City and Islington College student, Eliza Crescenzo, has successfully gained a scholarship with a global law firm. Elisa, 18, secured a place on the Herbert Smith Freehills Networked Scholarship, which includes an internship, five years of mentoring and a £1,000 bursary.

She was one of five students chosen from applicants at eight schools and colleges after attending two workshops including an online panel interview. Elisa is studying A Levels in French, Politics and Sociology at our Sixth Form College and hopes to go on to study History and International Relations at university next year.

On getting a place on the scholarship, she said: “It’s incredible. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime and will really open doors for me.

“I am so excited, not only to work at such a top law firm, but also to be able to learn from the people who work there and speak to other students with similar ambitions. 

“I remember when they told us about the scholarship. I immediately thought I had to apply for this right away. It will be an amazing experience. It will give me people to talk to as mentors and networks that will help me find out where I want to be in the future and help me get there.”

Elisa hopes to eventually work in the City and is looking towards a career in law but is keen to learn about other areas of business on her scholarship.

“I’ve a long way to go.  Being able to speak to lawyers about how they made it to the position they are in will be amazing,” she said. 

“I want to talk to as many people as I can in the company in case there is something else I might want to do in the future. A lot of people my age do not have this kind of opportunity, and I intend to take it. I want to take everything in like a sponge and make the most of the experience.”

Herbert Smith Freehills is one of the world’s leading professional legal services businesses and started its Networked Scholarship in 2010.

The scheme is not aimed at training lawyers but equips students with a range of business skills including teamwork, communications and presentations.

Many students who have completed the scholarship have gone on to gain roles in professional services, investment banks, marketing and technology.

Elisa said: “I have enjoyed my time at CANDI. It’s very different from secondary school. I have a lot more independence, but the support is there if I need it.

“It’s been quite difficult during the pandemic and we’ve all had to adapt. My teachers have been very good at getting things up on Google Classroom and online learning, which a lot of my friends in other schools have not had. It’s given some semblance of normality.

“We’ve also had speakers come and talk to us about the law industry and I got this opportunity through CANDI, and I am incredibly grateful for that.”

First year A Level student, Daphne Katz, has been named runner-up in the Young Hugo Award, a writing competition from the Guardian, for her piece titled “Nationalism: an Avoidable Evil.” Now in its fourth year, the award was created in memory of the late Hugo Young, a political and influential figure in journalism.

Daphne also recently won the silver award in the UK Linguistics Olympiad proving her talent for writing. We caught up with her to find out about what inspired her piece, what her plans are and how she’s finding college life.

Daphne, congratulations! Can you tell us about what your winning piece was about?

The piece is essentially about why nationalism is evil, especially after Brexit. For world peace to be achieved and climate change to slow down we need to open our borders to those around the world and increase diversity.

What was the inspiration behind it?

I’m someone who’s always felt I don’t identify with a specific nationality so I’m able to look at patriotism and national pride from an outside perspective. It’s never made any sense to me and I wanted to try and express it to an audience who don’t have that experience.

Where are you from?

My dad is American and my mum is French. I was born in France and lived there until I was four, then we moved to the UK. Although though I’ve lived here for most of my life, I’ve never had citizenship.

What’s influenced your subject choices at college?

I’m studying A Level French, German, Politics and Philosophy. I love languages and I’m really interested in politics, but my heart is in philosophy. I love thinking about things that you know are important but don’t necessarily think about.

How are you finding life at Candi?

I came from a single-sex grammar school which I found suffocating. It wasn’t the right environment for me. I need to be somewhere where I can work because I’m inspired to, rather than because I feel scared to fail, it’s really freeing.

What are your plans after college?

I want to go to university, hopefully in Canada but we’ll wait and see. I want to study philosophy or languages, maybe even politics as well!

Daphne was awarded second place in a virtual ceremony on 16 June. You can read about Daphne and the other winners at the Guardian.

Capital City College Group and its three colleges – City and Islington College, Westminster Kingsway College, and the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London – have launched #Laptops4Learners, a drive to help their disadvantaged students get online during and after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Restrictions brought about by Covid-19 mean that students will be learning through a mix of face-to-face lessons and online learning, so our #Laptops4Learners campaign is calling on businesses and the community to help provide 2,500 computers and tablets and raise £250,000 to buy more equipment to enable students to study at home.

67 per cent of our students are in the bottom three bands of social deprivation – with some living in the most deprived wards in the country – and almost a third have to share a computer, laptop or tablet with their family.  The Government estimates that within the next 10 to 20 years, 90 per cent of jobs will need some sort of digital skills, so your generosity today will help us secure a young person’s future too.

You can donate to the campaign on our JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/laptops4learners

Roy O’Shaughnessy, CEO of Capital City College Group, said: “With the UK heading back into recession and unemployment rising because of the Covid-19 crisis, it is vital that our students do not miss out on their education.

“We’re proud of what we’ve achieved so far and we’re continuing to stretch every muscle to support our students, but we know that there are many more who need our help. And with even more disadvantaged Londoners expected to enrol with us in September, we know we will need many more computers to support their education.

“With your support we can help more of our learners, so they learn effectively online and gain the skills and qualifications they need to take their next steps into higher education or their chosen career.”

For more information about the campaign and how you can help, please click here.

One of our teachers has told us how she has inspired her GCSE maths students by making the subject relevant to their vocational studies. Valerie Sampson asked students at to give presentations on how mathematics can be applied to their chosen course and career.

She said: “There are many reasons why students end up retaking GCSE mathematics multiple times, and some are disappointed at having to study it again.

“I wanted to find out how my students could have a positive experience when relearning mathematics, and how I could make it relevant to their vocational studies.

“I suggested students should work on a project that would make links between the course they have chosen to do, and the mathematics they had to do, more explicit.”

The students worked on the project over a number of weeks before sharing their presentations with the class at the end of term.

Valerie said: “A group of forensic science students began discussing ideas that included blood splatter analysis, which uses trigonometry to find the angle of impact and point of origin.”

Other presentations looked at substituting numerical values for formulae when calculating body mass index, using equations to explain binary fission and how to use graphs to monitor child development.

One student said: “I did research on medication dosage and realised how complex it can be.

“When you use the right formula it makes it easier to know the right amount of medication to give to a patient.”

Another added: “This project linked back to our health science course. It helped me to see the relevance of what we are learning in mathematics more.”

Valerie, who joined CANDI last year having previously taught in a secondary school, plans to run the project again from the start of the next academic year.

She said: “The project has been mutually beneficial. The presentations have enabled me to reach out better to students and make maths lessons more vocationally relevant.

“My aim is to find more vocational examples to cover, which I hope will ultimately contribute to improving outcomes for all learners.”

On Wednesday 17 June, 12 students from the Sixth Form centre in Angel led a Careers Service-organised sit down with three of the nation’s prominent journalists.

Chaired by Head of Careers Joanne Bishop, A Level students Jessica Tunks and Wisdom Charis quizzed the panel – who all work at magazines published by Hearst UK – on their experiences in journalism.

The event took place as part of an ongoing initiative to encourage students to network and explore a breadth of future career options.

Social Media and Content Manager for Men’s Health Magazine, Joy Ejaria, spoke frankly on her experiences as a woman of colour working for a men’s interest publication. She remarked on the steady progress of representation in an industry that has historically lacked diversity, admitting that there was still a way to go. In 2016, The Guardian reported that 94% of journalists in the UK were white, as well as there being a gender imbalance between men and women.

“In my role as Social Media Manager, I am one of two women on the team. It is a bit weird sometimes. You sit in a meeting surrounded by men, which can be intimidating when you start. But you get to know everybody as individuals and that changes. You learn to gauge and manage different personalities.

“The best piece of advice I received was ‘don’t be a statistic’. A teacher told me that when I was 15: You are black. You are this. You are that.’ You are expected to be a certain way. Break the mould.”

Ms Ejaria acknowledged that the gender imbalance is “largely because I work for a men’s magazine.” Jessica Lockett, Art Editor at Cosmopolitan, responded that: “For me it’s the opposite. We have one man on our team, who is the Creative Director. We support and lift each other up as women. But again, who you work with is very different depending on your brand.”

Finlay Renwick of Esquire Magazine highlighted his experience as a graduate of the benchmark National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) programme: “I didn’t know what I wanted to do until I was 22. I was working in a hotel and did not go to university. I ended up doing an NCTJ qualification, which included a short course at a newspaper where you learn the ropes. I managed to get a bit of experience at Esquire and it all followed from there.”

Mr Renwick went on to emphasise the role of relevant work experience in journalism, urging the students to start thinking about networking and growing a portfolio of writing. Ms Ejaria mentioned that her biggest surprise had been that she didn’t need to go to university, and suggested students research further into less traditional routes into the industry.

The three panellists commented on the value of increasing diversity in the industry, whether by encouraging people of colour to apply for jobs, or making routes into journalism more accessible. In light of the recent Black Lives Matter protests across the western world, many businesses have moved to make crucial changes to Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) initiatives.

They also told the students that it was an exciting time for journalism, that the move to digital presented its own challenges and that no two days were the same. After a brief Q&A session, students left with a better idea of the merits and issues still underlying the industry.

Joanne Bishop said: “This is the start of a really exciting partnership with Hearst Magazines. The key messages from the talk resonate with our careers strategy, with its focus on taking every opportunity to develop skills and gain experience, ensuring that our students are work-ready when they move on.

“We are excited to see how the partnership with Hearst develops as we continue to expand the enrichment opportunities on offer for all students to explore their career ideas and gain the skills and attributes that employers are looking for – and ultimately to achieve their long term career goals.”

Find out more about our A Level courses and apply online now!

CANDI students have contributed to a university research project to look into the relationship between young people and the police. The research project, called Civic Innovation In Community: Safety, Policing and Trust with Young People, was led by University College London (UCL) and Citizens UK.

Researchers Dr. Artemis Skarlatidou and Lina Ludwig carried out 20 interviews with Metropolitan Police officials and young people aged 16-25 from across the capital.

The study found young people and the police agreed that there was a lack of trust between police and communities.

It revealed that the root cause of this lay in interactions between the police and young people including stop-and-search. 

The research also found young people were not aware of what the Met Police was doing to better engage with communities, while police officers were not aware of the extent of young people’s concerns about racial bias. 

However, the research showed young people were willing to participate in projects that improve safety and trust in policing.

Dr. Skarlatidou said: “What was striking was the depth of knowledge of young people had about police enforcement methods, but little to no knowledge of the police’s non-enforcement methods of policing, including community outreach. 

“This is despite a willingness of young people to participate. Although there is a lack of trust, we can see ways to re-establish trust in policing.”

Boz Arslan, vice president of CANDI’s Student Union, welcomed the college’s involvement in the research and the need for better understanding between young people and the police.

Government figures continue to show that black and ethnic minority (BAME) people are still more likely to be stopped and searched by police than white people.

Sinead Morgan, Student Engagement Coordinator at CANDI, said: “The project has given our students the opportunity to talk about their experiences and ideas around youth safety and the police. 

“Given the disproportionate number of BAME youths who are stopped and searched, according to recent government figures, it is important that these channels of communication between BAME students, the UCL researchers and the police are open. 

“It is a valuable effort to increase understanding and hopefully improve relationships between young people and the police.”

The Islington Gazette’s report on the research can be read here.

Froi Legaspi, Community Organiser at Citizens UK, said: “Young people are willing to stand up for youth safety and good policing.

“With the Black Lives Matter movement continuing unabated, now is the opportunity for policy makers to work with communities on improved trust through better police training and accountability mechanisms.”

A fashion and textiles student has designed her own unique collection of Covid-19 face coverings during lockdown. Lia Penelope, 26, made them from her own fabric designs that she printed at home and then ironed onto the material, and even decorated one with fake pearls.

She said: “The whole coronavirus situation is quite incredible. My main motivation for making the face masks was not to give up in lockdown. I wanted to keep up my creativity and make something positive out of this situation.”

Face covering

Lia produced the designs while studying at CANDI and taught other students how to make their own during a class on Microsoft Teams.

Lia, from Haringey, north London, said: “I want to be a textile artist. I like to play with fabric and apply patterns and textures. It’s a way I can really express myself and make a statement.

“My teachers have been amazing. Without their feedback and support I would not have been able to do everything I wanted to this year. They worked with me on ideas, helped me develop my projects and built up my confidence.”

Face Covering - Evening Standard Newsprint and Pattern

Our one-year Art and Design: Fashion/Textiles Pathway – Level 3 Foundation Diploma is validated by the University of the Arts, London (UAL) and covers fashion illustration, colour work, design development, contemporary art, traditional skills and innovative techniques.

Students also participate in an end-of-year exhibition of their work.

Isatu Taylor, Curriculum Leader for Visual Arts, said: “Lia produced the masks as an extension of her normal studies, and has been so successful she is now making them for other people.

Face covering

“She is a wonderfully talented student with a real flair for design, and I am sure she has a huge career ahead of her in the art and fashion industry.”

See all of our Art and Design courses and apply for September 2020 here.

Today, Monday 22 June, marks the 72nd anniversary of the arrival in the UK of the ship Empire Windrush, which brought hundreds of people from the Caribbean to start new lives in the UK. Known as Windrush Day since 2018, it’s the perfect time to get a better understanding of the experience of people from the Caribbean who were called by the British government to help rebuild the country in 1948, and the terrible injustice that many of them and their families face, even now, with the ongoing Windrush Scandal. 

What is Windrush?

The Empire Windrush is the name of the ship which brought around 500 Commonwealth UK Citizens from the Caribbean to the Tilbury Docks in Essex in 1948.

Why did they come over?

Thousands of buildings had been bombed and houses destroyed in World War Two. As Britain was recovering, it needed help to rebuild the economy. Under British rule, many young men and women from the Caribbean had served the British armed forces. Adverts were placed offering an array of different jobs (in the coal and steel industries, public transport and in the NHS) and inviting them to come over for a better life. In 1948 Many young Caribbeans took up the opportunity and made the long voyage by ship across the Atlantic. Around 550,000 people from the Caribbean arrived in the UK between 1948 – 1971 and are referred to as the ‘Windrush generation’.

What happened when they arrived?

Once in Britain, many of this generation did not get the welcome they had anticipated. They were confronted with racism, discrimination with many of them were unable to find homes or work. Many companies said they didn’t want black people working for them and their children were bullied at school.

What is the Hostile Environment Policy?

The Hostile Environment Policy came into effect in October 2012 by then Prime Minister, Theresa May. Her aim “was to create in Britain a really hostile environment for illegal migration”. The Home Office had destroyed the Landing records which gave the Windrush generation the right to live legally in the UK. Without any documentation they could not work, a number were sacked, they were no longer entitled to NHS treatment and were faced with deportation. One of the most notable cases was Anthony Bryan who had lived in England for 52 years and was wrongfully imprisoned. His story has been turned into the BBC’s feature length film ‘Sitting in Limbo’.

What happened next?

The government faced huge a backlash and protests took place in response to the racist way that UK Commonwealth citizens of colour have been treated. It has now been dubbed the ‘Windrush Scandal’. 

Then Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, was forced to resign and was replaced by Sajid Javid. After a review of 11,800 cases in August 2018, he stated that 18 members of the Windrush generation had been wrongfully removed and would get an apology from the government. He also stated that those who had left the UK would get help to return.

Theresa May apologised to Caribbean leaders and reassured them the none from the Windrush generation would be forced to leave the UK.

The government also announced that a day celebrating the contribution of the Windrush generation and their descendants – Windrush Day – would be held annually on 22 June.

For an update on the Windrush Scandal please visit The Guardian’s website here.

Learning English as a second language is not easy but during the coronavirus pandemic it is even more challenging. We sat down (virtually, of course!) with Chloe Jacobs, one of our English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) lecturers to find out how she has been supporting and motivating 16-18 students in these difficult times. She also told us about a creative writing project to encourage them to look into a future post Covid-19 world.

“Around half of my 16-18 students arrived in the UK as unaccompanied children seeking asylum having fled countries in fear of their lives. 

“Many of them have suffered with trauma from the devastation of war and atrocities in their own countries and feel stressed and anxious. They feel lonely and isolated and in many cases do not have an established support network of friends or any family here or at all.

“They are unlikely to understand all the government rules around coronavirus, and many live in hostels where they do not have a lot of personal space during lockdown. 

“They are generally in low spirits and feeling anxious having migrated to a place of education and safety, and now it turns out that that is not the case. Some received little or no education in their home countries and are worried that they will not be able to get the education that they have struggled so hard to reach. 

“A lot of the non-asylum seeking 16-18 ESOL students who arrived with family as economic migrants are also worried about getting even further behind in their education, having arrived in the UK before completing their GCSE-equivalent year in their countries. 

“I was concerned that this could lead to many of them feeling they might as well give up.

“At CANDI, we have provided financial support to help all students access online learning during the coronavirus pandemic. Switching to remote learning has been hard for many ESOL students, particularly at entry level. Using the group chat in Microsoft Teams has enabled them to react and respond even more during online lessons.

“Pair and group work are pivotal to language learning, and these have been replicated by running smaller groups simultaneously on Teams and jumping between them to monitor students’ progress. This has been combined with self-study, including websites such as BBC Learning English and the British Council’s ESOL Nexus, as well as help with course progression and preparing for job interviews.

“As ESOL teachers, we have explained the Covid-19 legislation in a way they can understand, updating them about any changes and how they can keep themselves safe in lockdown. One of our online class projects I used to keep them motivated came from asking them what they had been up to during this time. 

“The discussion led to a lesson on the present perfect continuous tense (eg I have been working, we have been chatting, etc). Students were asked to find out what their classmates had been doing at a fictional reunion in 10 years’ time and then write articles for a 2030 college alumni magazine.

“Reading the students’ articles was so incredibly heart-warming, and it was so good to hear them sounding so happy in an alternative reality, which hopefully will turn out to be their actual reality in 10 years’ time.

“The whole project felt so pertinent where there is a need to keep aspirations high at this difficult and unprecedented time.”

Although our buildings are currently closed, we are still open for business and are accepting applications for courses starting in September. Click here to find out more and to apply for ESOL courses for 16-18s and adults.

The death of 46-year-old African American George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, in Minneapolis has shocked and saddened the world. Floyd was arrested for allegedly using counterfeit money to buy a packet of cigarettes. Chauvin then knelt on Floyd’s neck, as a means of detaining him, for 8 minutes and 26 seconds. Floyd was repeatedly heard saying “I can’t breathe.” After 6 minutes he became unresponsive and bystanders were calling on the officers to check his pulse, although all the officers at the incident did nothing.

On 3 June 2020 Mr Chauvin was charged with second-degree murder. The three other officers involved have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

This cruel chain of events caused outrage across the world and has opened up an uncomfortable but necessary dialogue regarding white privilege, police brutality and racial inequality. It has made us as individuals, and society as a whole, look at ourselves and ask some tough questions.

We are a multicultural college and we are proud of the rich and diverse backgrounds of our staff, students and wider community. We stand firm against any actions of hate and racism, which goes against our core values. At CANDI, and within Capital City College Group, we believe in the power of education, and that now is the time for learning and taking action. We can all become part of the change that is needed.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela 

In the UK, thousands have protested in solidarity, in cities including London, Liverpool, Cardiff, Glasgow, Bristol and Manchester. They have also drawn attention to the fact that: “the UK is not innocent” – due to the UK’s key role in the Atlantic slave trade; as owners of industries built on slavery; the racist nature of the British Empire. They have also highlighting many cases where British black people have died following the actions of authorities, as well as the institutional racism which many feel is still prevalent in many parts of the UK.

George Floyd’s death has affected so many because it did not come as shock. In 2020, that in itself, is shocking. 

What is #BlackLivesMatter?

#BlackLivesMatter is an international human rights movement which was founded in America in 2013 in response to 17 year old Trayvon Martin being shot dead by a man called George Zimmerman, who was later acquitted. Their mission is to “eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.” 

They have since used a diverse range of tactics, from protesting to online campaigns. They lobby for intergenerational diversity, globalism, empathy and restorative justice. Reactions to the movement have been varied and the phrase “All Lives Matter” has become a counter response. This has been criticised as a fundamental misunderstanding of the #BlackLivesMatter message, which seeks to further compound the problem and highlight the issue.

How can I make meaningful change?

There are many ways in which you can take a stand to make meaningful change. At CANDI, we believe knowledge is power and there are an abundance of resources and information. Below is list of resources which you can read, watch, listen to and take action. 

Read

Watch

Listen

Intersectionality Matters with Kimberlé Crenshaw: “When Kimberlé Crenshaw coined the term intersectionality 30 years ago, it was a relatively obscure legal concept. Learn from the Black scholar and activist about what intersectionality looks like in practice and how to continue the fight for justice for Black women.”

Seeing White: “Just what is going on with white people? Police shootings of unarmed African Americans. Acts of domestic terrorism by white supremacists. The renewed embrace of raw, undisguised white-identity politics. Scene on Radio host and producer John Biewen took a deep dive into these questions, along with an array of leading scholars and regular guest Dr. Chenjerai Kumanyika, in this 14-part documentary series, released between February and August 2017.”

New York Times’ 1619: “The past is never the past, and we can never forget this country’s foundation of subjugating Black people and people of colour. This podcast is part of an extensive New York Times project offering insight into the four centuries since American slavery began and the legacy that continues to plague Black Americans.”

NPR’s Code Switch: “Racism is omnipresent in American society, and until we name it we can’t address it. Code Switch shines a light on the pervasive nature of racism, from language and workplace culture to social norms. First we identify the problems, then we work to dismantle them.”

Do

  • Petition

Demand a sweeping reform mandating a zero-tolerance approach in penalising and/or prosecuting police officers who kill unarmed, non-violent, and non-resisting individuals in an arrest. Sign the petition here.

Justice for Belly Mujinga, the railway worker who died from coronavirus after she was spat on by a man claiming to have COVID-19. You can sign the petition and email your MP to ask them to support further investigation into Mujinga’s death. Sign the petition here. Find your local MP’s contact details here.

Justice for Breonna Taylor, the Black emergency medical technician who was fatally shot in her apartment by the Louisville Metro Police Department. Sign the petition here.

Write to your MP to demand the UK government publishes and delivers actionable results relating to the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) COVID report. Find your local MP’s contact details here.

Demand the UK takes a stand against police brutality and racism. 
You can use this email template to write to your MP here.

  • Donate

George Floyd Memorial Fund: established to cover funeral and burial expenses, mental and grief counselling, lodging and travel for all court proceedings
UK Black Lives Matter: a coalition of Black activists and organisers working across the UK, coordinating activity since 2016 for justice
RIP Belly Mujinga: originally set up for Belly Mujinga’s funeral with further funds going toward supporting her young daughter
National Memorial Family Fund: for the families of victims of police brutality
UK Black Protest Legal Support: a hub of lawyers and legal advisors providing free legal advice and representation to UK Black Lives Matter activists and protesters
The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust: “works with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds aged 13 to 30 to inspire and enable them to succeed in the career of their choice” as well as working to “influence others to create a fairer society in which everyone, regardless of their background, can flourish”.

  • Talk to each other

If you want to discuss any issues or your thoughts relating to the Black Lives Matter movement, message us on our social media channels and let’s start a discussion to create a positive racial legacy. Staff can call our confidential and anonymous Employee Assistance Programme (LifeWorks on 0800 169 1920) to talk about any issues that they are struggling with. You can also speak to us through our social media platforms. 

  • Protest or attend demonstrations

In light of the current pandemic, people are taking the difficult decision to break social distancing regulations in order to protest.  In a joint statement UK Chief Constables said that the right to lawfully protest is a “key part of our democracy” but stressed the importance of keeping within the current Covid-19 guidelines. We’ve seen many peaceful and safe protests taking place around our college sites, including at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre in Tottenham.

So, if you choose to protest, please do so peacefully and carefully:

  • Observe social distancing rules. The current guidelines are to mix with individuals from no more than six other households and to stay 2m apart.
  • Wear a face mask and wash your hands as regularly as possible. Be prepared for a lot of facilities being closed and bring hand sanitiser gel.
  • It will be a long day, so go prepared with comfortable clothing, water and snacks.
  • Make sure your phone is charged and has emergency contact numbers stored. Let someone know where you are going who you can regularly check in with to let them know you’re safe.

What we are doing and will do

At CANDI (and Capital City College Group, as a whole) we commit not just to non-racism, but active anti-racism

We have strong practices around equality, diversity and inclusivity and Schemes of Work for curriculum lessons, tutorials sessions and enrichment calendars reflect equality and diversity themed activities or events. Here is just some of the excellent work taking place around our colleges:

Students

  • Students’ Unions (SU): our SU work together with external organisations to raise awareness and create opportunities for change. This academic year the SU has focused on youth violence and knife crime. They have been working with Citizens UK on a campaign to raise awareness of young people’s rights around Stop and Search.
  • Black History Month: a display was created which told the story of how the month was established and promoted prominent books such as They Can’t Kill Us All: The Story of Black Lives Matter.
  • Abolition of Slavery: we displayed a range of thought provoking photos and information covering some of the key members of the abolitionist movement and the broad socio-economic context of the movement.
  • Curriculum: we strongly embed ED&I within all curriculum. Within GCSE English key themes have been linked through Schemes of Learning and lesson plans. We hold key themed months such as Black History, International Women’s Day and LGBT+ History Month, which has allowed for greater awareness in the student cohort and members of these communities to grow in confidence and be an active member of the student community.

Staff

  • Recruitment: The Group recognise that monitoring is a key system to assess progress in equality. Active steps are taken to encourage both internal and external BAME applicants and to ensure the recruitment process is fair and robust. The total proportion of staff employed from a BAME background is currently at 30% and we are working to improve thisIt is recognised that within our Senior Management/Group Leadership level of management, there is under representation of staff of BAME heritage, those who have a disability and women. The group continue to look at initiatives that can help improve the diversity profile at this level and across the organisation.
  • Promoting Leadership: we support our BAME staff to join the AOC’s Aspiring BAME Leaders and Governors coaching scheme and the activities provided by the Women’s Leadership Network.  
  • Committees: We have dedicated Equality, Diversity and Inclusion committees who provide a forum to raise and promote inclusion and to share best practice.

Going Forward

We do not profess to have it right and there will always be room for improvement, which are committed to doing. A feedback email account will to be created where both staff and students can discuss, feedback and share their thoughts on these issues and suggestions for improvements. These emails will go to the respective committees and our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager for the Group. Based on this information and examples of best practice, we will continue to work towards creating an inclusive learning and working environment. 

We would also like to use our platforms to share staff and student experiences – we ask you to email us your stories or use our social media platforms with your stories, supporting learner voice events, focus groups or workshops to record and share experiences. This will support the #WeStandWithYou campaign and give our staff and students a public forum so their voices can be heard and generate conversation. 

We are also in discussions about a new Learning Hub which will be a bank of resources for staff to support, empower, and raise awareness of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion issues. Keep an eye on your college website and social media platforms for more information.

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