FE sector events - sharing knowledge and best practice to move forward the equality, diversity and inclusion agenda


The ColegauCymru Equality and Diversity Group exists to work together to contribute to progressing equality, diversity and inclusion across the sector. This includes how the FE sector can support the delivery of the Welsh Government’s Anti-Racist Wales agenda.   

The Group works to foster partnerships between colleges, as well as with other organisations, to learn from each other and share best practice, towards making FE more equal and diverse. In March 2024, the Group held two workshops to support colleges with their Strategic Equalities Plans, which featured valuable contributions from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and Audit Wales. ColegauCymru continues to be grateful to Welsh Government for supporting the sector’s work on equality, diversity and inclusion.  

Here, Coleg Cambria’s Equality and Diversity Coordinator, Alice Churm, shares her thoughts on the North Wales event.  

“The Equalities Workshop organised by ColegauCymru in North Wales, was a wonderful event that gave us an insightful and proactive moment to capture thoughts, ideas and priorities for equality in Welsh FE. We heard from a range of speakers, who spoke with passion and insight into their expertise on equality, diversity and inclusion. 
Robert Moore from the North Wales Race Equality Network opened the day detailing his experience of campaigning for race equality in North Wales. He spoke of the importance of North Welsh priorities on the agenda, which provided a great context to addressing equality in a North Wales context.  

Ruth Coombs, Head of Wales EHRC, gave an overview of the ‘Equality and Human Rights Monitor 2023: Is Wales Fairer?’ report. This showed us the cross-country priorities for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), and an understanding of the specific educational context identified within the report. I found all the data Ruth highlighted insightful and will be using the report to set our priorities.  

Wayne Vincent, Head of Strategy and Business Planning for EHRC, talked us through the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED), giving us insight into what the PSED means, and what it means to give “due regard”. This was helpful in understanding how we implement PSED and promote awareness of it across our organisations.  

Audit Wales Audit Manager, Mark Jeffs, then talked us through their review of Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs) and recommendations for improvement. This session gave me a lot to reflect on, in how we can improve EIAs in our college context, exploring how to engage people with protected characteristics within our EIAs. 

We were then joined by our Coleg Cambria Student Equality Officers: Max Williams (LGBTQ+ Student Officer), Enrique Manzano (Ethnic Minority Student Officer) and Micah Hampton (Multifaith Student Officer). I chaired a discussion about their experiences of identity and what more colleges can do to support equality. They discussed the need to promote awareness, knowledge and education around equality, and giving students safe spaces to be themselves. Hearing about the impact on learners gave a lovely opportunity to see why we are doing this work, and how students feel about it.  

Coleg Cambria Chief Executive Yana Williams, then ran a discussion around priorities for EDI in FE. This session gave us an open space to discuss the key issues. One of the themes for our day was capturing meaningful data, and giving space for ‘stories’ and ‘feelings’ of equality. I relished the opportunity to share all our work within the LIFE Survey that does this, and explore how to infuse the voice of those with lived experience into EDI work.  

Talking openly about EDI across different organisations and colleges was valued and impactful. We focused on positive approaches for the future, and I personally left the day feeling inspired about new and exciting movements towards an equitable FE sector. I really valued having this opportunity to share knowledge, feeling and insights, and I’m excited for more discussions and days like this.” 

About Alice 
Alice Churm (She/Her) is the Equality and Diversity Coordinator at Coleg Cambria in Northeast Wales. In her role she offers advice and guidance to the college on equality matters, and oversees projects to support EDI in Coleg Cambria and beyond, including tackling peer-on-peer abuse, and supporting LGBTQ+ young people. Alice can be contacted at Alice.Churm@Cambria.ac.uk  

Further Information 

ColegauCymru Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity 

Equality and Human Rights Commission 
Equality and Human Rights Monitor 2023: Is Wales Fairer? 
November 2023 

Amy Evans, Policy Officer 

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