Deeper Thinking and Stronger Action

A Personal and Organisational Commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

This resource was created in partnership with KJ Consulting Solutions, with the support of a reference group from across the Further Education (FE) and Skills sector. It was developed and produced on behalf of the Education and Training Foundation.

‘Deeper Thinking and Stronger Action’ is a resource to help leaders and organisations in the FE and Skills sector understand and respond to equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) issues and is comprised of three sections.

• Knowledge and Understanding provides an insight into the key conceptual frameworks for understanding equity, diversity and inclusion in an FE and training context, reviewing key legislation and existing inequalities and considering concepts including intersectionality, privilege, bias, and allyship. It also looks at different leadership frameworks and the impacts leaders’ actions can have.
• Deeper thinking: where am I and my organisation now? invites leaders to think more deeply about EDI and how their lived experiences shape how they think and act, and impact on their management practice. It aims to build greater self-awareness, questioning beliefs and assumptions, and inviting reflection.
• Stronger action: action planning is focused on action that can be taken looking at what can be done individually, in teams and organisations, and more widely across the sector, providing a start point for users on their EDI journey.

The resource includes practical tools to help users reflect on their own situation and an action plan designed to increase their capability to lead and collaborate on EDI activities. It is aimed at anyone with a leadership role, from teachers to senior leaders. It has been welcomed by the sector.

In 2024, leaders from four colleges in England recorded a series of videos explaining their EDI context, what they plan to do and how DTSA has helped/ will help them on their EDI journeys. The videos and guide were developed into a new EDI Leadership Toolkit, which can be accessed via the ETF’s Toolkit page below.

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Darren Hankey, Principal & Chief Executive, Hartlepool College of Further Education, said:

“Equality, diversity and inclusion are important topics for colleges. This resource is great for colleges starting out on their EDI journey or those that wish to strengthen their current approach.”

Arv Kaushal, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager at the MK College Group, added:

“I recently came upon a quote, ‘Start, by starting!’ Simple, to the point, and most of all, so obvious. This toolkit is the ‘starting’ bit and it seeks to inform, help, support, and encourage leaders to challenge the status quo. This ‘Deeper Thinking and Stronger Action’ process encourages an embedded approach linking ‘intent’ to ‘action’, with the ambition to create meaningful change. It’s a starting point; the rest is up to each leader to decide who benefits the most and the least by their actions or inactions”.

Anju Virdee, the ETF’s Interim National Head of Leadership Development, said:

“This resource is designed to support individuals as they deepen their personal understanding of equity, diversion and inclusion, and lead their organisation’s work embedding EDI into everyday practice and thinking. It features prompts, examples and practical tools that users can apply flexibly in response to their own circumstances. It has been developed for the sector, by the sector, and I want to acknowledge on behalf of the ETF the contributions of all those involved.”