13 January 2022

Edinburgh College becomes first College in Scotland to sign up to BFELG

Edinburgh College has reaffirmed its commitment to racial equality by officially signing up to the Black FE Leadership Group (BFELG), becoming the first college in Scotland to do so.

The College has signed up to the BFELG, joining a host of colleges across the UK, to make a clear stand against racism and a positive contribution to anti-racist efforts both within the College and across the sector.  

The College acknowledges the reality of racism in the UK and takes an open and evidence-based approach to advancing racial equality. The College’s affiliation with the BFELG will help evaluate our journey so far and implement effective change for the benefit of staff and students across the organisation.

As part of the affiliation, the College will benefit from access to the BFELG’s membership forums, toolkit materials, training programme and mentoring schemes which will complement and enhance the work of the College’s Equalities team to promote racial equality across the organisation and wider community.

The BFELG UK was formed in July 2020 and exists to challenge systemic racism in Further Education (FE) for the benefit of all black communities, and the wider UK society as a whole; to be the authoritative voice of Anti-Racism in the FE sector; and to further the interests of black students, staff and leaders. The aim of the BFELG is to eradicate all forms of racism in FE and their vision is an anti-racist culture at the core of all aspects of FE life and work, and equity of access to the employment market.

Edinburgh College Principal Audrey Cumberford said: “We are honoured to be the first college in Scotland to be affiliated with the BFELG and I would like to congratulate all of our staff who have been working hard behind the scenes to make this happen.

“We believe we have a collective responsibility to embed meaningful and impactful change throughout our College with respect to our role in addressing racial inequality and building on our wider equalities ambition. Our recent affiliation with the BFELG will not only help us evaluate our journey so far but, importantly, support us to develop a planned, strategic approach to achieve this objective.”

Edinburgh College Equalities Officer Bethany Parsons said: “We’re delighted to become the first college in Scotland to be affiliated with the BFELG and look forward to promoting race equality across our College, wider community and beyond and help in delivering in its aims to ending racism in FE.

“As the first Scottish College to partner with the BFELG we are also committed to doing our bit to promote a team Scotland approach across the sector. We know we are on a journey and in many ways at the beginning of this journey, with exciting opportunities ahead whilst recognising we face a number of challenges. We see our affiliation with the BFELG as a very real opportunity to support us through that journey and to help us ‘step up’ our efforts.”

Black FE Leadership Group UK Executive Member Robin Landman OBE said: “The BFELG is delighted to welcome Edinburgh College as it’s first affiliated organisation in Scotland, joining a rapidly growing family of colleges and other affiliates from an ever-widening range of sectors. Edinburgh College’s commitment to embedding an Anti-Racist culture resonates with the BFELG’s, and of course supports the Scottish government’s stated goal of an Anti-Racist Scotland. We look forward to sharing the journey”.