External Speakers Policy
Management of events and speakers
All staff and Learners have the right to study without fear of intimidation, harassment and threatening or extremist behaviour. The key ingredient for the preservation of academic freedom is tolerance and a respect for diversity. Intolerance involves behaviour motivated by prejudice or hatred that intentionally demeans individuals and groups defined by their ethnicity, race, religion and/or belief, sexuality, gender, disability, age or lawful working practices and which give rise to an environment in which people will experience, or could reasonably, fear harassment, intimidation or violence. Newcastle City Learning (NCL) has a duty of care to all of its Learners and staff.
- NCL values the opportunities presented by external speakers for Learners to experience diverse opinion and to enter into debate. This is seen as an essential part of both personal and academic development.
- NCL values the tradition of academic freedom and holds that no subject or belief should be excluded from reasonable, constructive discussion and debate.
- NCL values freedom of opinion and speech but recognises that, in the interests of the whole learning community, this must exist within formal guidelines.
- NCL recognises and supports the moral and legal frameworks of the society and community within which it works.
- NCL will not accept the use of language by external speakers that offends and is considered to be intolerant. Specifically, this means offensive "street" misogynistic, misanthropic, sexual or racist language irrespective of context. Direct attacks on any religions or beliefs are not permitted.
- NCL will not tolerate any person who intentionally demeans individuals and groups defined by their ethnicity, race, religion and/or belief, sexuality, gender, disability, age or lawful working practices and which give rise to an environment in which people will experience, or could reasonably, fear harassment, intimidation or violence.
Management of speakers and events - aims
This section of the policy aims to ensure that any events where external speakers are invited to address Learners and other members of the College community:
- Are lawful
- Ensure the health and safety of all members of the College community, buildings and equipment
- Support equality and diversity
- Support good community relations (internally and externally)
- Do not significantly constrain the work of the College
- Safeguard NCL’s good reputation
All requests for an external speaker are to be submitted by the individual or College group making the request using the appropriate form (see Appendix A) to your line manager at least ten working days before the planned event.
- The request must be accompanied by a copy of the presentation and a written undertaking to abide by the provisions of this policy and to uphold NCL’s policy on Equality and Diversity. Requests that do not comply with this provision will be refused. If the risk is medium to high risk a transcript must be attached to the form.
- The Newcastle City Learning Management Team (NCLMT) reserve the right to require references for the proposed speaker and also to refuse permission for the speaker to visit the College. A refusal is final.
- A member of the teaching team or a representative will be present at all talks and will intervene if the speaker significantly deviates from the transcript or causes offence. This will be made known to the speaker.
Monitoring of events and external speakers
There will be a report termly to NCLMT and Governors by the Senior Gateway and Funding Manager on requests and events held with recommendations for improving policy and procedure as appropriate.
It will be at the discretion of NCL whether lettings arrangements can be entered into with external faith based organisations. Arrangements will not be entered into where such an organisation seeks to promote others to its cause and /or where the event or activity is not equally accessible to all.
Code of practice on freedom of speech
Section 43 of the Education (No 2) Act 1986: requires NCL to issue and keep up to date a code of practice to be followed by members, Learners, and employees of NCL for the organisation of meetings and other events, which are to be held on NCL premises, and for the conduct required of members, Learners, and employees of NCL in connection with meetings and other events.
Staff, visiting speakers and Learners of NCL must conduct themselves so as to ensure that freedom of speech is within the law. NCL believes that a culture of free, open and robust discussion can be achieved only if all concerned avoid needlessly offensive or provocative action and language.
Any external speakers must be approved by your line manager and all concerns and final decisions will be the responsibility of the Service Manager.
There should be sufficient information about the event including topics and any speakers and sufficient notice to allow for checks to be made and cancellation to take place if necessary prior to the event.
Any staff or Learners that become aware of any incidents or instances where off-site events of concern are promoted on NCL premises should be reported immediately to the Senior Gateway and Funding Manager. This may be through a Learner’s tutor or Manager.
External Speaker Proforma – to be completed at least 10 days prior to event taking place
It is the responsibility of the staff who engage an external speaker to ensure that a safe learning environment is provided for students by implementation of the following: