtable on “world of work & aspirations” said:
“It has been a fantastic experience. Everyone came together in unity and participated in a range of discussions, which widened understanding for both students and staff.
“I am looking forward to seeing which actions will be put in place. Sometimes it’s not about the destination, but the journey.”
Lana, an early year’s student, who led the discussion on “social life & college culture” added:
“It was so great that people had a chance to speak up and voice their feelings and opinions on issues that really matter, in a safe space.
“It is always good to share ideas and especially when they are listened to.”
Around 10 other further education institutions across the UK took part in the Leaders Unlocked “Have Your Say” Survey, with BMet having the highest responses – having 1,052 out of a total 3,392.
Megan from Leaders Unlocked expressed how much she enjoyed helping to deliver the event. She said:
“It was a real pleasure to see such a diverse and forward-thinking group contribute ideas that will help support BMet on its journey to excellence.
“It is always a positive experience partnering with BMet and working with their students on important topics.”
Opportunities like the ones provided by Leaders Unlocked and the Student Commission on Racial Justice are part of the college’s many student enrichment activities – included in the college’s ever-growing extra curricula options.