Agenda item

Equalities Council - Presentation

Students representing the Equalities Council (Stockport College, Cheadle College and Marple Sixth Form College) will attend the meeting and make a presentation to the Scrutiny Committee.


Officer contact: Michelle McLaughlin,  Student Engagement and Student Voice Lead (Trafford College Group), 0161 296 5622,


Members of the Equalities Council comprising students from Stockport College, Cheadle College and Marple Sixth Form College  attended the meeting and provided a presentation to the Scrutiny Committee in relation to covid-19 recovery involving young people, women and girls in construction,  mental health services for young people, LGBTQ+ and the importance of individual needs in education.


Members of the Equalities Council highlighted a number of concerns associated with each of the chosen topics, but also provided possible solutions and actions.


Covid-19 Recovery involving young people


·       Young people have a voice and an opinion, that should be heard.

·       Young people are the future generations and leaders.

·       Recovery shouldn’t be planned for and on behalf of young people, but should involve young people and listen to their views.

·       More inclusion and youth led activities to listen to the voices of the young people.

·       Involve more young people in the Student Council and the Young Members of Parliament.


Women & Girls in Construction


·       There is a gender pay gap of 18%.

·       Construction is predominantly a male dominated industry.

·       Women and girls shouldn’t be oppressed and laughed at if wanting to pursue a career in construction.

·       Only 37% of women want to pursue a career in construction with only 14% making it as professionals.

·       Stereotypes make it difficult.

·       There is a need to reach out to young people and engage, rather than waiting for young people to express an interest.

·       Organise workshops, all women shortlists, promote opportunities through social media.


Lack of Mental Health support for young people


·       Important to keep active, talk about it with someone, regular exercise and eat well to stay healthy.

·       Keep in touch with individuals through face to face meetings, telephone calls, messages, keep lines of communication open with social circle.

·       There was a lack of support for young people with mental health concerns that can be easily accessed.

·       Surround yourself with positivity and people who support you.

·       Stockport College offers a number of services for young people including online and face to face services, pastoral care and other frontline services.

·       There was also a Social Media and Access Team that offered a one stop shop approach and a triage, access and re-direct service.

·       There was also an open door approach with face to face engagement.




·       Lots of misconceptions and assumptions about bisexuality.

·       A number of unknowns about the LGBTQ+ community exists.

·       There was a need to raise the awareness, especially among younger people, possibly at KS1 (sexuality awareness) and KS2 (gender awareness).

·       Could teach young people through videos and stories of experiences by and with members of the LGBTQ+ community in schools.

·       Celebrate the lives of the LGBTQ+ community and the fights for justice and equality including key dates and birthdays in calendars e.g. Oscar Wilde.

·       Add pronouns to ID Badges e.g. she/her, they/them etc.

·       Be stricter with punishments for homophobia and transgender-phobia attacks.


Importance of meeting individual needs in Education


·       14% of children and young people in the UK have some form of special educational needs (SEN) and more than half would not get the supported needed.

·       All children should be monitored, throughout their early education for quick interventions and prevent impairment.

·       Early intervention was vital and no child should suffer in silence.

·       Important to meet the needs of the child and not assume behaviours.

·       Involve children and young people in decision making and this would ensure they feel included and help them to reach their desired aspirations and feel happier.

·       Many children and young people will fall through the gaps, if the correct interventions are not identified and support offered.

·       Need to do more collaborative working across services and people.

·       Concentrate on more person centred education in order that individuals could be more accepted and succeed in education and have a better quality of life.

·       More support could be provided for families with children with SEN.


The following comments were made/issues raised: -


·       Committee welcomed the presentation and the individual contributions together with the honesty regarding their experiences and personal lives.

·       There is a need to talk about differences and celebrate it, not isolate the individuals.

·       Society needed to value people who were different and allow them to express their views and opinions and be themselves.

·       Easy access, early diagnosis and interventions was needed for mental health among young people.


The Chair on behalf of the Committee thanked the representatives of the Equalities Council for highlighting their concerns but also for providing possible solutions and actions that could be considered and actioned accordingly.


RESOLVED – That the members of the Equalities Council be thanked for their attendance and presentation.