The importance of having full staff equality data at local, regional and national levels cannot be under-estimated. For colleges to successfully undertake initiatives to increase the involvement of under-represented groups or improve the experiences of certain groups of staff requires a rationale underpinned by evidence of underrepresentation.
There have long been significant reasons to collect staff equality data in colleges. It is a legal requirement to collect and use staff equality data within equality reporting duties, the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) gathers staff data annually with a view to producing national reports and they can be used to inform college policies, such as Outcome Agreements.
That being said, data collection across the sector is incomplete and inconsistent. There is significant variation in the collection and reporting of data, which has proven problematic for benchmarking and comparison exercises, and the subsequent development of improvement measures.
This guidance identifies a way forward, outlining a consistent sector wide approach aligned to the Scottish Census 2011. This would allow for local, regional and national benchmarking, providing a much needed contextual basis for understanding and comparing data.