College seeks ‘positive disruptor’ to champion EDI policy

Applicants from inside and outside the sector are being sought to tackle accessibility, curriculum design, and workplace practice

Applicants from inside and outside the sector are being sought to tackle accessibility, curriculum design, and workplace practice



A “positive disruptor” is being sought by a college to become its new vice principal for equality, diversity and inclusion. The proposed hiring is thought to be the first of its kind.

Bradford College is looking for applicants from within and outside the further
education sector to fill the £80,000 per year role.

Principal Chris Webb told FE Week he wants to “fast track” EDI issues at the college. The postholder will be expected to make conversations between senior leaders about advantaged versus disadvantaged learners “the norm, not the exception”.

‘Anything that helps us support our community is a good thing’

Bradford is “hugely diverse,” said Webb, with the largest proportion of people of Pakistani ethnic origin – 20.3 per cent – in England. In 2-17, 63.9 per cent were of white origin.

So “anything that helps us to support our diverse community has got to be a good thing”, Webb added.

EDI policy is becoming increasingly prominent in the FE sector. The Association
of Colleges has created a dedicated EDI steering group led by Kirklees College principal Palvinder Singh, and the Black FE Leadership Group has been formed to add its voice on race equality issues in the sector.

The Department for Education is also coming under increasing pressure over the lack of black, Asian and minority ethnic take-up of T Levels and apprenticeships.

Webb said he was seeking someone who is “an expert, emotionally intelligent, who is going to come in and be challenging, supportive, but disruptive”.

Recruitment for the role is being led by FE Associates. Managing director Matt Atkinson said the “positive disruptor” would be “talking to the finance team about policies and accessibility of student support, talking about how accessible the curriculum is for different aspects of the Bradford community, and they might be talking to Chris about workplace practices”.

The Association of Colleges told FE Week it believed the role was the first of its kind in a college.

Applications close on 13 October. Anyone wishing to apply should visit https://www.fea.co.uk/bc-vpedi/



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