How the British Council is taking steps to become one of the world?s leading cultural relations organisations
Valuing people and managing diversity effectively are crucial to the work of the British Council, as it aims to be one of the world?s leading cultural relations organisations.
The Council demonstrates its commitment to equality and diversity and recognises the different reasons for this, which include moral/ethical reasons, legal reasons and strong business reasons. Managing diversity is also central to the British Council?s values.
To help make progress, the Council has an Equal Opportunities Policy and a Diversity Strategy that provide the main policies and strategic focus. Policies alone are not enough, though, and all staff have to have at least one Diversity job objective in their individual job or development plan and to take advantage of the learning and development opportunities that are available in the area of equality and diversity, including e-learning materials, trigger tapes and videos.
Each year, a brief Annual Report is produced that outlines the work the Council has undertaken in equality and diversity during the past 12 months. The British Council also participates in benchmarking exercises that assess performance in equality and diversity and compare it to other organisations.
To measure progress, the Council undertakes extensive EO monitoring and uses a team of external specialists to help analyse the data on an annual basis. An independent consultancy group is appointed to analyse equal opportunity monitoring data, which brings expertise, objectivity and consistency to help ensure openness, transparency and rigour to this area of its work.
The UK offers a world-renowned education system, with qualifications that can make a real difference to careers. For studying in the UK, the British Council can offer personal advice on study options and opportunities. It also offers a range of resources to ensure students get the most out of education, including information on courses, qualifications, institutions, English requirements, visas and travel.
The Council can help students to study in the UK, take UK exams in their own country or learn English. It also runs international programmes for UK school, college and university students and adult learners to take part in a variety of exchange opportunities, as well as providing support, advice and access to scholarships and funding for those coming to study in the UK.
While the education and training systems of England, Wales and Northern Ireland are broadly similar, the education system in Scotland has always been a completely separate system with its own laws and practices. Differences in education and training across Britain are particularly marked in the school systems. At the higher education level and for training, this is less so.
The education and training systems are divided into three main sectors:
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