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FE News Correspondent Sara Hashash Looks Into t

Ofsted’s report “Race Equality in Further education: a report by HMI” provides an in-depth study of current attitudes to race in the further education sector and a thorough update on the state of race relations in the sector today. The report is primarily a study of the achievements that have been made within the sector in response to the Amendment to the Race Relations Act (2000).

It aims to highlight improvements that have been made, as well as examining the extent to which the Race Relations legislation has had an impact on practice within further education colleges, in order to establish how effective it has been in ensuring that educational institutions within the further education sector face up to their responsibilities under this Act.

An Opening Glance

Although the colleges surveyed in the report had generally met their responsibilities under the legislation, too few were found to be consistently striving for improvements at a standard which would be expected three years after establishing a race equality policy in May 2002. Therefore, the changes that have been made, whilst commendable are still not sufficient as they are not being applied with a commitment to ever improving standards.

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The main purpose of the report is to evaluate progress and good practice in relation to the Race Relations Act (2000). In more specific terms, however, implementing the legislation involves eradicating racial discrimination within colleges and working to promote equality between all races and ethnic groups. The success of such measures was therefore investigated in the report. The report also studied the impact of this policy on learners and staff from different racial groups, in addition to monitoring staff recruitment and the participation, achievement rates and employment prospects amongst learners according to racial group.

This series will aim to provide a brief overview of the key findings of the report. Subsequent pieces to follow on this report will examine in more depth the conclusions and results obtained, as well as highlighting the recommendations the report has issued on this topic and assessing the roles of leadership and management and academic achievements, in addition to analysing the quality of education provided.

Sara Hashash

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