Moving the equality and diversity survey

Illustration showing a task list with different sections. The last section is called 'Equality and diversity' and shows some content explaining that training providers will not see the answer to this section until the user has accepted an offer.

As part of the work to change the application process, we moved the questions about equality and diversity to a new tab called ‘Your details’.

We made this change in June 2023.

The issue

Currently, candidates submit one application linked to 4 course choices. Before they submit their application, they answer a set of questions so that we can prevent discrimination in teacher training. The questions include asking:

  • a candidate’s sex
  • if a candidate has any disabilities or health conditions
  • a candidate’s ethnic background and ethnic group
  • if a candidate received free school meals when they went to school (we collect this internally and do not share this with training providers)

These questions are not shown to providers until a candidate accepts an offer.

Candidates only have to complete these question once because they only submit one application.

What we changed

We changed the application process so candidates will be able to submit multiple applications. Each time they submit, we do not want candidates to have to fill out the equality and diversity questions again and again.

We moved these questions to the new tab called ‘Your details’.

We included a line about how training providers would not see the answers to these questions until a candidate accepts an offer. Previously we included this information on a separate page before a candidate starts answering the questions.

Screenshot showing a section of the task list called 'Equality and diversity’. Beneath the heading is some text explaining that training providers will not see the answers to these questions. Below this is a link to the questions within the section.

On each question we also explained that training providers will not see these answers and not use them to make decisions.

Screenshot showing a question about a candidate's sex. The answers are radio selections of male, female, other and prefer not to say. There is also content explaining that training providers will not see the answer to this question.

On the question about if a candidate had free school meals when they were at school, we made the first line clearer to say training providers will never see the answer to this question.

We ask this question to use the data internally to make sure we have adequate representation in teachers.

Screenshot showing a question about free school meals. The question asks if the user ever recevied free school meals at school. The answers they can choose include Yes, No, I did not go to school in the UK, I do not know or prefer not to say. There is also content expalining that training providers will never see the answer users give to this question.

We launched this change in June 2023. Because it was during the current recruitment cycle, we encountered a few issues with candidates receiving errors on this section of the application form if they were already working on an application.

We worked with our developers to fix this change by creating content that said ‘Not answered’ if the candidate had missed this section due to the change.

We also removed the ‘Have you completed this section?’ question if they had not done the questions yet so they would not be able to mark the section as complete if the questions were not answered.

Before, showing the ‘Have you completed this section’ question.

Screenshot showing a summary list of each question users are asked. Next to each summary is the content saying ‘Not answered’ followed by a ‘Change’ link. Beneath the summary list is a question asking the user if they've completed this section yet.

After, showing the removal of the ‘Have you completed this section’ question.

Screenshot showing a summary list of each question users are asked. Next to each summary is the content saying ‘Not answered’ followed by a ‘Change’ link. There is nothing under the summary list.