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Diversity and Inclusion
Supporting Diversity and Inclusion is at the heart of the College’s ethos and values, whether it's supporting the diverse needs of our staff and students or looking at the wider legal industry and discussing some of the key issues faced within access to the profession, retention of diverse employees and more.
One of the main benefits cited by the SRA of the new SQE qualification pathway was to improve accessibility into the profession. This is carried out by reducing the barriers to entry, including reduced costs, having centralised assessments and most importantly removing the need for a training contract, with the introduction of Qualifying Work experience (QWE).
To understand better whether the SQE is improving accessibility, we look to the SRA’s reports on each SQE1 and SQE2 assessment that detail the percentages of candidates passing across ethnicity, disability, sex, age, education level, whether the candidate has QWE and more. These reports currently show an attainment gap in terms of pass rates, for some under-represented groups, such as those with black ethnic origin, and for those with lower undergraduate degree classification. It's important to note that this gap was also present in a similar fashion in the LPC and more broadly in higher education.
In response to this, the SRA have commissioned the University of Exeter to explore this, where they will look into identifying the long-lasting and intersectional causes of the attainment gap, exploring lessons to learn from other sectors and understand how to close the gap. We are looking forward to seeing and understand the results of this research.
At the College we're constantly monitoring the progression and impact of the SQE, in this article Dr. Giles Proctor, CEO at the College shares his reflections of the SQE one year on.
The college's approach to diversity and inclusion
At The College of Legal Practice, we believe that a diverse and inclusive legal profession is essential to providing a more just legal system and we are dedicated to creating a learning environment that is welcoming and supportive of all students, regardless of their background or identity.
We recognise that our students come from a wide range of socio-economic, cultural, and religious backgrounds, and we are committed to providing them with the resources and support they need to succeed.
We also understand that the legal profession has historically been less accessible to many marginalised groups, and we are committed to doing our bit to encourage representation and access.
We do this by partnering with organisations and firms that promote diversity and inclusion, and by offering scholarships to students from underrepresented groups as well as flexible learning and funding options for those looking to take the SQE.
In addition to supporting our students, we are committed to advancing diversity and inclusion more widely within the legal industry. We believe that it is our responsibility to use our platform to promote positive change, and we work closely with industry leaders and organisations to help drive progress. We recognise that enabling diversity and inclusion is an ongoing process, and we are continually learning and adapting to ensure that we are doing everything we can to support our students and advance these important values within the legal profession.