March 2010    Issue 37

Welcome to the March edition of ROTA's newsletter!

Welcome to the March edition of the ROTA E-newsletter. During February ROTA has been busy completing our latest annual report and the Female Voice in Violence research report. We launched the Female Voice in Violence report at an event attended by 120 guests on 24 February; ROTA’s annual report will be presented at our upcoming AGM on 14 April.

The policy team is finalising two additional research reports; one on community cohesion, and the other on youth violence, both to be launched in April.

We are increasing our work on education, at present through a consultation response to the DCSF Parent and Pupil Guarantee proposal. Our work on the Single Equality Bill continues through the Winning the Race Coalition and we are currently running training on Hate Crime and Equalities Legislation.

ROTA's Annual general Meeting
ROTA is formally announcing its AGM, due to take place at The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund on 14 April 2010, 12:00 - 17:00. If you would like to attend, please contact Saifur Valli.

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

ROTA Launches Policy & Race
ROTA’s new interdisciplinary journal for policy makers, scholars, practitioners and activists with an interest in race equality and policy making aims to inform, influence and challenge those working within the field of equality. Two issues of Policy & Race will be published in 2010-2011, one of which will have a transformative justice theme. For more information contact Liz Carr.

Free Places for VCS Organisations on Hate Crime and Restorative Justice Training
On 12 April 2010, ROTA is offering free places to VCS organisations with fewer than ten members of staff for hate crime training (with a holding payment of £25, which will be reimbursed on attendance). The training, which has received excellent feedback, draws attention to the dynamics of hate crime, the role of mediation, and the value of multi-agency cross-sector partnerships. Places are limited. Statutory and private sector organisations will be charged £65. For training registration or queries please contact Saifur Valli.

Free Places for VCS Organisations on Single Equalities Training
On 24 March 2010, ROTA is offering free places to VCS organisations with fewer than ten members of staff for a new training session on race equality legislation and the Single Equality Bill (with a holding payment of £25, which will be reimbursed on attendance). As part of the training, some attendees will have the opportunity to receive ongoing support as Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) Community Champions to help disseminate information and cascade training to others. Although places are limited and training is almost booked, we are happy to add prospective trainees to our database to circulate upcoming training opportunities. Statutory, private sector, and VCOs with more than ten members will be charged £55. For training registration or queries please contact Kathryn Baer.

National Policy News

1. Equality and Human Rights Policy

Single Equality Bill update Winning the Race Coalition

The Winning the Race Coalition continues to monitor the progress of the Single Equality Bill. The Bill has passed its Committee Stage on the 9th February. It now has to go through Report Stage and 3rd reading in the House of Lords, before to the House of Commons for further debate or agreement.

During the final debate the main points of interest in race equality were the debates on the Public Sector Equality Duty and positive action provisions. For the Public Sector equality Duty there were agreed amendments on the limitation of delegated powers, and the powers to specify as public authorities. On positive action an amendment to add proportionality to the ‘tiebreak’ clause 158 was added but not significantly changed.

The report stage had been provisionally booked for the 2nd of March. There can be further detailed debate and so this stage could go on for several days. There than has to be 3 sitting days before the 3rd reading.

An amendment is being proposed to strengthen the Public Sector Equality Duty. The amendments to Clause 148 is supported by ROTA, the Winning the Race Coalition, EHRC, Equality and Diversity Forum, Discrimination Law Association, 1990 Trust, Equality Bill Alliance, Disability Charities Consortium among others.

You can read the final debate on the parliament website here.

EHRC Equality Bill Non Statutory Guidance Consultation

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is producing non statutory guidance, some of which will be published prior to the Act’s implementation, to help people understand the Equality Act and how it will affect them. To ensure that the guidance will be as informative as possible, there will be three separate online consultations on 1) employment; 2) services, public functions and associations and 3) education. Consultations are open until 16 April.

Additionally, the EHRC is running a consultation on the draft Codes of Practice. The purpose of the Codes of Practice is to explain the new statutory provisions to ensure that the law is applied consistently by lower courts and tribunals. There are three separate consultations on the draft guides: employment; equal pay; services, public functions and associations. The consultations close on Friday 2 April 2010.

Pamphlets on ‘What is Equality’ from the Three Main Parties

On 9 February 2010, DEMOS published a trilogy of pamphlets that approach the question of equality from the three main strands of political thought in Britain – represented by the Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrat Parties. These include the ‘Wealth of opportunity’ pamphlet, with a foreword by David Laws MP; the ‘Everyday equality’ pamphlet, with a foreword by David Willetts MP; and the ‘Society of equals’ pamphlet, with a foreword by James Purnell MP.


2. Criminal Justice National Policy

ROTA launches the Female Voice in Violence Report

On 24 February ROTA launched the first of its reports into the impact on serious youth and gang violence on women and girls.

The report details the experiences of gang-affected females, the role of the BAME women’s and wider third sector in responding to the issue, and the response of statutory policy and decision makers. Speaking at the report launch, the Rt Hon David Hanson MP, Minster for Policing and Security said: “You have my commitment that we will look at these issues in the report, and draw some initial response to them. Secondly, pick four or five people from ROTA and other organisations to come in and talk to me with other officials from the Home Office.”

Other keynote speakers were Rt Hon Vernon Coaker MP, Kit Malthouse, Deputy Mayor of London (Policing) and the event was chaired by Marai Larasi, Director of Imkaan. Panellists were Sue Berelowitz, Deputy Children’s Commissioner, and Abi Billinghurst of the nia project.

ROTA is forming a coalition of organisations to monitor progress against the recommendations made in the report. For more information on the project or the Coalition please contact Carlene Firmin. To order a copy of the report please contact Saifur Valli.

The Fawcett Society Publishes ‘Realising Rights: increasing ethnic minority women’s access to justice”

The Fawcett Society has launched a new report examining the experiences of ethnic minority women as workers, offenders and victims within the criminal justice system; how ethnic minority women fall through the gaps within a system that marginalises their needs and experiences; and what can be done about it. The report draws reference to ROTA’s FVV project, and can be downloaded from the Fawcett website.

Raising Awareness of Youth Violence through Schools

The Home Office is working with the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DSCF) to raise awareness among the school workforce about the Tackling Knife Action Plan and explain how young people can stay safe. You can view further information and a video message from ministers Vernon Coaker MP (DCSF) and David Hanson MP (Home Office). ROTA continues to inform serious youth violence policy and strategy through the evidence generated by the Building Bridges and Female Voice in Violence projects.

Ministry of Justice Releases 2008 Criminal Justice Statistics

A wave of statistics has been recently released by the Ministry of Justice including: Sentencing Statistics for 2008. Women in the Criminal Justice System 2008-2009 (this includes women as victims, defendants/offenders and practitioners) and Criminal Statistics England and Wales 2008. ROTA would encourage BAME organisations who work with people in the criminal justice system, to draw upon these figures when seeking evidence for funding bids. BAME groups remain disproportionately represented at all stages of the criminal justice system; for more information please visit

Violence Against Women and Girls Commissioning tool and Commissioning Guidance

In line with its Violence Against Women and Girls strategy the government has produced The Ready Reckoner tool. Using findings from the British Crime Survey, it enables commissioners of services from a range of providers to estimate the need for and cost of local services for domestic violence, sexual violence and stalking in their area. It will also be a useful tool for agencies, which carry out joint strategic needs assessments.

In addition to this, the Home Office has produced draft commissioning guidance to support local commissioners and partnerships to help develop the best approach to commissioning services to prevent violence against women and girls, protect victims and potential victims, and provide services to victims and perpetrators in local areas. To inform the commissioning guidance please respond to the consultation by 15 March 2010; ROTA will be submitting evidence from the Female Voice in Violence project to this consultation.


3. Health Inequalities National Policy

Department of Health: Third Sector Strategic Partner Programme 2010/11

The Department of Health has invited new applications for their 2010/11 Third Sector Partner Programme from organisations who work in, and with, mental health organisations, women’s sector organisations, carers organisations, armed forces and veterans charities, LGBT organisations, offender health and social care organisations. ROTA would encourage BAME organisations who work across those areas to apply to the programme; especially given the disproportionate impact health inequalities have on BAME individuals with mental health needs or in the criminal justice system. The closing date for application is 12 March 2010.

Fair Society, Healthy Lives – The Marmot Review

The Marmot Review’s final report, ‘Fair Society, Healthy Lives’ was launched on 11 February. The aim of this review was to propose an evidenced based strategy for reducing health inequalities from 2010. The strategy includes policies and interventions that address the social determinants of health inequalities. As health is one of ROTA’s policy priorities, we have been following the review’s progress, and highlighting the particular social determinants of health inequalities faced by BAME communities, most recently, for example, in our response to the Mayor of London’s draft health inequalities strategy.

BAME Groups and Mental Health

In response to government’s 'New Horizons' strategy, which was launched at the end of 2009, The Afiya Trust is producing a manifesto for mental health services for people from BAME groups. The manifesto will centre on the Afiya Trust’s concerns that New Horizon’s signals the end of specific efforts to address inequalities in treatment between BAME groups and the general population. It follows the final publication of the 'Count Me in Census', which found that after five years, the Delivering Race Equality strategy has led to insignificant improvements in the outcomes for BAME people in mental health treatment. ROTA shares the Afiya Trust’s concerns and raised complementary points in our response to the consultation on the New Horizon’s strategy in October 2009.


4. Education and Young People National Policy

Consultation: Pupil and Parent Guarantees

In January, the Department for Schools, Families and Children (DCSF) launched a public consultation on the ‘Introduction of Pupil and Parent Guarantees’. Pupil and Parent Guarantees will detail the key components of a good education, with a focus on the entitlements and responsibilities of pupils and parents. ROTA will be producing a consultation response because education is a policy priority for ROTA, and engagement between family and the education system is a need for BAME parents, especially those newly arrived in the UK. The consultation closes on 6 April 2010; to find out more please click here. If you would like to inform our response, please contact Barbara Nea on 020 7902 1177 or

Consultation: Draft School Admissions (Co-ordination of Admission Arrangements) Regulations 2010

DCSF is also currently seeking responses to a proposal made in the ‘Pupil and Parent Guarantees’ consultation document under which: "Parents will be expected to signal that they understand and will abide by schools' key policies (including their behaviour policy) during the application process". This is an amendment to the School Admissions Co-ordination Regulations, which will require all local authorities to include a statement on their common application form (CAF) which signals to parents the importance of complying with a school's policies once their child has been admitted and that by signing the form or making the application the parent is confirming that they accept those policies. ROTA would encourage BAME groups who work with parents and families to engage in this consultation process, given that BAME families have faced difficulties when engaging with the British Education System. The consultation closes 25 March 2010.

Commissioning Support for Organisations Working with Children and Young People

The Better Outcomes Commissioning Support programme has resources available to help with commissioning children’s services. Their free online group on commissioning and the community sector contains useful publications and discussion forums. ROTA’s work with London’s BAME third sector has identified many organisations face barriers in engaging in commissioning and procurement despite their unique and valuable role in addressing inequality.

National Skills Forum and Associate Parliamentary Skills Group Launch Inclusion Report

The report, ‘Doing Things Differently: Step Changes in Skills and Inclusion’, focuses on the impact of skills policy on three disproportionately excluded groups: offenders and ex-offenders; people with disabilities; and black and minority ethnic learners. In bringing together the skills and equalities agendas, this report recommends ways in which better access to skills and training can create a more inclusive labour market, bringing economic advantage as well as helping to create a fairer and more mobile society.


5. Other National Policy News

Phase 2 Launch of the National Programme for Third Sector Commissioning

IDeA – the improvement and development agency for local government - is heading a new partnership of leading public and third sector agencies, which will deliver training and support to commissioners, councillors and third sector leaders. Income from Government sources including commissioning is worth £12 billion to the sector and accounts for over a third of general charities' total income in the UK. The programme runs until March 2011.

The BME Alliance Road Shows

The BME Alliance held road shows across the East Midlands as part of the CLG-funded Tackling Race Inequalities work in partnership with the East Midlands Racial Equality Consortium. Subsequently, an interim steering group has been set up to consider ways of rebalancing and giving greater prominence to people from these communities to input into decisions which have an impact on their lives. It was agreed that a regional forum for asylum-seeker and refugee-led groups would be established to bring together different voices that share the same concerns. If you are from an organisation that is led by asylum seekers and refugees and you would like to be part of the steering group or want to make sure you are notified about the event please contact BEAM on

Big Lottery Fund Programme Offers Short-Term Funding

The Big Lottery Fund has announced a new funding programme that will allow voluntary organisations to apply for grants of up to £40,000 a year until 2015. The fund is a new strand of the BLF's Reaching Communities programme, which is worth £500m. It is designed to support charities that want shorter-term, smaller-scale grants than those available through the existing Reaching Communities scheme. The new system is expected to be in place this spring.

London Policy News

1. MiNet updates

London Councils Launches the Manifesto for Londoners

London Councils manifesto proposes the need for a radical shift in where powers rest with a suggested move which would see the devolution of power and budgets from quangos and Whitehall to the London boroughs. London Councils believe this would encourage a move towards better services and give Londoners more say over key issues that affect their everyday lives. During hard economic times, the manifesto concentrates on the biggest economic and social challenge for London: to do more, and better, with less. The manifesto indicates that a process of devolution would bring significant benefits in a number of areas, including health and social care, worklessness, adult skills and child safety and achievement, and suggests that London is uniquely suited for this.

Local Recession News

Wandsworth, Westminster and Brent have each recently produced local recession reports each detailing the impact of the recession of the third sector within the borough. Also, more recently Haringey have produced a mapping exercise of the third sector in Haringey. If you would like a copy of these reports you can contact Anthony Salla.

Resource: ‘No Right to Dream: being young and undocumented in Britain’

'No right to dream' is a large-scale qualitative piece of research into the social worlds and economic livelihoods of British-based young undocumented migrants from China, Turkey (Kurds), Brazil, Zimbabwe and Ukraine. The report asks what it means to be young and undocumented in contemporary Britain; how young migrants cope with life in Britain at a time of economic downturn; and how this may be impacted by the government’s ‘tough touch’ on undocumented migrants. The field work was conducted in late 2008, which coincided with the intensifying impact of the global economic recession. The narratives provide a snapshot of how declining economic prospects are affecting young undocumented migrants, and reveal their increasing anxieties. For example, those migrants who use their earnings for remittances, the falling value of the pound is a source of concern.


CompeteFor is a free service that enables businesses to compete for contract opportunities linked to the London 2012 Games along with other major public and private sector buying organisations. CompeteFor acts as a brokerage service, matching buyers with potential suppliers. It also facilitates access to focused business support, through the national Business Link network, helping to boost the long–term competitiveness of your business. The vision is to ensure opportunities availability through London 2012, maximise the diversity of businesses contributing to the overall programme, and create a legacy of increased capacity and expertise.

BNRRN Infrastructure Policy Briefing

BNRRN have produced a Policy Briefing which looks at the role, need and importance of infrastructure. The briefing highlights the importance of the policy and voice aspect of infrastructure which is so often neglected and very often takes place as a product of a funded project, rather than something funded in its own right. The work BNRRN have been carrying out with local BAME organisations encouraging their engagement in Local Strategic partnerships for examples, across different London boroughs accentuates the additional importance of infrastructure. For more information on this work contact BNRRN.

MiNet’s New Information Bulletin

In mid-February, MiNet released its first Information Bulletin which is a resource for third sector organisations working across London to advertise or gather information of training, new projects, funding. If you would like to include details of any work you are involved with the Bulletin contact

EHRC’s Codes and Guidance for the Single Equality Bill

Throughout March, MiNet, with the support of ROTA, will be responding to the EHRC’s Codes and Guidance for the Single Equality Bill. The deadline has been extended to 6 April 2010 to account for the Easter break. If you are not responding to the consultation, but have examples of good guidance please forward these to MiNet.


2. Other London Policy News

ROTA’s Response to Consulting the Capital: London Councils’ Voluntary Sector Commissioning Programme 2011–15

On 29 January the first phase of London Councils’ consultation on the priorities for the next period of its commissioning programme closed. London Councils currently awards £28.4 million funding to the voluntary and community sector each year.

ROTA’s response:

  • Highlighted the key areas of inequality experienced by London’s Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities, which should be addressed through the fund; and

  • Made the case for continued funding for BAME organisations, because of their unique and valuable role in addressing such inequalities.

ROTA’s response was primarily based on evidence from our 2009 consultation with London’s BAME third sector, which identified the top five concerns of London’s BAME communities to inform our policy priorities. This January we followed up on last year’s consultation by asking a sample of our members further questions that specifically related to London Councils’ voluntary sector commissioning programme. Additionally, our response included evidence from ROTA’s varied research and policy projects.

ROTA will continue to engage with London Councils in the development of priorities and specifications for this important fund and would like to thank all those who informed the response we submitted.

Community Cohesion in London: A ROTA Discussion Paper

On 14 April before our Annual General Meeting (AGM), we will be holding a discussion about community cohesion within the London context. Discussions will be based on a ROTA paper that explores the extent to which national policy on community cohesion has been incorporated into London regional policy, and how well regional policy reflects the community cohesion related concerns of London’s BAME communities. Following the discussion, ROTA will produce a series of recommendations for regional policy makers, focused on ensuring any policy related to community cohesion supports efforts to address racial inequality in London. To find out more about this piece of work please contact Barbara Nea on 020 7902 1177 or email To find out more about ROTA’s AGM please contact Saifur Valli on the same number or email Further information about this discussion and event will be available soon.

The Big Squeeze 2: LVSC’s Recession Campaign Continues

London Voluntary Services Council has launched the second phase of its Big Squeeze recession campaign. Last year’s Big Squeeze survey found an increase in demand for charitable services and a great deal of fear and uncertainty about the future. LVSC have bee using the findings from last year’s survey to raise the profile of the work of London’s voluntary and community sector with government and other funders. This year LVSC are revisiting the original survey themes and beginning to map how anticipated reductions in public expenditure will affect London’s VCS and its ability to support Londoners. LVSC would like you to take a few minutes to complete their quick online survey. This campaign has been completing MiNet’s work around the recession. MiNet is London’s only regional BAME VCS network, which is housed at ROTA. To find out more about MiNet and its work on the recession please visit the MiNet pages on ROTA’s website.

Recession Support from Consumer Direct London

London’s third sector has been given some help to support themselves and others during the recession through specialist advice by London Councils' Consumer Direct London. The advice on offer explains what resources are available for third sector groups from partner organisations. Using advice sessions and ongoing guidance, third sector groups across London will be better equipped to offer consumer and debt-related advice. MiNet’s work on the recession has highlight the impact that this has had on the BAME third sector, and ROTA would encourage organisations to access this advice service.

Two Free Training Events for London’s VCS

London Councils Back on Track Project Advisory Board, and the Mobility and Young London Board are hosting a training seminar aimed at VCS providers of learning and development provision for 14-16 year olds entitled, ‘The London Quality Assurance Framework for Alternative Provision’. Training will be held at the Mary Ward House on either the 11th, 25th, or 26th March 9.30-4pm.

The pan London Integrated Working Network, and the Mobility and Young London Board are hosting a training seminar aimed at VCS development workers, regional providers and safeguarding leads who support vulnerable children and young people and are likely to be involved in the CAF. The training is entitled ‘Integrated Working without Boundaries: The Pan London Common Assessment Framework Protocol’ and will be held at the Mary Ward House on 29th or 30th March 9.30-4pm.

For training materials to either event, please contact Rachael Ivancic at Partnership for Young London:

3 ROTA Trustee (Director) Vacancies

Can you support us in informing strategic decision-makers about the issues affecting the BAME Third Sector and the communities it serves, and make government policy more accessible to BAME groups?

For more information about the role, and about ROTA, please visit our website. The closing date for applications is 22 March 2010, 12 noon (by post or email). Successful candidates will be expected to attend ROTA’s Annual General Meeting due to take place at The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund on the 14 April 2010, 12:00 – 17:00 where they will be presented to members for election. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

If you have any questions about the role, please contact Dr. Theo Gavrielides, Chief Executive on 020 7902 1955 or email

3 Trustee Vacancies at IARS

IARS is a youth-led, social policy think-tank set up in 2001 to empower and give voice to young people so that they can influence policy and democratically engage in society as equal citizens. IARS is unique in its structure and the only youth-led social policy think-tank in the UK. We believe in the value of the youth-led sector, and provide representation of the issues affecting it. For further information or an application pack please contact Dr. Theo Gavrielides or visit IARS website. The closing date for applications is 10:00 AM on 12 March 2010 and successful candidates will be notified on 16 March to attend an interview on 19 March.

Train the Trainer

Accreditation is available for this two-day course that is for people who wish to become effective and dynamic trainers by developing skills, knowledge and confidence around planning and delivering training to small and large groups. The training is on 9-10 March from 10:00-4:00 each day; if you would like to attend for more information on applicable fees, please contact Jacqui Henry or see the website. The registration closing date is 5 March 2010.