August 2009    Issue 31

Welcome to August edition of ROTA's newsletter!

We are pleased to announce that we have received funding from the Department for Communities and Local Government’s Tackling Race Inequalities Fund. This will enable ROTA to strengthen and increase the policy work that we do both regionally and nationally. We will continue working on influencing the Single Equality Bill through the ROTA led Winning the Race Coalition and strengthen our partnerships with BAME and other equality organizations such as the Equality and Diversity Forum, a partner in this two year project.

ROTA's Chief Executive Dr. Theo Gavrielides met with the new Government Equalities Office Minister, Michael Foster MP, to discuss the work of the coalition. The minister is supportive of the work that is being undertaken by ROTA, see for updates on the coalitions work

We are also pleased to announce that we have a new policy officer recruited, Ewan Kennedy.

ROTA is now recruiting for three new posts see for full details and application pack.

In this issue:
National Policy News
01 Equality and Human Rights
02 Criminal Justice
03 Health Inequalities
04 Education and Young People
05 Other Policy News
London Policy News
01 MiNet updates
02 Other London Policy News

Executive Secretary: the post will be to provide administrative support to the Chief Executive on a one-to-one basis and act as the first point of contact with people from both inside and outside the organisation. ROTA is offering the post on a 2 year contract, £27,588 - £31,527 (NJC SO1 - SO2 point 29 - 34), 5% non-contributory pension. 37.5 hrs p/w, 26 days annual leave.

Policy Officer: this post is to assist in ensuring ROTA is responding to policy change to the benefit of BAME communities and the BAME third sector. ROTA is offering the post at £ 27,588 - £31,527 (NJC SO1 - SO2 point 29 -34), 5% non-contributory pension. 37.5 hrs p/w, 26 days annual leave on a 1 year renewable contract.

Head of Networks and Communications: To manage and develop the ROTA national campaigns, coalitions and regional networks. To oversee and manage the networks team. To provide information on social policy issues to BAME networks and groups and statutory organisations. ROTA is offering the post at £34,605 - £42,602 (PO3 –PO5 point 38-47), 5% non-contributory pension. 37.5 hrs p/w, 26 days annual leave on a 1 year renewable contract.

National Policy News

1. Equality and Human Rights

The Equality Bill passes Committee scrutiny

On the 7th July 2009, the Equality Bill successfully passed scrutiny by MPs on the Public Bill Committee in the House of Commons. The Committee debates ranged across a number of key themes in the Bill including the socio-economic duty on public authorities; the definition of gender reassignment; the definition of disability and the distinct nature of protection for disabled people; the balance between competing rights, for example, in relation to religion or belief and sexual orientation; gender pay gap reporting; positive action; the public sector Equality Duty; equal pay; and age discrimination. The Bill was strengthened in two important ways. A Government amendment was accepted which will protect people against dual discrimination so a black woman discriminated against because of this particular combination of characteristics could bring a single claim for combined sex and race discrimination. ROTA supports the inclusion of multiple discrimination in the legislation and are pleased with this change although would like to see it extended to more than two grounds. Another change to the Bill was also made regarding pregnancy and maternity provisions. It will now be clear beyond all doubt that a pregnant woman or a woman nursing her baby, for example, should not be treated unfavourably for those reasons. The Bill will now progress to Report stage in the House of Commons when MPs as a whole will have the chance to debate and propose amendments.

ROTA-led Winning the Race Coalition on the Single Equality Bill

As the Bill will be progressing to Report stage, the Coalition would like to forming a small action group made up of members of the coalition that will take some of the coalition's recommendations forward. This will include: lobbying peers, continuing to provide evidence from the BAME and equalities third sector, and continue to provide policy, voice and other capacity building services to the BAME and equality third sector. We will also be discussing with members ROTA's new training programme on the Bill. Initially, we will be looking to recruit up to 5 coalition members. To find out more about the Coalition or to join, visit ROTA’s website at or contact Pavan Dhaliwal at

Government consultation on specific duties and the ban on age discrimination

On the 11th June 2009, the Government Equalities Office (GEO) published a consultation document setting out policy proposals for the specific public sector equality duties. ROTA, on behalf of the Winning the Race Coalition will be providing a detailed response to the consultation ‘Equality Bill: Making it work. Policy Proposals for Specific Duties. A consultation’ which closes on Wednesday 30th September 2009. GEO will also be undertaking a consultation on the ban on age discrimination in services and public functions and will be arranging a series of public events providing information about the Equality Bill and its various consultations to take place over the next few months. The events will be held on Tuesday 1 September in Wales, Wednesday 2 September in central England, Thursday 3 September in Scotland and Friday 4 September in the south of England. Full details, including precise locations, venues and how to register to attend will soon be available on the GEO website. To find out more, visit

Government Equalities Office Consultation (GEO) on Multiple Discrimination

ROTA responded to the GEO consultation document on multiple discrimination. ROTA strongly supports the GEO’s proposal to insert a new multiple discrimination provision into the Single Equality Bill and subsequently proposals were made to include ‘dual discrimination’. Evidence from ROTA research demonstrates that multiple discrimination is common and is just as harmful as discrimination based on a single characteristic, so it should be treated in a similar way. The Government’s proposed new clause would outlaw multiple discrimination but only when it takes the form of direct discrimination. See for the consultation response.

Research on the impact of the recession on different groups in society

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), the Government Equalities Office and the Department for Work and Pensions published ‘Monitoring the impact of the recession on various demographic groups’. The publication is the outcome of a joint programme of work that aimed to monitor the impact of the recession across the EHRC’s mandate groups of age, gender, race and disability, as well as other socially excluded groups. The report is available to download here. This follows on from the ROTA report launched last month looking into the impact of the recession on London’s BAME and Equalities third sector. Contact for more information.


2. Criminal Justice

Stephen Lawrence Inquiry, 10 Years On Government Response

David Hanson MP, Minister of State has written the government response to the Runnymede Report “The Stephen Lawrence Enquiry 10 years on”. The report covered responses to issues including BAME police officers, stop and searches, equality training, independent bodies to monitor public authorities and the pursuit of combating institutional racism. The full response to the report’s recommendations can be found here.

Young Adults in the Criminal Justice System

ROTA supports the T2A report ‘A New Start: Young Adults in the Criminal Justice System’ which is a Green Paper from the Transition to Adulthood Alliance, aiming to set out a radical agenda of policy proposals to transform the way in which young adults are treated. The recommendations spread across Policing and Community Involvement, Sentencing and courts, Custody and Community, Work and education, Health, Housing and social care, Drugs/alcohol. Download the paper at


3. Health Inequalities

New Horizons - Mental Health Consultation

On the 23rd July, the Department for Health launched New Horizons – its consultation on the future improvement of mental health services and provision across England. This document focuses on the root causes of mental illness and seeks out preventative and locally based solutions and support. The consultation also looks at the roles of different service providers and how partnership working between services and communities can reduce stigma’s associated with Mental Health. Given the continued disproportionate number of BAME individuals who experience mental health issues and access services, ROTA is urging BAME third sector engagement in this consultation. The closing date for responses is 15th October 2009 and full details can be found here.

Green Paper on Care Systems

The Department for Health has launched its Green Paper to improve National care and support systems. The document highlights challenges faced by current system and proposes the development of a ‘National Care Service that is fair, simple and affordable for everyone’. The department is consulting on its plans until the 13th November 2009 and full details can be found here.

Access to NHS Services for Foreign Nationals

A government review panel has released its findings on a review into Foreign National’s access to NHS services. The government has concluded that there should not be any significant change for either primary or secondary care. The government is planning to consult in the autumn on a number of agreed proposals from the review, including; exempting charges for both asylum seekers whose claim has been refused but who are being supported because there are recognised barriers to their return home and unaccompanied children, including those in local authority care. Given that access to health services was identified as a policy priority during ROTA’s 2009 consultation with the BAME third sector, we will monitor the progress of this review, and take part in the consultation when it goes live. For further information on the review please click here.


4. Education and Young People

Government Launches Education White Paper

The Government has launched its new Education White Paper ‘Your Child, Your Schools, Our Future’ which sets out their plans to offer ‘statutory Pupil and Parent Guarantee underpinned by legislation, a clear devolution of power matched by stronger accountability’. The detailed document includes plans for personalised support for young people under a new ‘Pupil Guarantee’ and a ‘Parent Guarantee’ including ‘tougher Home-School Agreements’ which will hold parents more accountable for ‘the worst behaved children’. A recent consultation conducted by ROTA identified Education as a top policy concern for the sector and we will be monitoring the impact of this document over the coming months. For full details of the white paper, including its Equality Impact Assessment please visit:

DCSF Review Children and Young People’s Fund

The Department for Children, Schools and Families are reviewing their The Children, Young People and Families (CYPF) grant programme which funds third sector organisations to support delivery of the Every Child Matters agenda and the Department's Children's Plan. They are calling on consultation responses from the third sector to inform the future of shape of this programme and their approach to it. The consultation period runs until 05 October 2009, and ROTA would urge those BAME services that support children and young people to take part in this consultation. For further information please visit

Communities and Local Government recommendations on raising the aspirations of black young men

The Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) has published a progress report on the five recommendations of the REACH report into raising the aspirations and attainment of black young men. There is also a new guidance document providing information for black and minority ethnic voluntary and community organisations. CLG has also published a research report exploring the effect of different types of role model messages in order to identify those with the most positive potential impact on black boys and young men, and to identify any potentially negative effects. These reports can be accessed on the CLG website


5. Other Policy News

Social Exclusion Across the Life Course

The government’s social exclusion unit has published the findings of a research project which sought to ‘map the risk of social exclusion among people and families at key life stages’. The four reports commissioned by the Social Exclusion Task Force and the Cabinet Office looked at risk markers for exclusion and will be used to help policy makers and service providers better identify those most in need of support. To download the full reports please visit

Capacitybuilders Single Equality Scheme

Capacitybuilders is consulting on its equality scheme. This is an important opportunity to tell them what you think they should be doing on equality. Key issues in the consultation include; targeted funding – should Capacitybuilders provide targeted funding for women’s groups, or just mainstream funding open to everyone; equality impact assessments – how should Capacitybuilders carry them out; communicating with stakeholders – how should Capacitybuilders communicate with you and other women’s organisations? ROTA and its networks will be responding to the consultation which is open until Friday 25 September 2009. See for more details.

Hardship Fund opens

The £16.7m Hardship Fund for charities, announced in the Budget in April, has opened for applications. The fund offers grants of between £50,000 and £250,000 for third sector organisations in England that work with vulnerable and disadvantaged people but are in financial difficulty. To apply, organisations must have annual turnovers of at least £200,000 and deliver services in health and social care, housing support, education and training, or information, advice and guidance. Full details click here.


London Policy News

1. MiNet updates

MiNet launches report on the recession

On 30th June 09, Race on the Agenda and MiNet launched a report detailing the impact of the recession on Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities and their sector. The launch took place at an event where London Councils and Government Office for London attended as keynote speakers. The project was funded by CapacityBuilders, Office of the Third Sector, Big Lottery Fund and NAVCA. The report was welcomed. It highlights the immediate action required by Government and local authorities to ensure London’s most marginalised and vulnerable communities do not become further isolated. It is available from the ‘publications’ pages of ROTA’s website at

Free Training and £700 bursary for BAME groups - Community Leaders Development Programme

Individuals who would like to learn more about setting up a voluntary organisation, or would like to develop a newly formed organisation further and receive a £700 bursary for another training course can now register for a place on Community Leaders Development Programme. The Community Leaders Development Programme aims to provide individuals from Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee communities who live in London, with a flexible and tailored range of leadership development opportunities. This project has two elements: a programme of outreach, taster sessions and entry level training; and a range of longer support options to provide more intensive structured personal and professional development. The programme is funded by the LDA Opportunities Fund Round 2 and is run by London Voluntary Service Council in partnership with the School for Social. For more information and contact details please visit the MiNet webpage or contact


2. Other London Policy News

Launch of Second Round Community Grants: London Development Agency

The London Development Agency (LDA) recently launched the second round of funding for its 2007-10 Community Grants Programme. Small voluntary and community organisations are invited to apply to the LDA where eligible organisations will be able to benefit from the £5.5 million available through this scheme. Typical organisations that apply for funding are social enterprises, charities, and community groups that support refugees, women, disabled people and families. They are expected to reach out into London's communities as the Programme's aim is to provide a stepping stone for disadvantaged people, helping them progress into mainstream training and employment. The final workshop to guide interested groups through the Community Grants application process will be held on 6 August 2009 - 10.20am-2pm. A prospectus, eligibility criteria and guidance on the application process can be downloaded from:

London Child Poverty Awards 2009

Minister Stephen Timms has announced the launch of the London Child Poverty Awards 2009. The aim of these awards is to celebrate and promote the great work being done by individuals and organisations across the capital in tackling child poverty. London Councils is sponsoring the 'Corporate Commitment' Award. There are five other awards - superb service and exemplary employer for organisations and outstanding practitioner, inspirational parent and child poverty champion for individuals. Deadline for applications/nominations is the 5th October 2009. Please nominate organisations and individuals that you feel deserve to be recognised. You can also nominate your own organisation. Detailed information on what the awards themselves are and how to enter can be downloaded via:

London Voluntary Service Council’s Big Squeeze report

ROTA welcomes the London Voluntary Service Council’s (LVSC) Big Squeeze report, which examines the effects of the downturn on Londoners and the Voluntary and Community groups that serve them. The Big Squeeze survey, which ran from January to April 2009, took detailed responses from over 100 organisations within London’s Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS). It found that: 95% of groups responding indicated the recession was already affecting them and the communities they support; 71% reported an increased workload (increased demand for services) as a result of the recession; 80% were not confident they could continue to meet this demand indefinitely; but more positively; 78% of organisations were already taking action to help them survive the recession. These findings coincide with the ROTA report examining the impact of the recession on London’s BAME and Equalities third sector. The report can be accessed from the LVSC website