Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy

Surrey Arts (Surrey County Councils Arts service), is the lead delivery organisation for the Surrey Music Hub and as such we align to the Surrey County Councils ambitions for EDI. 

A copy of this can be found on the Surrey County Council Commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion webpage

Our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion 

Tackling inequality so no-one is left behind is our guiding principle. We commit to being a fair, compassionate and inclusive partnership that genuinely values difference and makes everyone feel safe and that they belong. We will be open and transparent with all stakeholders about our intentions and will be accountable for achieving them. 

All children and young people should have equitable access to high quality musical opportunities. We will champion our most vulnerable young people, including those who may suffer from prejudice or discrimination because of who they are or their circumstances. 

We are committed to supporting all staff at Surrey Arts to feel they belong within the council and have opportunities to succeed. We will work with staff to identify and remove barriers that get in the way of inclusivity and diversity. We are committed to supporting the development of a dynamic and well-trained workforce across Surrey to deliver inclusive music education opportunities for all young people. 

We take a zero tolerance approach to bullying, discrimination and harassment. Employees are expected to behave in ways that help us support all stakeholders. We will hold staff to the high standards required, dealing decisively with instances of discrimination. 

How we’ll meet our commitment 

Focusing on equality, diversity and inclusion is vitally important to engage and improve the experiences of participants and staff. We also have a legal responsibility under the Equality Act 2010. We aim to eliminate discrimination, increase equality of opportunity and foster good relations across people from all groups protected by law*. To do this, we will: 

  • Proactively look for potential discrimination and work with stakeholders to co-design services so they are inclusive, accessible and fair; 
  • Eradicate bias in our employment practices, including recruitment, and support staff to carry out their responsibilities under this commitment; 
  • Champion the council’s wider initiatives that support and enable staff from protected groups  
  • Develop a workforce that reflects Surrey’s diverse communities; 
  • Ensure all contractors providing goods and services on our behalf share our commitment; 
  • Influence music hub partners to work with us on this agenda through joint initiatives to tackle inequality; 
  • Use complaints feedback to identify unfair treatment and take steps to correct this. 

*Protected groups cover Age, Disability, Sex, Gender Reassignment, Race, Religion and belief, Sexual orientation, Marriage and civil partnerships, Pregnancy and maternity. Carers are protected by association.  

In addition to the legally protected characteristics, we will also seek to eliminate discrimination and increase equality of opportunity for children and young people experiencing socio-economic disadvantage. 

Statement of intent 

  1. Vision, values and strategy
    Our equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) action plan for 2022 to 2025 aims to make EDI central to the culture of both the music hub and Surrey Arts. Our action plan will be published by the end of July 2023 and will incorporate, across each of these eight pillars, clear actions, timescale, accountability, outcomes and impact. We have radical ambitions for EDI, and we will be transparent and open with stakeholders about our intentions and how we will take responsibility for achieving them.
  1. People and Culture (governance and workforce) 
    We will strengthen the diversity of our workforce and promote an inclusive culture that values difference, where all staff feel they belong and have opportunities to succeed.  

    Surrey Music Hub board members and Surrey Arts leadership team are champions of EDI, acting as role models and demonstrating their commitment to tackling inequality. 

    We will employ people who are diverse in their thinking. Different backgrounds, experiences, life skills and approaches will expand our thinking and operations, and enable us to more flexibly design, plan and deliver our service.
  1. Musical offer  
    Our musical offer is responsive to individual needs so all children and young people can access musical opportunities easily and develop their musical aspirations through a diverse range of progression routes. 
  1. Youth voice  
    We will actively support young people to have a voice in their own musical journey and to influence the design of services and the strategic direction of the hub. 

    We will ensure staff have the right skills and training to support the development of youth voice.   
  1. Reach and engagement  
    We aim to use the best information available, to foster good relations with, and within, our communities, and to work with communities to address their needs and maximise local participation.  We will create and promote opportunities that are bespoke to different geographical contexts in Surrey and will seek to work in partnership with organisations that represent different communities and demographic groups in Surrey. 

    We recognise that some groups face barriers to participation in arts and music education and we will take steps to help overcome these barriers. In addition to those groups identified in law as having protected characteristics, for example, because of their gender, ethnicity, or because of an additional need or disability we also recognise that socio-economic background can be a barrier to participation, for both cultural and economic reasons. 

    Where the barrier is cost we are committed to providing and promoting financial support and affordable options to ensure all young people are aware of the support available and can access provision.   
  1. Key policies  
    We will review all policy documents to ensure that EDI is placed at the centre of our decision-making process. Where appropriate we will use SCC wide policies, but in the context of music and education practice we will create protocols that utilise appropriate specialist expertise.

    We will channel our efforts towards fostering an inclusive culture underpinned by the principles of fairness and respect, where our people feel empowered and supported to raise constructive challenge.
  1. Communications  
    We will ensure our online and printed communications use inclusive and welcoming language, diverse representation, and meet accessibility requirements.  We will seek to make our application processes welcoming, user friendly and inclusive, including to those who are digitally excluded.  
  1. Partnerships and advocacy 
    Surrey Music Hub is a partnership between schools and a rich range of stakeholders, including schools and other educational settings, music education providers, parents and carers, and children and young people, Surrey County Council and others. 
    We will work to drive sustainable change within music education locally, regionally and nationally to maximise opportunities for children and young people to realise their musical aspirations.

Last reviewed December 2022