Framework and objectives

The Equality Act 2010 replaced, among others, the Disability Discrimination Act (the 'DDA') and also the Race Relations Act.

The Equality Act brings in protected characteristics as the grounds upon which discrimination is unlawful with respect to employment, education, training and the provision of goods and services.  The protected characteristics under the Act are:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment (under Transgender in Specific Equality Issues)
  • Pregnancy and maternity (under Gender in Specific Equality Issues)
  • Race
  • Religion or belief
  • Sex (under Gender in Specific Equality Issues)
  • Sexual orientation
  • Marriage and civil partnership (the Act applies only in terms of the need to eliminate discrimination in employment)

For more information, support and guidance around any of the areas covered by the protected characteristics visit our equality issues pages.

For a more detailed summary of the changes to the legislation and the implications for the University, including the definitions of the types of discrimination and specific issues relating to particular characteristics, refer to The Equality Act 2010

A summary of the changes relating specifically to disability can be found in Disability Equality Legislation Briefing (PDF, 514KB).

Public Sector Equality Duty

The Equality Act 2010 brought in a new Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) which consists of general and specific duties.  It became law on 5 April 2011.

The general duty covers all protected characteristics apart from marriage and civil partnership and has three aims.  It requires us as a higher education institution to have due regard to the need to:

  • Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Act. This means:
    • ensuring there is no less favourable treatment for protected groups.
    • ensuring no factors give rise to indirect discrimination.
  • Advance equality of opportunity between people from different groups. This involves:
    • removing or minimising disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics.
    • meet the needs of people with protected characteristics.
    • encourage people from protected groups to participate in public life or in other activities where their participation is disproportionately low.
  • Foster good relations between people from different groups. This involves:
    • tackling prejudice.
    • promoting understanding between people from different groups.

Having due regard means consciously thinking about the three aims of the general duty as part of the process of decision making.

Third Parties

Any third parties exercising public functions are required to comply with the duty. The duty rests with the University even if we have delegated any functions to a third party.

Public Sector Specific Duties

The specific duties regulations require higher education institutions to publish the following:

The information that higher education institutions are required to publish must relate to employees and others affected by their policies and practices, such as students and other service users, who share a relevant protected characteristic.

Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Framework 2024-2028

Staffordshire University is a 'catalyst for change' - a force for social good that transforms the lives of people, who will transform our society and the places in which we live. We have a clear direction through our Strategic Plan and history has shown we work best as a university when we are ambitious, when we disrupt and innovate, when we work together on common priorities, and when we truly live our values.

Our values are to always be:

  • Ambitious and inspirational
  • Fair and inclusive
  • Curious and daring
  • Innovative and enterprising

We plan to achieve our goals by embedding our core strategies throughout all University activity and development: transforming places, transforming people, and transforming society.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Framework

In January 2022, Staffordshire University launched its Strategic Plan and is committed to addressing the challenges that some of our diverse staff, students and communities may be facing in these challenging times.

To ensure our EDI work transcends these barriers, Staffordshire University identified the Government Equalities Framework (GEF) as a clear structure to shape and monitor our progress against our strategic objectives, and to address any known disparities.

The GEF framework sets out a clear criterion across the five themes against which an organisation can be assessed as 'developing', 'achieving' or 'excellent' in respect of their equality and diversity practices and impacts.

These levels of organisational maturity reflect the ability of an organisation to move beyond the minimum 'legal compliance' approach of making commitments through policy and strategic statements, and into a more embedded and systemic evidenced-based approach that delivers tangible and continuous improvements in workforce and service outcomes. 

Our Strategic Plan Objectives and Priorities Alignment with our EDI Themes

Leadership, Partnership and Organisation Commitment

 This theme supports our strategic objective 'Next Generation Environments' and links in with our strategic priority 'Building Enterprise' that ensures leadership are accountable for EDI and there is a commitment to address this across the organisation by having the right strategic, policies, processes, and systems in place and by working in partnership to ensure we are delivering our 'civic university and levelling up' priorities that address local and regional inequalities.

Knowing your Staff, Students, and our Communities

This theme supports our strategic objective 'Next Generation Experience', our strategic priorities of 'Winning and Sustaining our Undergraduate and Postgraduate Market Share' together with being an Employer of Choice. To achieve this, we need to build an understanding and awareness of the profile of our staff, students, and communities. To deliver inclusive services, we must understand how we are performing against the sector, where we may have disparities that need to be addressed and how we use intelligence led data to prioritise our strategic objectives. 

Involving your Staff, Students, and our Communities

This theme supports our strategic objective 'Next Generation Engagement' and our strategic priority of 'Accelerating Research Impact, Culture and Reputation'. This means not only understanding who our staff, students and communities are on the surface through the collection of monitoring data, but also involving them in developing projects that gain insight into their behaviours and preferences and using this intelligence to drive strategic and operational decisions.

Responsive Services, Access, and Improving Satisfaction Levels

This theme supports our strategic objective 'Next Generation Experience' and our strategic priority 'Transforming Student Outcomes and Experience' in delivering fair and equitable services to our students and contributing positively to our communities. We will continuously monitor the participation in our educational provision to ensure we are responsive and accessible together with regular monitoring and evaluation that ensures our services are continuously improving.

A Progressive and Diverse Staff and Student Cohort

This theme aligns with our strategic objective 'Next Generation Education', our strategic priority of 'Igniting Work-Based Learning', and our values to create a fair and inclusive student and staff experience. 

This framework draws together our Strategic vision, values and objectives and how those are embedded within our EDI Framework, policies and the activity of university life. Making Staffordshire Universitys Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) vision a reality requires us to rigorously understand potential and actual barriers together whilst also considering our strategies, our practices, our culture, and our leadership.

Our key EDI Priorities Delivery    

To ensure we achieve our EDI aims, Staffordshire University has focused on developing some key targets around further promoting equality within our workplace and services. Staffordshire University has developed EDI targets that are within our Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) which we aim to deliver within the next five years. These are:

  • Staff demographic profile that mirrors the regional profile (with an aim of 17% of our staff profile to be drawn from ethnic minorities by 2026-27).
  • Student demographic profile that mirrors the post -92 sector norms (with an aim to reach 27% of our student profile to be drawn from ethnic minorities by 2026-27).
  • Meet our commitments for access and participation to increase equality of opportunity for all diverse students.
  • 5% of Staffordshire young people progressing into higher education at Staffordshire University.

We hope that by proactively working to deliver against these KPIs that we will address some of the underlying challenges in our staff and student experience.

We will monitor our EDI progress in relation to this framework through detailed action plans to support key underpinning initiatives such as:

  • Access and Participation
  • Athena SWAN
  • Race Equality Charter
  • Stonewall Index
  • Disability Confident Employer

Embedding Inclusion

There are a range of policies and strategic plans that describe how we will continue to make equality of opportunity a reality, including:

  • Strategic Equality Action Plan.
  • Schools and Services Inclusion Objectives.
  • Mandatory Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Training.
  • Consciously Inclusive thinking and behaviours work plan.
  • Equality Impact Assessment template and Guidance.
  • Pay Gap Reporting.
  • Inclusive Language Guide.
  • HR Policies e.g. Bullying and Harassment Policy; Parental Leave Policy; Flexible Working Policy; Transgender Policy.

Monitoring progress

Staffordshire University will ensure regular EDI monitoring is conducted via:

  • 6-monthly Strategic Equality and Diversity progress reports provided to the relevant board and committees.
  • Board of Governors approval of EDI statutory reports.
  • Progress on KPIs and the EDI work plan being monitored through bi-monthly updates at the Staffordshire University Inclusion Group meetings.

Statutory Reporting

Staffordshire University will publish Annual Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Reports that summarise progress against our Equality Objectives and Pay Gap Reports.

These documents are available at Annual Reports.

Further Information 

Please contact: Ravinder Kaur, Director of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (

Accessible Formats

Other accessible formats including large print, Braille, British Sign Language, easy-read, audio and electronic formats, and other languages will be available upon request.

The Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Framework 2024-2028 is available for download (PDF, 7.03MB).

in the UK for Quality Education

Sustainable Development Goal 4, Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023

for Career Prospects

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Facilities

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021

of Research is “Internationally Excellent” or “World Leading”

Research Excellence Framework 2021

Four Star Rating

QS Star Ratings 2021