The British Council is the United Kingdom’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities.

Working effectively with equality, diversity and inclusion is an essential part of our purpose. We want to ensure that there is no unjustified discrimination on the grounds of age, disability including HIV/AIDS status, sex and gender including transgender and intersex and pregnancy and maternity, marital status including civil partnership, political opinion, race/ethnicity and culture, religion and belief including protected beliefs, sexual orientation, socio-economic background, spent convictions, trade union activity or membership, having or not having dependants, work pattern, or on any other irrelevant grounds in what we do.

We abide by and promote equality legislation aiming to follow both the letter and the spirit of the law in this area. We recognise unjustified discrimination as a barrier to equality, diversity, inclusion and human rights.

The British Council is committed to:

  • policies, strategies, and procedures that encourage behaviour which promotes equality, values diversity and contributes to an inclusive organisational culture, including in the delivery of our programmes and services
  • no unjustified discrimination in recruitment, selection, performance management or other processes
  • undertaking equality screening and impact assessments of policies and activities which impact on employees and/or external contacts or the wider community
  • treating individuals with fairness, dignity and respect
  • making every effort to remove barriers and redress imbalances caused by inequality and unjustified discrimination.

We require all staff to ensure their behaviour is consistent with this policy. We also require that clients, customers, partners and suppliers are made aware of this policy and operate within it. We will provide adequate and appropriate resources to implement this global policy statement and will ensure it is communicated and understood.

The British Council will review this global policy statement annually to reflect new legal and regulatory developments and promote good practice.

This global policy statement was approved by Scott McDonald, Chief Executive, in April 2024 and is due for review in March 2025.

See also