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 mission. We are committed to ensuring that there is no unjustified discrimination in the recruitment, retention, treatment, training and development of staff on the basis of age, disability, gender including transgender, HIV/AIDS status, marital status including civil partnerships, pregnancy and maternity, political opinion, race/ethnicity, religion and belief, sexual orientation, socio-economic background, spent convictions, trade union activity or membership, work pattern, having or not having dependants, or on any other grounds which are irrelevant to decision making.

We aim to abide by and promote equality legislation. We follow both the letter and the spirit of the law in this area. We try to avoid unjustified discrimination which we recognise is a barrier to equality, diversity, inclusion and human rights. 

The British Council is committed to:

  • ensuring we have effective policies, strategies, procedures and processes and that we encourage behaviour which promotes equality, encourages diversity and contributes to an organisational culture that is inclusive, including in the delivery of our programmes and services.
  • ensuring that there is no unjustified discrimination in its recruitment, selection, performance management or other processes
  • undertaking equality screening and impact assessments of policies and functions 
  • treating individuals with whom it works with fairness, dignity and respect
  • playing its part in removing barriers and redressing 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 policy was approved by Scott McDonald, Chief Executive, in April 2023 and is due for review in March 2024

See also