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The School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work is committed to the Athena SWAN Charter principles , aimed at advancing gender equality in academia. Our Action Plan (PDF, 331KB) focuses on

  • Improving career development and progression, especially for female staff.
  • Improving and promoting work-life balance and a family friendly environment for all staff.
  • Improving gender equality and academic progression for students, especially women.
  • Creating a more egalitarian workplace culture

We have a committed team in place who work towards implementing this plan, made up of students and staff from across all sections of the School. The team is open to new members and runs regular events and activities to promote gender equality.

We have a number of policies in place and under development, including

  • Core Business in Core Hours
  • Research Only Day for Academic Staff
  • Student Email Protocol
  • Teaching-free semester for Maternity and Shared Parental Leave Returners
  • Breastfeeding Support

Core Business in Core Hours Policy

  1. Introduction

    1. The School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work is committed to the Athena SWAN Charter principles, aimed at advancing gender equality in academia. This involves embedding equality, diversity and inclusion in all aspects of School culture and facilitating different flexible working options. As part of this the School adopts a ‘Core Business in Core Hours’ Policy. Core hours are defined as the hours between 10.00 and 16.00.
    2. The School recognises that many colleagues, for work-life balance reasons (for example those with caring responsibilities), may be unable to attend essential meetings if they take place too early or too late in the day. Most meetings and particularly regular meetings that deal with the core business of the School should take place during core hours, wherever possible. Exceptions to this are noted in Section 4.
    3. This policy should be read in conjunction with the University’s Work/Life Balance Policies which offers further advice on formal and informal flexible working arrangements.
  2. Policy aims

    1. The aims of this policy are:
      • to promote an inclusive environment in which all people are valued and respected;
      • to promote a supportive learning, working and social environment in which everyone feels that they are valued and can work to their full potential;
      • to ensure that the maximum number of people can attend important meetings, avoiding the unintended exclusion of some staff.
  3. Policy principles

    1. Core regular meetings that colleagues need to attend should normally take place within core hours. This includes, for example, all regular committee meetings, staff meetings, seminars, away days and research group meetings.
    2. Regular social events should ideally take place on different days of the week so that all staff, whether part time or full time, have the opportunity to attend. Where there is a tendency to hold social events in the late afternoon or early evening, consideration should be given as to whether such events can occasionally take place during core hours.
    3. This policy does not apply to teaching. Academic staff are free to arrange their teaching outside core hours.
  4. Meetings and events outside core hours

    1. One-off or occasional events during the academic year can be organised outside core hours, but should be announced with plenty of notice, so that colleagues can, for example, arrange replacement care.
    2. The established practice for arranging times to meet colleagues and/or students within or beyond core hours is acceptable, as long as this is by the free agreement of the parties involved.
    3. Meetings can take place outside core hours if all participants find this preferable.
    4. The School acknowledges that there can be occasions (e.g. presentations by job candidates in combination with an interview panel) where the logistics are such that the set of meetings cannot reasonably fit into core hours.
  5. Scope and responsibilities

    1. This policy applies to all staff.
    2. The School Management Board is responsible for ensuring this policy is applied fairly and consistently.
    3. All School staff will be made aware of this policy at induction.

January 2018

Queen's Gender Initiative

Find out more