Fair Treatment and Equal Opportunity Policy

In all Policies and Procedures “WEA” should be taken to mean “Workers Educational Association – Hunter” and all its associated trading names unless otherwise specified.

PURPOSE

To inform and drive WEA’s approach to treatment of students during their interactions with WEA and the approach to providing opportunity to its prospective students.

SCOPE

This policy applies to all students, past, present and prospective. It is to be enforced and maintained by all employees, permanent and contract, and applied to all situations of dealing with our clients.

PRINCIPLES

WEA’s commitment to fair treatment and equal opportunity, including enrolment and admission, is transparent, consistently applied and available to all.

POLICY

FAIR TREATMENT

WEA is committed to promoting and fostering fair treatment and equal opportunity for all its students and potential students. WEA is committed to:

  • Providing a learning environment where the culture, experiences and diversity of students are recognised, celebrated and supported at all times
  • Ensuring that all communications, publications and documentation, internal and external, does not use any language that may be interpreted to discriminate against persons or groups
  • Endeavouring to offer opportunities for entry into programs of study that endeavours to not prevent access based on (but not limited to) any of the following attributes of a person, their:

                        o Gender
                        o Ethnic origin, descent, race or colour
                        o Disability status
                        o Natural language
                        o Sexuality
                        o Marital status
                        o Pregnancy
                        o Age
                        o Geographical location

  • Advocating for equity and diversity in its day-to-day operations
  • Providing reasonable levels of support services to assist access to education by those who may not normally be able to access education
  • Making all reasonable effort to make adjustments to support the special needs of disadvantaged students and to inform such students of how we will plan, deliver and assess training to take into account these special needs
  • Where unable to meet the resourcing requirements, assist the student in locating another provider who can offer training that has the necessary resources
  • Having a comprehensive and fair complaints and grievances procedure to ensure every opportunity is provided for students where they wish to have decisions reviewed or provide feedback.

WEA does not tolerate any of the following behaviours from its employees, both permanent and contractual, and among its students while on WEA’s premises or in communications with WEA:

  • Harassment, bullying and vilification
  • Racial vilification and racist behaviour
  • Sexual harassment
  • Discrimination on grounds of age, sex, marital status, pregnancy, sexuality or race
  • Discrimination on the grounds of disability or medical condition
  • Discrimination on grounds of religion, political opinion, criminal record or trade union activity
  • Discrimination on ground of family responsibilities
  • Victimisation

STUDENT SELECTION

WEA has an open-door approach to student selection, within the confines of its obligations under various funding contracts and legislation.

WEA is committed to student selection for various courses to being an open, fair and transparent process with appeals processes in place (see ‘Student Complaints and Grievance Policy’).

Student selection is based on various principles depending on the nature of the program of study and the funding obligations. These principles may include selection based on:

  • Merit
  • Specific eligibility criteria based on funding requirements and legislation
  • Standard eligibility criteria as set by WEA

In all cases, the selection criteria (in any case, merit-based, specific or standard eligibility) will be made available to all prospective students to give reasonable, equal and fair opportunity to meet the set criteria. Students will be provided with the appropriate form and information depending on the nature of the course and the nature of any requirements from Government departments.

WEA reserves the right to provide benefit (such as scholarship) to students who may have experienced educational disadvantage, but only so that the student is able to receive equal and fair treatment due to that disadvantage.

STANDARD CONDITIONS OF ENROLMENT

Unless specific eligibility criteria applies that may vary or add to the standard conditions of enrolment (such as Government subsidised training eligibility criteria, or VET FEE-HELP eligibility for example) the following Standard WEA conditions of enrolment apply:
Standard Conditions of Enrolment

  • Classes are open to all persons 16 years and over, who are Australian Citizens or Permanent Residents
  • Enrolments are not active until any appropriate fees have been paid or alternative arrangements made as appropriate
  • Concessions and all special offers can only be given at the time of enrolment.
  • Courses that do not meet the required minimum enrolment numbers may be cancelled and participants will be contacted at least 2 days prior to course commencement
  • Enrolment is accepted upon receipt of the enrolment form and other associated documentation as required in specific eligibility criteria for a course, as well as payment according to WEA’s Fee Policy
  • Where reasonable and evidenced cause exists, and where a student’s participation in the course would unreasonably impact the organisation, its staff or its students, WEA reserves the right to decline admission to a course or to terminate a student’s enrolment in a class
  • Upon acceptance of the enrolment, students will be provided with enrolment confirmation.
  • Prospective students are given every opportunity at enrolment to declare any medical condition or disability that may require assistance in attending a class. Student notification allows suitable arrangements to be made. Disclosure is optional however WEA cannot accept responsibility for providing reasonable adjustment and support where it has not been made aware of any challenges prospective students may be facing.
  • By enrolling and making declaration at enrolment, students understand they are bound by WEA’s Fee Policy, which includes information regarding refunds, withdrawals, cancellations and credits, as well as by the Specific Fee requirements of a particular course, which are made available to students prior to enrolment.
  • Ongoing eligibility for enrolment is dependent on the completion of required paperwork from time to time. Students will be informed if a form or document is a requirement for their ongoing participation and enrolment, and are given opportunity to seek clarification as to its necessity.
  • Students are bound by the published WEA Student Code of Conduct on enrolment.

ENROLLING UNDERAGE STUDENTS INTO CERTAIN COURSES

WEA may allow a person to enrol in a course typically for adults who is below the age specified in the Standard or Specific conditions of enrolment, unless bound by funding agreements or legislation to refuse enrolment. Each case is assessed upon its merits and the following factors will be considered in the decision-making process:
          1. The reason for requesting the enrolment
          2. The course for which the request has been received
          3. The tutor for the class will be consulted on their level of comfort of having a minor in the class
          4. The young person must be accompanied by a full fee paying designated guardian who is over the age of 21 yrs. This guardian is responsible for the supervision of the young person at all times.
          5. The young person is not permitted to take the place of a fee paying adult in the course.
          6. Some restrictions must be placed on certain courses for students under 18yrs of age

DISABILITY SERVICE STANDARDS FOR EDUCATION

WEA:

  • Reflects positive attitudes and is inclusive of people with a disability
  • Strives to develop positive, informed and non-discriminatory attitudes to the needs of Students with a disability amongst staff and Students
  • Makes reasonable adjustment in its workplace, training venue, service delivery, operations and resources in order to cater for individuals with a disability
  • Arranges support services and equipment in consultation with individuals with a disability
  • Ensures that individuals with a disability are consulted on all matters that affect them in relation to their disability
  • Respects individuals' rights to privacy
  • Works co-operatively with external agencies to achieve optimal outcome for individuals with disabilities
  • Encourages Students with a disability to discuss their needs upon enrolment
  • Allows carers or interpreters to accompany students with a disability free of charge
  • Provides resources to assist students with a disability obtain maximum value from its training programs

The Disability Service Standards for Education clause reflects the following Commonwealth and State legislation and/or initiatives:

  • Disability Discrimination Act 1992
  • Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act 1986
  • NSW Anti-Discrimination Act 1977
  • Disability Standards for Education 2005
  • NSW Disability Service Standards

The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) makes it unlawful for education providers to discriminate (in the provision of education and employment opportunities, services and facilities) against people on the basis they have, or may have a disability.

The Disability Standards for Education 2005 (the Standards) are subject to the objects of the DDA. The Standards clarify and elaborate the legal obligations in relation to education.