British Broadcasting Corporation Race Equality Scheme

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British Broadcasting Corporation

Race Equality Scheme

Foreword by the Chairman of the BBC Trust 4

Foreword by the Director-General of the BBC 5

Summary of the Race Equality Scheme 6

Review and Extension for 2010-11 6

Overview of TV Licensing 6

TV Licensing objectives 7

Overview of the BBC Trust 8

BBC Trust objectives 8

The BBC Agreement 9

Overview of digital switchover (i) 9

BBC objectives relating to the Digital Switchover Help Scheme 10

BBC objectives relating to Digital UK activity 10

Overview of other BBC public functions (ii) 11

Other BBC public functions (under the BBC Agreement) – objectives 11

1 Introduction 12

1.1 The BBC 12

1.2 Review and Extension of the Race Equality Scheme – 2010-11 13

1.3 Application of the Race Equality Scheme to Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man 14

2 The Race Equality Duty 14

2.1 The Race Relations Amendment Act 2000 (RRAA) 14

3 The BBC’s Race Equality Scheme 16

4 Key elements of the BBC’s Race Equality Scheme 16

4.1 Initial assessment: an identification of relevant functions and policies and an initial assessment of their potential to impact in relation to race equality 17

4.2 Impact assessments and consultation: arrangements for assessing and consulting on the impact of the BBC’s proposed functions and policies 17

4.3 Monitoring impact: arrangements for monitoring the impact of BBC activities which are carried out in the pursuance of public functions and related policies 19

4.4 Publishing results: arrangements for publishing the outcomes of equality impact assessments and consultation 33

4.5 Public access: arrangements for ensuring that the public have access to information and services 35

4.6 Training staff: arrangements for ensuring that staff are trained in order that they understand the duty to promote race equality and their own responsibilities 35

4.7 Review: arrangements for carrying out a review of the Scheme 36

5 Implementation and monitoring progress 36

5.1 Implementation 36

5.2 Action planning 37

5.3 Progress monitoring and evaluation 37

5.4 Race Equality Scheme Performance Summary 2009/2010 38

BBC public functions (under the BBC Agreement) 52

Other BBC public functions (under the BBC Agreement) 52

6 The BBC’s broader approach to promoting race ethnic and cultural equality 54

6.1 BBC Diversity Strategy 54

6.2 Welsh Language Scheme and Gaelic provision 60

7 Assessment of functions and policies 62

7.1 The General Duty 62

7.2 Assessing functions and policies 62

8 Action Plan 105

Action Plan 1: TV Licensing function 105

Action Plan 2: The BBC Trust in relation to certain functions under the BBC Charter and Agreement (relating to involvement) 118

Action Plan 3: The BBC in relation to certain functions under the BBC Agreement 124

Part A: BBC Actions relating to the Digital Switchover Help Scheme 128

Part B: BBC Actions relating to Digital UK 135

Action Plan 3: The BBC in relation to certain functions under the BBC Agreement 141

Annex 145

The BBC’s public functions 145

Foreword by the Chairman of the BBC Trust

The people of the United Kingdom form a hugely diverse mix of cultures, communities, languages and ethnic backgrounds. The Trust’s commitment to BBC audiences is that the BBC should offer value to everyone in the UK, whatever their background. After all, everyone pays for it. It is the responsibility of the BBC Trust to listen to and understand the views of the public – in all its diversity – in order to ensure that the BBC achieves this as well as it can among every section of UK society.

This Race Equality Scheme is just one way the BBC contributes to enhancing the lives and meeting the distinct and varied needs and expectations of its audiences from different ethnic and racial backgrounds. The BBC published its first Race Equality Scheme in 2003. It was revised in 2007 and now again in 2010. The scheme outlines the framework for how the BBC will develop, assess, implement, monitor and review its work towards achieving equality for people from different race and ethnic backgrounds in relation to its relevant public functions.

It is the BBC Trust’s responsibility to both assess and hold to account the BBC Executive’s performance in delivering the BBC’s services and activities. This includes the BBC’s performance in meeting all of its equalities duties. The Trust is fully committed to the principles behind the equality scheme, which seek to eliminate unlawful discrimination and promote equality and positive relationships and takes its role of overseeing the BBC Executive in this area very seriously. However, the Trust recognises that for the Equality Scheme to really make a difference, the focus needs to be on how the BBC changes as a result and in ways which improve the lives of people from different ethnic or cultural backgrounds. The Trust will continue to work with the BBC Executive on this.

The recent review of the Race Equality Scheme gave the BBC the opportunity to reflect on its performance in meeting its objectives and actions over the last three years. Each of the BBC’s public function areas (e.g Digital Switchover, Television Licensing, regulatory functions of the Trust and a miscellaneous collection of activity including emergency and defence announcements) captured in the scheme were required to review their set of objectives and actions on the basis of progress and evidence gathered to date. In addition, the different public function areas were asked to review the sections on implementation and monitoring progress, capturing their performance and outcomes achieved during the past three years.

The Trust is pleased that progress has been made in a number of areas across the BBC. Both Television Licensing (TVL) and the Digital Switchover Help Scheme have worked closely with voluntary sector organisations to ensure that their services are accessible and appropriate for the wide range of licence fee payers’ different needs. This has resulted in an improved complaints system for TVL and more considered and tailored communication by the Digital Switchover Help Scheme. However, based on what people tell us we know that more could be done. The Trust will, therefore, be monitoring those areas marked for improvement over the forthcoming year.

The Trust also welcomes all the other activity which the BBC undertakes to ensure that it is fulfilling its Charter commitment of serving the needs of all audiences. Through the annual reporting of the BBC Executive’s Diversity Strategy we will make sure that this good work continues.

Following the enactment of the Equality Bill this year, the BBC will be working on a Corporate Equality and Diversity Plan to replace this and its two other Equality Schemes (Disability and Gender) in Spring 2011. The bringing together of the new and existing equality strands into one accessible document will be an important project for the BBC over the course of the year, and one which the Trust will be closely involved in.

It is a huge challenge to meet the needs of all licence fee payers and the Trust will work hard to engage with the many diverse audience groups to assess how well the BBC is serving them – this commitment is reflected in the Trust’s own set of objectives. The Trust is committed to extending the range of tools it uses to listen to the public, so as to ensure that it reaches those who may feel disconnected from the BBC.

As the Chairman of the BBC Trust I am personally committed to ensuring that we get the best out of the BBC for all licence fee payers and will continue to challenge the BBC Executive to ensure that it finds the best way to provide distinctive services of the highest quality to all the people and all the communities across the UK.

Sir Michael Lyons

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