Equality Policy

home > about > Governance > Equality Policy

Equality Policy

St Benet’s Hall welcomes diversity amongst all its members, whether students, academic staff or support staff.  St Benet’s aims to exercise its policies, practices and procedures with  due regard to its duties under the Equality Act 2010 and to the protected characteristics specified within it, which are: age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief (including lack of belief), sex and sexual orientation.


In relation to junior members St Benet’s aims to provide an excellent education at undergraduate and postgraduate level for able students, of all faith traditions and none, whatever their background.  St Benet’s aims to ensure that all of its activities are governed by principles of equality of opportunity, and that all junior members are helped to achieve their full academic potential. This applies to:

  • recruitment and admissions
  • teaching, assessment and monitoring
  • welfare and support services

St Benet’s will take steps, as far as possible within its limited accommodation and resources, to meet the particular needs of individuals from protected groups where these are different from the needs of others.

Previous exemption regarding undergraduates and current change of policy

St Benet’s Hall is a monastic house of studies, with a small community of monks at its core.  Like all Oxford colleges, St Benet’s provides accommodation for its first-year undergraduates.  For St Benet’s, in the past this necessitated accommodating undergraduates in the same house as the monks.  As Canon Law does not permit women to live in the same building as monks, until now (2015-16) St Benet’s has exercised a legal exemption applying to religious communities, whereby it only admitted male undergraduates. As neither graduate students nor members of staff live in, this exemption applied only to undergraduate members of St Benet’s.  It has been the intention of St Benet's for some years to admit women undergraduates as soon as another suitable building nearby could be acquired.  A nearby building was essential, in order to ensure parity of experience for both male and female undergraduates. Such a building has now been found, at 11 Norham Gardens. Consequently, since the 2015-16 admissions round St Benet's has considered undergraduate applications from both men and women for entry in October 2016 and thereafter and offers accommodation to all first-year students at 11 Norham Gardens.


In relation to staff, St Benet’s will, as far as is practicable within a very small academic community:

  • encourage applications from the widest pool of potential candidates
  • ensure that entry into employment and progression within employment are determined solely on merit by criteria which are related to the duties of a particular post
  • where possible, ensure diverse representation and participation at all levels
  • take steps to meet the particular needs of individuals from protected groups where these are different from the needs of others.

St Benet’s Hall expects all members of its community to treat each other with respect, courtesy and consideration and does not tolerate any form of bullying or harassment. The Hall follows the University Policy on Harassment and Bullying, which is supported by the University Harassment Advisory Service.