Tuesday, 6 September 2011


Due to the inclement weather this morning I delayed my walk down to the village newsagents until after lunch. So now I've just returned with my "morning" paper - The Daily Telegraph.

I was delighted to read a small article at the bottom of the front page headed "Vacancy to fill : usual equality rubbish applies". It turns out that an advertisement on a NHS website was published with "the usual rubbish about equal opportunities" on the end.

Apparently this was then spotted by a prospective applicant and the advert was swiftly changed to read "we are committed to promoting equality and diversity". I do wonder whether if these words were omitted people would assume that part of the NHS was not committed to equality and diversity.

A couple of years ago I had to draft up an advertisement for a new school Headteacher. These equality wordings plus many more about commitments to child safeguarding had to be incorporated at the end of the advertisement. The advertisement then went into the Times Educational Supplement along with many, many other adverts, in total filling about 300 pages! I suspect without the additional words we would have saved over £100 of the advertising costs and just think how many other schools could have done likewise. All that it actually achieves is to transfer money from schools to Murdoch.

What annoys me most is the meaninglessness of these phrases. The "usual rubbish" sums it up well. Do people seriously think state schools aren't committed to equality and diversity unless it is clearly stated? Do they seriously think that state schools aren't likewise committed to child safeguarding? I mean ITS THE LAW F.F.S.! Do we really need to spend money telling people we are committed to upholding the laws of the land?

It really should go without saying. I didn't need to put at the end of the advert that the school was committed to putting all its staff on the Pay As You Earn tax system. Or that we were committed to providing toilet facilities to staff. Or that we were committed to providing public liability insurance. I could go on and on.

No doubt someone will be fired for writing "the usual rubbish about equal opportunities" on that draft advert. Meanwhile nurses neglecting elderly patients who die from lack of food and water will go unpunished. Surgeons who leave their surgical instruments inside patients will be merely reprimanded. And no doubt an Equality and Diversity Manager being paid well in excess of a nurse's salary will be employed by that NHS Trust.

Here's a link to the article on the Telegraph website.
And I was so eager to blog about it that I've only just seen that there is also an editorial comment about it on page 21 and here on their website
Also it appearshere on the Daily Mail's website