Out of 21,356 headteachers in England, only 277 are Black! Who are they?

BGM headteachers. Left to right: 1) Matt Jones 2) Ava Sturridge-Packer 3) David Hermitt 4) Diana Osagie 5) Jacqueline Newsome 6) Paul Mundy-Castle

Before starting my masters in educational leadership and enrolling on the BME leadership development programme, I have never heard of or met Black Headteacher/Principle. Within the school environment, black staff are typically represented in non-teaching roles such as; classroom assistance, pastoral staff, lunch time supervisors and cleaners. This was the spark to dig deeper into the rabbit hole and research into the under-representation of Black senior leaders in Education.  Click here to read report.

There are currently 21.356 headteachers  in England, however, only 277 are black. The statistics present a major concern; the ratio of Black and global majority (BGM) leaders to BGM students is disproportionate compared to that of their White counterparts.  On a positive note, Black headteachers do exist and are flying the flag and contributing towards changing the narrative of the Black and Global Majority representation in education. They are living proof that the concrete ceiling can be broken and have laid the foundation for the future generation of BGM majority teachers. Here are some of the BGM practitioners identified as senior leaders in England. Please feel free to add to the list;



  • David Hermitt
  • Diana Osagie
  • Paul Mundy-Castle
  • Patrick Cozier
  • Matt Jones
  • Jackie Ranger
  • Alison Kriel
  • Ava Sturridge-Packer
  • Marva Rollins
  • Allana Gay
  • Adewoye Yomi
  • Fumni Alder
  • Ms K Campbell

Updated List (* BGM)


  • Sonia Potter
  • Nadine Bernard
  • Monica Duncan
  • Tina Haracksingh
  • Sam Hoyer
  • Increase Eko
  • David Watson
  • Dr Dayo Olukoshi
  • Susan Service
  • Nav Sanghara*
  • Juliet Wright
  • Dean Gordon
  • Yana Morris
  • Christine Raymont-Hall*
  • Ken Johnson
  • Umbar Sharif*
  • Mitzi Nichol
  • Paulette Osborne
  • Nigel Oram
  • Sonia Potter
  • Qamar Riaz*
  • Nadine Bernard
  • Monica Duncan
  • Tina Haracksingh
  • Vijita Patel*
  • Nicole Haynes
  • Janet Sheriff
  • Vijita Patel*
  • Alison Moise-Dixon
  • Shelly-Ann Goulbourne
  • Leon Wilson
  • Michael Barry
  • Karen Giles
  • Joanne L Herbert
  • Devon Hanson
  • Selwyn Calvin
  • Hayden Abbott
  • David Bromfield
  • Nicholas Obie
  • Paul Quinton
  • Ken Morris
  • Tonnie Read
  • Joan Deslandes
  • Pauline Osborne
  • Catherine Ryan
  • Martha Holder
  • Paul Quinton
  • Mohsen Oja
  • Desmond Taylor
  • Patricia Young
  • Dean Gordon
  • Heather Phillips

Systematic Barriers: Black pupils are three times more likely to get excluded than any other ethnic group

Five years ago, I was disturbed when I researched the statistics of the attainment of Black Caribbean children to find a legacy of underachievement and high levels of exclusion rates in UK public schools. Fast forward to the present day, nothing has changed!  As a Black male teacher and scholar of ‘Caribbean’ decent this led me to embrace the responsibility to make a positive change and disrupt systematic educational barriers on a micro and macro level and raise the attainment, aspirations and opportunities for Black and Global Majority (BGM) children.

The latest figures reveal that there has been a sharp rise in permanent exclusions from English state schools. Black Caribbean children are more likely to be identified as having social and emotional difficulties (Lumby and Coleman, 2016). Therefore, Black Caribbean children have a permanent exclusion rate nearly three times higher (0.28 per cent) than the school population as a whole (0.10 per cent) (DfE, 2018). This is a major concern, as those children that are being excluded are five times more likely to go to prison (www.ed.ac.uk).

This is not a current trend, as Black Caribbean students have been overrepresented in permanent exclusions for decades. This is a part of a structure of institutionalised racism where ethnicity has subtly had an impact on perceptions, aspirations and identity of Black youths. This is a system where those who are advantaged by the current system have no interest in opposing change as discussed by Lumby and Coleman (2016).

By having a colour blind ‘one size fits all’ approach will not change the exclusion rates for Black Caribbean children. A cultural approach is needed, addressing the vast range of barriers these children face. In particular,  addressing race-specific barriers and the lack of attention allocated towards race and racial identity, that ultimately leads to exclusion and underachievement of Black children.


Additional reading;

Lumby, J and Coleman, M (2016) Leading for Equality, Making Schools Fairer. London: Sage.



Cultural recognition in Schools: Diversity Champions

Diversity Champions. The University of Manchester BAME Widening Participation Programme

A diverse group of Year 9 students from Black and Global Majority (BGM) backgrounds designed and presented assemblies focused on community cohesion this week. There aim was to celebrate global cultures within the school population. I was inspired to see the students so passionate and proud to celebrate their backgrounds and challenge any misconceptions. 

“We have noticed that a lot of people don’t have much of an understanding of international culture. The Cohesion Project is about tackling issues surrounding discrimination as well as realising that no matter the race, religion, sexuality or culture of someone, we are all one united community and it is important we recognise and appreciate each other’s differences.” Ana, Age 13

Community cohesion assembly slide: Congo
Community cohesion assembly slide: Angola

The BGM student population has continued to increase annually, from 27.9% to 29.1% between 2016 -2017. Despite this, some schools still maintain a colour-blind stance that overlooks the acknowledgement of cultures from Global backgrounds.  Consequently, this unconsciously fuels issues that relate directly to social segregation and community cohesion. 

‘Tensions can grow where ethnic groups have segregated themselves from each other – whether by choice or circumstance – in housing, work, leisure and education’ UK Gov (DfES, 2003).’

Following the assemblies, the students will form the new Diversity Champions team. This will work in collaboration with The University Of Manchester’s BAME widening participation programme will be launching the project .

This project has been designed in response to the attack that took place in Manchester at the Ariana Grande concert. Reports of hate crimes and incidents in Greater Manchester rose by 500% in the month following the attack, police figures showed. They included a bomb threat, racist taunts, and graffiti. After this initial spike, and a high of 1,061 reported incidents, the figures have since dropped but remain slightly above 2016 levels.

This project has been designed to equip pupils with the right skills and knowledge to reduce all kinds of prejudice faced by a number of groups in society. It will enable the pupils to learn about a number of issues and topic’s giving them an open space to discuss and learn how to challenge and tackle discrimination. The champions will receive training from a number of partner organisations to improve their knowledge and understanding around mental health, equality and diversity, LGBT rights, conflict resolution and bystander roles and responsibilities.

Thanks again to Catherine Millan and Stephanie Lonsdale  for bringing this project to life.


Book of the month-So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

Book of the month- So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo.

Oluo offers a contemporary, accessible take on the racial landscape in America, addressing head-on issues of privilege, police brutality, intersectionality, micro-aggressions, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the “N” word. Perfectly positioned to bridge the gap between people of colour and white Americans struggling with race complexities, So You Want to Talk About Race answers the questions readers don’t dare ask, and explains the concepts that continue to elude everyday Americans.


Issues of race in Secondary Education: Breaking through the concrete ceiling

Dwain Brandy


Black Asian Minority Ethnic (abbreviated to BAME) practitioners are disproportionately under-represented in leadership positions in Secondary schools in England. There is a lack of inclusivity within the literature supporting the Distributed Leadership (DL) theory; power is currently distributed using the literature as a guidance which has implications due to a colorblind approach (Mabokela and Madsen, 2003) that fails to address issues of race and diversity. This study argues that institutionalized barriers within the recruitment process contribute towards the lack of BAME practitioners in leadership positions, examines the barriers for entry and discusses how the DL structure requires a new outlook in order to become inclusive for all practitioners. This paper concludes with the critical analysis of leadership development programs that are used to support BAME practitioners.


There is increasing concern that Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) teachers are under-represented in all levels of education in England. Furthermore, they are less likely to be promoted into leadership positions compared to their white counterparts (Johnson & Campbell Stevens, 2013; Coleman, 2010; Bush et al, 2006; Steel, 2015; DfE, 2015b). BAME practitioners appointed in leadership positions in secondary schools are only 3.6%, whilst BAME learner numbers have increased since 2006, 27.9% of learners in secondary schools are now from BAME origins (Johnson & Campbell Stevens, 2013, DfE, 2016c). There is an urgent need to address the diversity of teachers in leadership positions within schools to highlight the changing demographic of the student population (Johnson & Campbell Stevens, 2014). A diverse leadership team represents the expectation of equality for learners and creates positive stereotypes as opposed to the subordinate roles that are often associated to staff from BAME origin as discussed by Lumby (2008: 2,19). The statistics present a major concern; the ratio of BAME leaders to BAME students is disproportionate compared to that of their White counterparts.

This report will critically investigate the systematic barriers in education that prevent BAME teachers from attaining a leadership position in secondary schools. The first section of this assignment identifies barriers that a BAME group faces throughout the recruitment process, focusing on labelling, characteristics and discrimination. It will then go on to critically analyse barriers relating to inclusivity associated to the Distributed Leadership framework. It will then proceed to identify the gaps and areas of disregard when addressing issues of equality for BAME groups. Finally, it will analyse dedicated leadership programmes and the use role modelling used to support BAME practitioners.

Barriers and Limitations

Ethnicity and labelling


BAME is the latest terminology used to summarize ethnic groups in England. The main characteristic that people associated to the BAME group have in common, is that they are non-white British within the UK (Lumby and Coleman, 2016; Gillborn, 2008). Aspinal’s (2002) work on collective terminology is complemented by Richardson (2006). The research argues that using the label BAME could present limitations as the term Minority has connotations of inferiority, whilst the majority, being white people, belong to a single dominant group. Whilst the use of Black and Asian does not imply that the two ethnic groups belong to a minority. Ethnic grouping does not cater for the individual needs of different ethnic backgrounds. For example, issues of islamophobia as discussed by (Shah, 2010) is typically directed at Muslims commonly from an Eastern Asian origin may not apply to other ethnic groups within the BAME group. Therefore, issues need to be addressed independently rather than being placed in ‘ethnic groups’ (Corrigan, 2013; Gunter, 2004; Lumby, 2013) as it fails to cater for particular needs of individual ethnic groups.

Conversely, labels can be useful in highlighting areas of discrimination that ordinarily may be missed. If ethnic groups were not differentiated through the use of different labels, it would be more difficult to identify disparities within the education system for different groups of people. Together the studies from Aspinal (2002) and Richardson (2006) provide important insights into the limitations associated to terminology used to label collective ethnic groups. By adopting a more specific labelling system to cater to the needs of individual ethnicities, this might be a possible solution to break the stigma and negativity associated to the existing labels. This is further justified by the diversity of pupil demographics within the school sector in the UK. This view is supported by Lumby and Coleman (2016:108) who draws on the work of Campbell Stevens (2009), who has proposed the new appropriate term, Black and Global Majority (BGM).

Discrimination: Negative vs Positive

Various forms of discrimination (subtle and overt) could negatively impact the progression of BAME teachers going into leadership position as argued by Steel (2015). Studies by Bush et al (2006), Coleman & Campbell Stevens (2010) and Steel (2015) calls our attention to negative discrimination experienced by BAME senior leaders. The practitioners experienced discrimination through racism, negative stereotyping, isolation (Ogunbawo, 2012), low expectations and marginalization into roles relating to ethnicity. Positive discrimination has enabled some BAME practitioners to progress into leadership roles, and have found it advantageous Bush et al (2006). This has been supported by Ofsted Chief, Sir Michael Wilshaw who states in an interview; –

‘If I had two people applying for a job of equal merit and I felt we needed to increase the number of teachers from ethnic minority backgrounds to the staff then I would apply positive discrimination – as long as the two people were of equal merit’ (BBC News, 2015: unpaged)

Cases of positive discrimination are rare compared to the negative discrimination yet has a negative impact on BAME practitioners Ogunbawo (2012). Similarly, Coleman & Campbell Stevens (2010) study with BAME leaders in education concludes that positive discrimination is generally resented as it is counterproductive and has been used to benefit BAME practitioners on an individual basis. A long term solution has been suggested by Lumby, (2016) by schools creating and inclusive ethos that is reflected through training, policies and leadership structures.


Research confirms characteristics relating to race gender, religion and ethnicity have become barriers for progression for BAME (NASUWT and National College 2009; Steel, 2015; Coleman, 2010). Examples of barriers for progression related to characteristics is documented in the early work of Bass (1990), who outlined characteristics that are advantageous to becoming a successful leader. Social background and physical characteristics are two examples documented within the literature that are desirable attributes in increasing a leader’s chances of success.

Not all characteristics are accessible, resulting in inequality as agued by Di Tomaso and Hooijerg, (1996: 173-4) cited Gunter (2006) who states that native born white males have an advantage over other ethnicities in regards to higher paid jobs and promotions. Females in leadership positions are also disproportionately under-represented when compared to white males as discussed by Lumby and Coleman (2007), Fitzgerald (2003), Grant (2005) and Davidson (1992). However, complications arise for BAME females as further implications arise relating to gender and breaking through the concrete ceiling (Davidson, 1997) as biological characteristics relate to gender, whilst race also contributes to the additional discrimination (Coleman and Campbell Stevens, 2010). Leithwood, (2009) reviews traits and cognitive characteristics that are synonymous to leadership in education, but fail to mention characteristics that affect individuals of BAME origin. This is an example of a neutral race free pattern that is common in published literature focusing on Educational leadership. This fails to address characteristics that could be subjected to discrimination as argued by Lumby (2013). It includes ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and religion; presenting additional barriers for entry before even starting the application stage as discussed by (Coleman & Campbell Stevens, 2010).


Barriers within the recruitment process impact the progression of BAME teachers. Cultural barriers (Steel, 2015), Age (Bush et al, 2006; Coleman, 2010), Gender (Davidson, 1997), Ethnicity (Wilkins & Lall, 2011), Self-Confidence (Johnson & Campbell Stevens, 2013), Isolation and exclusion (Ogunbawo, 2012) are common barriers that prevent BAME practitioners from achieving a leadership position in education, explored by NASUWT and National College (2009). This combined with intersectionality, the focus of multiple characteristics (Lumby and Coleman, 2016), presents a complex picture for BAME practitioners to become appointed into senior roles in education.

During the recruitment process, Intersectionality (Lumby and Coleman, 2016) combined with unconscious bias (Beattie, 2012) is a recipe that could impact BAME applicants through negative discrimination. BAME practitioners are more likely to be stereotyped and profiled during a pre-selection process when applying for a role (Tillman, 2012). In a study by Bertrand and Muller (2004), a thousand resumes with a range of identities with the same credentials were sent out. The resumes contained Caucasian American sounding names and traditional African American names. The study found that White Americans had a 50% advantage of being selected over African Americans.

An example of good practice for encouraging diversity exists at the University of Manchester (University of Manchester, 2016), during the recruitment process they use an Implicit Association Test Beattie (2012), which measures unconscious attitudes to create a fairer employment procedure. A similar system in the secondary education recruitment process would be beneficial to promote quality and diversity. Similarly, the government funded charity, Teach First (2015), has restricted the occurrence of unconscious bias within their own recruitment. Through the ‘Name Blind’ process, a cohort of BAME trainee teachers has increased to 15%. This is evidence that similar ‘nameless’ systems should be considered as policy across the UK workforce as it promotes diversity and reduces discrimination.

Distributed Leadership


Previous research has established that literature supporting the Distributed Leadership (DL) Theory has failed to acknowledge potential issues relating to inclusion, such as race, gender or religion, therefore creating barriers within the structure preventing BAME practitioners being appointed into leadership positions (Lumby 2013). Lumby has also argued that content in leading literature concerning DL, has failed to address fundamental issues of race and gender. Instead, the literature has been designed for practitioners with a unified identity, creating a delusional stance of inclusivity that ultimately excludes members of the BAME community (Gunter, 2004; Lumby, 2013; Johnson & Campbell Stevens, 2013).

DL has become the normative Leadership model in Education (Preedy, 2016; Spillane, 2006; Gunter et al, 2013). Functional approaches attached to the theory were designed to remove dysfunction (Gunter, 2013), so if problems occur, there is a system implemented to distribute responsibilities through to secondary leaders. This has eased the pressure for Headteachers/Principals (Hartley, 2010). Theoretically, this structure is designed to be inclusive, as the label insinuates, and is at the ‘cutting edge’ of thinking about leadership activity in schools’ (Harris, 2003:125). Ultimately, this is not the case. Lumby argues that theories that fail to address or to remain silent regarding barriers in educational leadership, have a detrimental impact on the progression of equality and inclusion (Lumby, 2013; 2016). Therefore, it has been categorized as barrier research as discussed by Johnson & Campbell Stevens, (2014). Inclusivity is an important factor and needs to be clearly defined as one of the core principals within a leadership framework.

Power and Distribution

The distribution of power is categorised under ‘Functional- Descriptive’ where it is focused on the ‘functioning processes’ of schools as discussed by Gunter (2013:6). With DL, the power remains with the Headteacher or Principal through design Spillane (2006), where leaders could decide individually or collectively on how responsibility could be distributed. Gronn (2002) citing Wenger (2000:429) suggests that a multiple leadership structure allows everyone within an organisation to contribute and progress into a leadership position, which is not always the case. In secondary schools, roles are commonly compartmentalized under the distributed leadership framework, with multiple layers of hierarchy. In many cases, power is distributed through subsumption, a hierarchy where each layer of responsibility has incremented power as discussed by Gronn (2002).

The DL theory used as a framework has major implications. The theory is still undefined therefore it is subject to the leader’s interpretation (Lumby and Coleman, 2016b; Harris, 2016). How leaders implement the DL framework relies on the functional roles stated in leadership literature, which typically focuses on how to perform its functions (Storey, 2004). This paradoxically has caused a hierarchical structure where power could be interpreted as delegation rather than distribution, contradicting the inclusive ethos associated to the framework (Lumby, 2016; Harris, 2003; Harris, 2016; Mifsud, 2015). From a leadership perspective, Coleman & Campbell-Stephens (2010) discusses the challenges of BAME leaders distributing power. Practitioners often face racism when in leadership positions, as staff have been undermined by authority based on ethnicity. This presents issues relating to inequalities and power resulting in barriers to lead (Lumby, 2013). Issues of race or any other barriers relating to BAME have not been addressed in any of the leading publications based on distributed leadership, this will need to be addressed in order to create an inclusive leadership framework.

Removing dysfunction

An increasing amount of scholars (Gronn ,2016; Woods, 2016; Diamond and Spillane 2016), have critiqued the DL framework and propose alternative frameworks for DL. This has started to address inclusion and exclusion relating to the BAME community. Woods (2016) argues that social authority is an alternative method used to increase social interactions to break down the hierarchical framework commonly used when implementing a DL framework. Social authority does not have a principal or head of the organization that holds the majority of the power. Diamond and Spillane (2016) have suggested a new theory based on their research on distributed practice by highlighting implications of leadership and BAME communities. This acknowledges the changing environment in demographics in school education. It also mentions the importance of social interaction and the need for additional research. This is a breakthrough into the emergence of a leadership network that addresses issues of equality. In order to become more inclusive to BAME groups, the literature will be more relevant if it addresses the potential limitations and invest in research to improve entry for BAME groups into leadership positions.

Dismantling the concrete Barriers

Leadership Programs

Government initiatives have been implemented to help increase the number of BAME practitioners in leadership positions (DfE, 2015a). Numbers are increasing as more BAME are joining the teaching profession. New BAME trainee teachers were 14% of the total cohort between 2015 -2016, which was an increase of 2% compared to the previous academic year (DfE, 2015b; 2016b). Despite such increase, there are still not enough teachers joining the profession and a disproportionate amount of BAME trainee teachers underachieve and drop out of Initial Teacher Training (Wilkins, 2011). This is a contributing factor to the under-representation of BAME teachers. Steel (2015) forecasts that an additional 14,429 secondary teachers will need to be appointed to represent the total BAME learners in state funded secondary schools.

According to the charities; The Future Leaders Trust, Teach First and Teaching Leaders, up to 20,000 headteachers and senior leaders are due to retire by the year 2020 (BBC, 2016). This could be significant for schools towards building a diverse workforce in leadership positions in secondary schools in order to better represent the increase of BAME students. Government supported leadership programs such as the Leadership Equality and Diversity Fund, Future Leaders and Teach First have been introduced to increase the number of practitioners including those from BAME background.

Bespoke leadership development programs have been successful in increasing BAME practitioners in leadership positions. Investing in Diversity was set up specifically for BAME, funded by the London Centre of Leadership. Research was conducted focusing on the success of the ‘Investing in Diversity Program’ where 250 BAME participants were interviewed (Johnson and Campbell-Stephens, 2013). Two thirds of the participants who applied for promotion in leadership positions were successful. Almost all participants mentioned that the program was beneficial in clarifying areas of professional development and opened more opportunities to lead. BAME leadership development schemes are successful in preparing BAME candidates and developing confidence to overcome barriers. Bespoke leadership programs have been effective, due to the personalized approach breaking the legacy of ‘colorblind’ (Mabokela and Madsen, 2003; Johnson & Campbell Stevens, 2010; 2014) leadership programs that have failed to address the barriers that exclude BAME practitioners from achieving a leadership position in education. Topics such as social context, moral purpose and cultural awareness are examples of a personalized approach to help BAME practitioners to overcome barriers to promotion as discussed by Coleman (2010) and Johnson and Campbell-Stephens 2010; 2013). On the contrary this has been viewed as positive discrimination (Ogunbawo, 2012: p161) as some professionals have described BAME bespoke leadership programs as ‘patronizing’ and ‘inappropriate’. Ultimately the Investing in Diversity program has developed an innovative way of addressing areas of diversity and inclusion that would be beneficial to incorporate within major leadership development schemes.

The success of Investing in Diversity scheme emphasizes the relevance of dedicated leadership programs to increase the number of BAME in leadership positions and to help BAME practitioners overcome barriers and limitations as discussed in section 1 and 2. Substantial effort is required by mainstream government funded leadership development schemes to ensure that fairness, equality and diversity is embedded to be inclusive for all future leaders Ogunbawo (2012). This would start to increase the representation of BAME practitioners to reflect the diversity of BAME learners.

Role models

BAME leaders play an important role for BAME teachers to make a transition into leadership positions, breaking through the metaphorical concrete ceiling as discussed by Coleman (2010), Maylor (2009) and (Steel, 2015). The representation of BAME role models in leadership positions reinforces a positive mindset which will challenge cultural stereotypes and improve aspirations, encouraging BAME practitioners to aspire towards leadership positions in education.

Furthermore, there are also negative role models that plague communities that have become normalised for some youths living within inner city communities, commonly associated with a low economic status. (See Video below). This is an extreme example of negative stereotypes and role models; however, it reinforces the importance of positive role models in all levels of education.

Disclaimer: The following video has foul language viewer discretion advised

*Original video credit :Paul Mckenzie 

Interviews of BAME headteachers in studies conducted by Johnson & Campbell Stevens (2013) Bush et al (2006) and Steel (2015) has revealed informal groups and mentoring has been beneficial in the pursuit of leadership positions. Contrary, Lumby (2007:106) draws on the work of Delgado (1991) who argues that ‘role modelling is supporting assimilation to the majority’. This relates to the importance of embracing culture and identity Bush et al (2006), these are important characteristics for BAME role models to promote inclusion and diversity. Overall, BAME role models emulate a visual representation of what could be achieved, which is essential to attract quality BAME practitioners in leadership positions. It is vital for leaders to recognize the importance of a diverse leadership structure to address negative stereotypes of BAME being associated to subordinate roles within schools (Colman, 2010) and become role models for the future generation of learners and aspiring leaders from BAME backgrounds.


This report has argued the importance of inclusion throughout the recruitment process and has revealed a range of systematic barriers which have contributed to the under-representation of BAME practitioners in leadership positions. Characteristics associated to BAME practitioners add disadvantage due to additional barriers that could fuel discrimination through the recruitment process, unless unconscious biases are addressed throughout.

Structural barriers within leadership frameworks, such as DL, need to be addressed to become more inclusive to inspire the future generation of teachers from BAME backgrounds, as it provides a route into breaking cultural stereotypes as discussed by Maylor (2009) and Steel (2015).

The government has introduced schemes to improve the number of BAME which has contributed to an increase in BAME practitioners through a range of training recruitment incentives. This has contributed towards an increase of BAME numbers, however they will be coming into a system that is still restrictive with race based inequalities (Johnson & Campbell Stevens, 2014) and structural barriers. Leaders are responsible for the education of staff when dealing with issues based on equity and equality, ensuring inclusivity is a part of a schools’ vision as discussed by Beattie (2012) and Lumby and Coleman, (2016). In order to dismantle the long line of subliminal institutionalized racism, a new outlook focusing on equality and fairness will have to be introduced on a national level on how schools are structured and managed (Johnson & Campbell Stevens, 2014).


Aspinall, P.J., 2002. Collective Terminology to Describe the Minority Ethnic Population The Persistence of Confusion and Ambiguity in Usage. Sociology36(4), pp.803-816.

Bass, B., & Stogdill, Ralph M. (1990). Bass & Stogdill’s handbook of leadership: Theory, research, and managerial applications (3rd ed.). New York ; London: Free Press.

BBC news (2015). Ofsted ‘positive discrimination’ call. Available: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-30720203. Last accessed 24th August 2016

BBC. (2016). Schools ‘could be 19,000 heads and deputies short by 2022’. Available: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-37941501. Last accessed 12th Dec 2016.

Beattie, G and Patrick Johnson (2012) Possible unconscious bias in recruitment and promotion and the need to promote equality, Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education, 16:1, 7-13, DOI: 10.1080/13603108.2011.611833

Bertrand, M. and Mullainathan, S., 2004. Are Emily and Greg more employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A field experiment on labor market discrimination. The American Economic Review94(4), pp.991-1013.

Bush T, Glover D, Sood K (2006) Black Minority ethnic leaders in England: a portrait, School Leadership & Management. 26.3, 289-305, DOI.10.1080/13632430600737140

Campbell-Stephens, R (2009) ‘Investing in diversity: changing the face (and heart) of educational leadership’, School Leadership and Management, 29 (3): 321-31

Coleman M, & Campbell-Stephens, R (2010) Perceptions of career progress: the experience of Black and Minority Ethnic school leaders, School Leadership & Management, 30:1, 35-49, DOI: 10.1080/13632430903509741

Corrigan, J (2013) Distributed leadership: rhetoric or reality? Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 35:1, 66-71, DOI: 10.1080/136680X.2013.748479

Davidson, M.J. and Cooper, C.L., 1992. Shattering the glass ceiling: The woman manager. Paul Chapman Publishing.

Davidson, M (1997) The Black and Ethnic Minority Women Manager: Cracking the Concrete Ceiling. London

Delgado, R. (1991) Affirmation action a majoritarian device: or, Do you really want to be a role model? Michigan Law Review, Vol 89. No. 5, pp. 1222-1231.

Department for Education (2015a). Initial teacher training census for the academic year 2014.Available https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/380175/ITT_CENSUS_2014-15_FINAL.pdf. Last accessed 22nd Nov 2016.

Department for Education (2015b) Grants to Help Boost Diversity in Senior School Leadership, London, Department for Education, Available from: 42 https://www.gov.uk/government/news/grants-to-help-boost-diversity-in-senior-schoolleadership [Accessed 15th November 2016].

Department for Education. (2016b). Initial teacher training census for the academic year 2015 to 2016. Available: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/478098/ITT_CENSUS_SFR_46_2015_to_2016.pdf. Last accessed 22nd Nov 2016.

Department for Education. (2016c) Schools, pupils and their characteristics: January 2016. Available: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/552342/SFR20_2016_Main_Text.pdf. Last accessed 10th Dec 2016.

Department for Education (2016d). School Revenue funding: current funding arrangements. Available: https://consult.education.gov.uk/funding-policy-unit/schools-national-funding-formula/supporting_documents/Current_funding_system.pdf. Last accessed 10th Dec 2016.

Diamond, J and Spillane, J (2016) School leadership and management from a distributed perspective: A 2016 retrospective and prospective Management in Education, vol. 30 no. 4 139-140. doi: 10.1177/0892020616665938

Di’Tomaso, N. and Hooijberg, R. (1996) ‘Diversity and the Demands of Leadership’, Leadership Quarterly 7 (2): 163-87

Fitzgerald. (2003). Interrogating orthodox voices: gender, ethnicity and educational leadership. School Leadership and Management. 23 (4), 431-444

Gillborn, D. (2008) Racism and Education. London: Routledge. 2-25

Grant C. (2005). Teacher leadership: gendered responses and interpretations. Agenda Empowering women for gender equality. 19 (65), 44-57.

Gronn, P. (2002). Distributed leadership as a unit of analysis. The leadership quarterly, 13(4), pp.423-451.

Gronn, P (2016). Fit for purpose no more? Management in Education October 2016 30: 168-172, first published on September 7, 2016 doi:10.1177/0892020616665065

Gunter, H (2004) Labels and Labelling in the Field of Educational Leadership, Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 25:1, 21-41, DOI: 10.1080/0159630042000178464

Gunter, H (2006) Educational leadership and diversity Educational Management, Administration and Leadership, 34 (2), 257-268. DOI: 10.1177/1741143206062497

Gunter, H.M., Hall, D., and Bragg, J. (2013) Distributed Leadership: a study of knowledge production. Educational Management Administration and Leadership. 41 (5) 556 – 581.DOI 10.1177/1741143213488586

Hartley, D., 2010. Paradigms: How far does research in distributed leadership ‘stretch’?. Educational Management Administration & Leadership38(3), pp.271-285.

Harris, A. and DeFlaminis, J., 2016. Distributed leadership in practice Evidence, misconceptions and possibilities. Management in Education, p.0892020616656734.

Johnson, L. and Campbell-Stephens, R., 2010. Investing in Diversity in London schools: Leadership preparation for Black and Global Majority educators. Urban Education45(6), pp.840-870.

Johnson, L. and Campbell-Stephens, R., 2013. Developing the next generation of black and global majority leaders for London schools. Journal of Educational Administration51(1), pp.24-39.

Johnson, L. and Campbell-Stephens, R., 2014. Beyond the colorblind perspective: Centering issues of race and culture in leadership preparation programs in Britain and the United States. In International handbook of educational leadership and social (in) justice (pp. 1169-1185). Springer Netherlands.

Leithwood, K., Mascall, B. and Strauss, T. eds., 2009. Distributed leadership according to the evidence. Routledge. 223-251

Lumby, J. and Coleman, M. (2007) Leadership and Diversity. London: Sage 2 – 43-45, 75-120

Lumby, J, 2013. Distributed leadership the uses and abuses of power. Educational Management Administration & Leadership41(5), pp.581-597.

Lumby, J (2016b). Distributed leadership as fashion or fad, Management in Education October 2016 30: 161-167, first published on September 7, 2016 doi:10.1177/0892020616665065

Lumby, J and Coleman, M (2016) Leading for Equality, Making Schools Fairer. London: Sage. 17-27, 37-44, 78-89. 106, 108, 111-117, 172-184

Macbeath, J (2009) Distributed Leadership: Paradigms, Policy and Paradox. Leithwood, K. Mascall, B. Strauss, T. Distributed Leadership according to the evidence. New York: Routledge. P41 – 57

Maylor (2009) ‘They do not relate to Black people like us’: Black teachers as role models for Black pupils, Journal of Education Policy, 24:1, 1-21, DOI10.1.1080/0680930802382946

Mabokela, R.O. and Madsen, J.A., 2005. ‘Color‐blind ‘and ‘color‐conscious’ leadership: A case study of desegregated suburban schools in the USA. International Journal of Leadership in Education8(3), pp.187-206.

NASUWT and National College (2009). The leadership aspirations and careers of black and minority ethnic teachers, National College for Schools and Children’s Services. Nottingham

Mifsud, D (2015): Distributed leadership in a Maltese College: the voices of those among whom leadership is ‘distributed’ and who concurrently narrate themselves as leadership distributor, international journal of Leadership in Education, DOI: 10.1080/13603124.2015.1018335

Ogunbawo, D., 2012. Developing Black and Minority Ethnic Leaders The Case for Customized Programmes. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 40(2), pp.158-174.

Preedy, M (2016) Distributed leadership: Where are we now? Management in Education, vol. 30 no. 4 139-140. doi: 10.1177/0892020616664279

Richardson, R. (2006). To BME or not to BME?. Available: http://www.insted.co.uk/bme-article.pdf. Last accessed 4th Dec 2016

Shah, S. and Shaikh, J., 2010. Leadership progression of Muslim male teachers: interplay of ethnicity, faith and visibility. School Leadership and Management, 30(1), pp.19-33.

Spillane.J (2006) Distributed Leadership. USA. A Willey Print

Steel, S. (2015). Race to the Top 2: Diversity in Education. Available: http://www.elevationnetworks.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Race-to-The-Top-2-Diversity-In-Education1.pdf. Last accessed 15th Aug 2016

Storey A (2004) The problem of distributed leadership in schools, School Leadership & Management, 24:3, 249-265. DOI: 10.1080/13633243042000266918

Teach First. (2015). Teach First and key supporters pledge to operate recruitment on a ‘name blind’ basis to address discrimination. Available: https://www.teachfirst.org.uk/news/teach-first-and-key-supporters-pledge-operate-recruitment-%E2%80%98name-blind%E2%80%99-basis-address. Last accessed 3rd Jan 2017.

Tillman, L.C., 2012. Inventing ourselves: An informed essay for Black female scholars in educational leadership. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education25(1), pp.119-126.

Steel, S. (2015). Race to the Top 2: Diversity in Education. Available: http://www.elevationnetworks.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Race-to-The-Top-2-Diversity-In-Education1.pdf. Last accessed 15th Aug 2016

University of Manchester. (2016). Equality and diversity. Available: http://www.manchester.ac.uk/connect/jobs/equality-diversity/. Last accessed 29th Dec 2016.

Wenger, E., 2000. Communities of practice and social learning systems. Organization7(2), pp.225-246.

Wilkins, C. and Lall, R., 2011. ‘You’ve got to be tough and I’m trying’: Black and minority ethnic student teachers’ experiences of initial teacher education. Race Ethnicity and Education14(3), pp.365-386.

Woods, P.A., 2016. Authority, power and distributed leadership. Management in Education30(4), pp.155-160.

Black History Month: It’s time to change our approach

Catherine Millan delivering a Black History workshop at Oasis Media CityUK

The appalling events at St Winefride’s Catholic primary school , where teachers asked children to dress as slaves as part of a Black History Month celebrations is more evidence that we need a new dynamic approach teaching Black History in our schools.

I am a passionate activist for a balanced global curriculum that is inclusive for all learners. As it currently stands, the Black Global Majority student population has continued to increase annually with an increase from 27.9% to 29.1% between 2016 and 2017, yet the national curriculum still takes a colourblind approach when dealing with global topics and issues (Demie, 2005).

There is a need for curricula that addresses the specific histories and cultures of racially marginalised students as discussed by Chikkatur (2013). Without the contributions of Black and Global Majority citizens, this country would not be the Great Britain as we know it today.  It is up to us to take a stance to introduce Black History and its contributions into our curriculum on a micro, meso and macro level. It is important to make curriculum links with Black and Global Majority inventors, scientists, civilisations etc, as various studies have found that it will help students to raise their aspirations and understand the background and development of our diverse society (King, 2016; Martell, 2014; Richardson, 2007). A good time to introduce this would be during Black History Month.

This year we used the amazing Catherine Millan from the University of Manchester, who delivered a workshop for young people and teachers about Black History Month and why it exists. Catherine has lots of experience in anti-racist work, having previously created a teaching pack with the Anthony Walker Foundation.

You can contact Catherine directly at Catherine.millan@manchester.ac.uk

Chikkatur, A., 2013. Teaching and learning African American history in a multiracial classroom. Theory & Research in Social Education41(4), pp.514-534.

Demie, F., 2005. Achievement of Black Caribbean pupils: good practice in Lambeth schools. British Educational Research Journal31(4), pp.481-508.

King, L.J., 2016. Teaching black history as a racial literacy project. Race Ethnicity and Education19(6), pp.1303-1318.

Martell, C.C., 2013. Race and histories: Examining culturally relevant teaching in the US history classroom. Theory & Research in Social Education41(1), pp.65-88.

Richardson, B. ed., 2007. Tell it like it is: How our schools fail Black children. Bookmarks.

Investing in the Diversity of Black and Global Majority Leaders in Schools

Dwain Brandy and Rosemary Campbell-Stephens MBE

The groundbreaking Investing in Diversity training was set up by Rosemary Campbell-Stephens,  specifically for practitioners of Black and Global Majority (BGM) heritage. This bespoke leadership programs has been effective due to the personalised approach breaking the legacy of previous ‘colorblind’ leadership programs that have failed to address the barriers that exclude BGM practitioners from achieving a leadership position in education.

This weekend I was delighted to be involved in the Authentic Leader BGM development residential. The programme built on the investing and diversity legacy with a focus on authenticity and the principles of success in leadership. Hosted by Rosemary Campbell-Stephens, on behalf of the BGM leadership development programme, organised by David Hermitt, the CEO of Congleton Multi-Academy Trust .

Being surrounded by influential practitioners of BGM heritage, that have progressed to become  CEO’s of MATs, Head Teachers, and OFSTED inspectors was empowering. The event covered topics such as social context, moral purpose and cultural awareness . These are examples of a personalised approach to help BGM practitioners to overcome barriers to promotion.

Current statistics show that only 13% of teachers and 6.9% of senior leaders in England are BGM.  The BGM leadership development programme was funded by the National College of Teaching and Learning as an initiative to increase practitioners in leadership positions

Upcoming BGM leadership events;

NUT Black Teachers’ Conference 3- 5th  November 2017


NUT Equal Access to Promotion – 24-25 November 2017 – Residential


Diana Osagie Courageous leadership: Keep checking website for new events and dates


Hannah Wilson: Diverse Educators


Coronation Street aims to increase diversity of Black / Asian characters and writers

A Young Mr Brandy serving behind the scenes in Nick’s Bistro

So Coronation Street aims to increase diversity of Black and Asian characters and writers…  and about time too! This is great news for young aspiring writers and actors from underrepresented groups. The importance of Black Global Majority role models on television  is paramount. I hope when the time comes the storylines are relevant and present  Black and Asian people  in a different light rather than the negative stereotypical roles we are use to seeing on TV .

Once upon a time I had a regular role on Coronation Street’s ‘Nicks Bistro’ as a supporting actor.  During 2010-2013 there were only a few Black and Asian Crew members and cast. As a supporting artist, I was the one of a few black male representation on the show – even though I only a muttered a few words from time to time. (See my 15 mins of fame below, blink you will miss it!)

Fast forward to 2017, there is more of a diverse representation on the cobbles which is progressive. With 17% of the cast being Black Asian origin.

Producer Kate Oates also wants to recruit writers from a wider range of ethnic backgrounds to tell their stories. Recognising that the show would benefit from greater diversity to appeal to it’s vast audience;

“And we need more black and Asian writers, to bring out the truth of those voices. It’s important to keep the show strong and relevant.” Source radio times


Beyond Black History month: Black and Global Majority (BGM) representation across the curriculum

Representation Matters. Using a range of examples of Black and Global Majority (BGM) role models across all of the subjects taught in schools will contribute towards changing the narrative of  cultural stereotypes in education.  BGM role models should be used all year round, not just during  Black history month or a themed cultural activity! This will ultimately promote positive stereotypes and provide options of alternative professional career paths that will contribute towards breaking the concrete ceiling for the future generation.  BGM representation could be used in every subject in the curriculum. For example;


Science:  George Washington Carver. Scientist and inventor of an automobile that as more sophisticated than Henry Ford’s model T

Scientist / Inventor Design and Technology: Garrett Morgan. Inventor of the traffic lights and gas mask


Image result for black wallstreet

Business Studies: The Black Wall Street (Greenwood, Tulsa) one of the most prominent concentrations of African-American businesses in the United States during the early 20th century

Image result for jerry lawson

IT / Computing: Jerry Lawson, Inventor of the modern day console


Related image

Art: Jean-Michel Basquiat. Artist and responsible for the most expensive painting sold $110 million

Image result for Maya Angelou

English: Maya Angelou

Image result for Katherine Johnson

Mathematics: Katherine Johnson Mathematics was responsible for putting the first people on the moon

Keep checking the website the summer for SoW for a range of subjects.

Rochester Grammar School Slave Auction; Racist practitioners pushing the boundaries in our schools

Rochester Grammar School in Kent- KS3 simulated slave auction exercise in History lessons.

Utter disbelief! Racism and inequality in education has always been a underlying problem,  however, its been a long time since I have witnessed an example as blatant as this.Instances like this are a  justification  for my research and dedication  towards leading  equality and diversity in education.

Related image

I will go as far to say that the  Rochester Grammar School’s ‘Slave auction task’ are the actions of practitioners with racist ideals pushing the boundaries of education. This may be through unconscious or conscious biases that need to be addressed to ensure that racism is repudiated within education.

It is imperative that equality and diversity training should be mandatory for staff and pupils to continue to educate those who lack basic common sense. Especially in the above circumstance!! Instances like this should be brought to the forefront and not be swept under the carpet like its ‘no big issue’.


Beyond the Implicit Bias test. Strategies for deep rooted diversity and equality in Education

Image result for implicit bias test animated gif

Have you taken the implicit bias test? Follow link: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html 

The test highlights your personal biases relating to issues such as gender, religion, race, skin colour etc. It is a good introduction for a whole school staff training to discuss issues relating to biases relating to discrimination in education. However, schools are at risk of using the tests as ‘edu-tainment’ – a standalone strategy to justify equality training within a school to adhere to guidelines set by the government.

Image result for implicit bias test What could we start doing to ensure that equality and diversity is embedded in your schools policies and processes?

Leading Equality has designed an audit that specifically focused on issues relating to Diversity and equality within a school. The audit tool monitors areas such as;

  • Communication strategy
  • Racism policy
  • Recruitment process
  • Staff training
  • Community cohesion
  • Data of staff and student representation
  • How the school identifies opportunities to celebrate diversity
  • The schools approach to homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying

The audit template will be available for download from the 28.07.17






Profits before Pupils? Academisation of Secondary Schools


The Government continuously lead educational change with the recurring rhetoric of autonomy and accountability. The academisation of English Local Education Authority (LEAs) secondary schools, influenced by neoliberal ideology rooted in education, (Saltman, 2014) is presented as a solution to increase educational outcomes and economic competitiveness (Bhattacharya, 2013).

This assignment argues that the educational change propelled by the Government (academisation), has subjected school leaders to a version of constrained autonomy which has been overshadowed by maximum accountability (DfE, 2010a). This paradoxical combination has resulted in additional pressure and challenges for school leaders which has ultimately resulted in social segregation and school leaders taking extreme measures to adhere to the policy, becoming actors serving a neoliberal society.

This paper investigates the policy rhetoric of ‘increased’ autonomy in relation to academisation. It also examines the impact and implications of increased autonomy and accountability on a macro, meso and micro level (Mcginity, 2015); and issues of social segregation caused by the academisation structure. It concludes by exploring issues relating to accountability and focusing on the impact of the national funding cuts in education and increased pressure through inspections and league tables, which have ultimately led to cases of school leaders taking drastic action to fulfil neoliberal quantifiable outcomes (Saltman, 2014).



The fear of England trailing behind its global competitors in educational achievements has led to a rapid expansion of academies in the English secondary school system (Francis, 2015). In 2010, the secretary of state for education, Michael Gove, announced that all underachieving secondary schools would be converted into academies. This was stated in the 2010 education reform under the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Coalition Government (DfE 2010a), with the vision of forced academisation of all Local Education Authority (LEA) schools by the year 2022 (DfE, 2016a; 2016b; McInerney, 2016). Academies fit into a neoliberal educational structure, that focuses on a corporate business approaches to achieve educational outcomes (Saltman, 2014).

The 2010 white paper outlines that this process will;

‘Increase freedom and autonomy for all schools, removing unnecessary duties and burdens, and allowing all schools to choose for themselves how best to develop.’ (DfE, 2010a:12)

‘… strengthen the performance measures we use to hold schools accountable.’ (DfE, 2010a:4)

Subsequently, the leaders of academy schools are granted increased autonomy and accountability, with the initial motive of combating underachievement and closing the gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students Gorard (2014) However, there is evidence that school leaders have been restricted to Government regulations therefore autonomy has become ‘contained and constrained’ (Keddie, 2015:6), presenting local actors leading academies in a precarious position. As discussed by Keddie (2015), the combination of increased autotomy and accountability has increased the performance targets, the achievement of which is fundamental for a school’s reputation. Consequently, there has been a rise in social segregation and inequality, as private actors are more likely to select schools and students from a high social economic background to adhere to those neoliberal targets set by the Government. This therefore increases the poverty gap that academy schools were initially designed to resolve (Gorard, 2014; West, 2014). The Academy act (DfE 2010a) was a part of a long-term vision of England competing economically in the global marketplace (Francis, 2015). However, there is of the lack of evidence to support the success of this educational reform (Mcginity. 2015).

The overall aim of this assignment is to critically analyse both the Government, who are leading educational change through academisation, and how these changes impact local actors. Specifically, it will explore issues regarding the increased autonomy and accountability related to academisation. The first section will present a brief history into the Government’s agenda concerning academies and how this has led educational change, along with the associated implications of such changes. It will then investigate issues relating to increased autonomy after the academisation relating to macro, meso and micro positions (Mcginity 2015). It will particularly focus on Sponsored and Converter academies and the relationship of autonomy between private and local actors. Finally, it will analyse the implications associated with the increased accountabilities and pressures set by the Government for any academy school to become sustainable.


Educational Change: Academies

Brief History

Image result for thatcher 

Politicians in England are renowned for replicating successful policies and reforms across the world with the aim of achieving similar outcomes (Harris, 2009). Academies are an example of a neoliberal instilled reform, replicated in English education, as a solution to raising attainment and educational outcomes in underperforming schools (Purcell, 2011). The academisation of LEA schools in England has similar characteristics to the privatisation of schools in the USA and Sweden (Francis, 2015; Salokangas, 2014). Charter schools, for example, are a product of a neoliberal logic (Wermke, 2015), and a corporate approach which is focused on competition and privatisation (Saltman, 2014).

The introduction of neoliberal objectives into English Education began in the 1970’s under the Conservative administration lead by Margaret Thatcher (Glatter, 2012). This new approach was a direct response to the high amount of control that LEAs were perceived to have in education. Neoliberal objectives aimed to redistribute control of the budget and give autonomy back to schools (Higham, 2013). In 1988 schools became more autonomous when they were given the power to manage their own budgets and perform the functional tasks associated to operating a school (Higham, 2013). The Conservative party introduced autonomy as a neoliberal policy agenda for improvement, modelled on the success of US charter schools (Bhattacharya, 2013). Subsequently, the privatisation of education was introduced, as businesses began sponsoring schools (Gunter and McGinity, 2014; McGinity, 2015). New school models emerged such as; Local Management Schools, City Technical Collages (Walford, 2014) and Special schools.

In 2000, during the following Labour party administration, ‘Mark I’ City academy independent schools were introduced (Courtney, 2015c:808), in the form of a pilot scheme designed to raise achievement within inner city disadvantaged schools. School leaders now possessed greater freedom and increased agency through ‘corporatized autonomy’ (Courtney, 2015c:800) when compared to the constraints of LEA control. Between 2002 –2006, the second phase of academies (Mark II)­ were introduced (Courtney, 2015c). Subsequently, ‘City Academies’ were remediated to ‘academies’ (HM Gov, 2002) where the scheme was implemented outside of the cities (Walford, 2014). Now all schools had the opportunity to convert to academies, shifting the focus away from disadvantaged inner city schools (Woods et al, 2014).  And towards increased accountability (Keddie, 2015) and autonomy McGinity (2015) for all schools. This led to a change in structure and the development of Mark III academies, as outlined in the 2010 Academy Act (DfE, 2010). The Act was passed by a coalition Government with the intention of giving academies increased autonomy by liberating them from the LEAs (Keddie, 2015).



 Image result for school under construction

The academy programme has had mixed success throughout the different phases (Chapman, 2013). Conversely, scholars have reported that academies are an example of a ‘political fault’ West (2014:63), where unrealistic timelines were set to improve failing schools through academisation (Francis, 2015, Glatter, 2012). Consequently, LEA schools were outperforming academies. Data published by the Local Government Association (2017a; 2017b) and the BBC (2017a) report that 91% LEA schools are Ofsted graded ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ compared to just 85% of academies (Chapman, 2013). The Government have made it difficult to scrutinise academies (Gunter et al, 2010), subsequently, they now appeared to apply a bias towards only attributing academy type schools as successful (Gunter and McGinity, 2014; Morris, 2011). This has led to opposition from the Local Government Association, who argue for the Government to remove bureaucratic barriers to enable LEA schools to become an educational improvement partner (BBC, 2017a).

A report from the Academies Commission (2013:35) states that ‘underachievement maps closely on to social inequality’. This is an ongoing issue relating to England’s education system that has not been addressed sufficiently. In 2005, Gorard (2005:376), investigated the pilot scheme city academies programme and argued that educational changes made to address social segregation is superficial and should ‘logically mean an end to the academy itself’. This report emphasises issues of social segregation that are still present in academy schools today Gorard (2014).


Autonomy and Accountability

Macro (large-scale; overall). Government


As noted in the previous section, freedom and autonomy have been the dominant rhetoric of the Government in leading educational change (Glatter, 2012) and were a key supporting argument to justify the implementation of the Academies Act 2010 (Salokangas, 2014; DfE, 2010a).  Adopting a similar position, Machin (2011) maintains that schools with greater autonomy have an increase in educational outcomes. As schools became more autonomous, there was the expectation that educational outcomes would improve. Subsequently, academies are now in the position to control both their own budgets and daily management (Courtney and Gunter, 2015a).

Paradoxically, despite increased autonomy, school leaders must still conform to Government requirements, through national inspection via the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) and the pressure to perform well against other schools (Higham, 2013:703; Muijis et al, 2008) The Government ultimately defines the aims and purposes of how academies operate, this has been characterized as Criteria power as discussed by Higham (2013) and ‘Control’ by Woods et al (2014:325). This presents a cliché in the form of a ‘controlled decontrol’ scenario (Francis, 2015:438), where local actors function with assumed notions of autonomy. Lewis and Murphy (2008:135 – 6) describe school leaders as being more like ‘branch managers than CEO’s’, and they are described as ‘local managers’ by Courtney (2015a: 396) further suggesting that autonomy is ‘institutionalised’ Bhattacharya (2015:95) therefore constrained by the Government (Glatter, 2012).


Meso (middle; intermediate) Academisation

Operational Power


Post academisation, school leaders benefit from increased autonomy and additional freedom in approaching the functional tasks of operating an academy. This is a significant change compared to the constraints presented by the preceding LEAs.  Typical functional tasks include, customising the curriculum, agency, pedagogy and new freedoms to act in compliance with the academies financial handbook and recruit an effective team of teachers and leaders to hit the attainment targets set by the Government through educational policy documents (The Academies Commission, 2013; Papanastasiou, 2017; Education Funding Agency, 2016).  This is an example of Operational Power (Higham 2013), discussed by Fidler et al (2007).

The Academies Commission (2013) argues that educational leaders need to be focused on education, training and development for autonomy to be beneficial. It also states that a long and short term improvement plan is necessary to increase educational outcomes. Expanding networks by collaborating with other schools is essential in order to become autonomous.

It is also vital for school leaders to investigate all aspects of educational leadership, especially critical and socially critical routes, illustrated by Gunter et al (2013). This is due to the increase of social segregation that negatively impacts learners from a lower social economic background, an inadvertence relating to the increase in autonomy as discussed by McGinity (2015).



Sponsored Academies

 Image result for converter academies

In England, only schools with academy status are entitled to sponsor underperforming schools that are eligible for intervention (BBC, 2017a; Jacobson,  2017; Gunter and McGinity, 2014). Academy sponsors are funded by the Government with the purpose of ‘leveraging money from state education budget into the private sector’ (Beckett, 2010: xxii).  Therefore, declaration that a LEA school is a failure is essential to the academisation process (Saltman, 2014). Sponsored academies reside in a middle tier of hierarchy, described as ‘the area between the Government and schools’ by Woods et al (2014) illustrated in Gunter and Mcginity, (2014:305) summary of politics conversion process.

Academy sponsors that have multiple schools in their portfolio are known as academy chains. These chains have recently been scrutinised for their focus of expanding in order to increase profit rather than to improve the schools within their portfolio (Bhattacharya, 2013; Academies commission, 2013).  In relation to their governance, academies do have controlled power and autonomy (Keddie, 2015). However, the governed control resides with the central governance of an academy sponsor; this presents complexity to the level of autonomy that is distributed to educational leaders.

Salokangas (2014) established that academy chains are heavily influenced by sponsors through a centralised policy which is distributed by a hierarchal top down structure. Funding and resources are shared between academies within the chain, further constraining the amount of control a school leader maintains. Conversely, Glatter (2012) argues that school leaders should focus solely on educational matters to prevent a role overload associated with autonomy. Justifiably, this could be manipulated as Criteria control (Higham, 2013) by private actors to implement constrained autonomy. However, this could benefit newly appointed school leaders as some may not have the sufficient skills to implement the freedoms and autonomy associated with academy schools (Academies commission, 2013). Papanastasiou (2017) research concludes that policy actors construct boundaries which limit the agency of school leaders. Correspondingly, an example of a limited agency is discussed by Salokangas (2014:380) is the notion of ‘earned autonomy’, where higher performing academies have increased autonomy from the academy sponsor.  Underachieving schools have an increased presence from private actors, resulting in ‘restricted control’. This further magnifies the business like, corporate agenda associated with neoliberalism in education (Gunter, 2010).



Converter Academies

 Image result for school under construction

Schools that are graded either ‘outstanding’ or ‘good’ via Ofsted, are invited or volunteered by the governing body of a school to become a ‘converter’ academy (Jacobson, 2017; Gunter and McGinity, 2014).  Converting schools were enticed by the freedom associated with the increased autonomy of academy status and initial financial incentives. Abrams (2012) reports that newly converted academy schools were promised a cash incentive of up to half a million pounds per year by the newly formed Coalition Government. This incentive was cut in 2012.

Schools converting into academies have different levels of autonomy dependant on the type of school they were prior to conversion (Machin, 2011). Mcginity’s (2015) single case study of a secondary school undergoing conversion into an academy has confirmed that during the early stages of the academies programme, schools undergoing academisation had more autonomy to manipulate organisational structures in accordance with the 2010 academy act.

Image result for rich vs poorThere are increasing concerns that some converter academies are selecting schools in areas that have a higher social economic status, due to demographic change which could potentially alter the school’s performance. They therefore avoid lower social economic areas such as those which have a high population of social housing, an indicator of poverty (Bhattacharya, 2013; Gorard, 2014; Wermke, 2015; West, 2014; Waldfogel, 2010). Learners from a poor social economic background have lower educational outcomes than those from a more economically privileged background (Lumby, 2016). Thus, avoiding these areas contradicts the sole practical and ideological purpose of academies, namely to close the gap in achievement between average students and those from disadvantaged backgrounds (Purcell, 2011, Francis 2015, Gorard, 2014). This is an unintended consequence of budget cuts, increased autonomy and accountability.

This has become a part of the educational discourse, identified within the written submission text under Ulterior motives and risks of social segregation, where some Converter Academies compete for the best students based on achievement (Francis, 2015:441).  With the increase in autonomy and accountability, school collaboration is a sustainable alternative to combat issues of social segregation in Sponsored and Converter academies (Keddie, 2015; Higham, 2013). Expanding school networks can reduce the pressures related to autonomy from local competition.


Micro (Local level)Accountability

High Stakes

Image result for school budget cuts 

At the time of writing, school leaders now have tighter constrained governed autonomy due to national budget cuts in education. The Government has planned to save 600 million pounds from the education service grant, this has been justified by making schools ‘realise their efficiencies’ (DfE, 2015). Higham’s (2013) research highlights that funding cuts are a common challenge in relation to accountability. Consequently, 53% of single academy trusts in England are not making enough money to cover their annual expenditure (DfE 2016e. BBC news, 2017b).  DfE (2016e) expenditure report states that contingency funds were available to settle the deposit. However, established academies now must become sustainable, ensuring that the deposit is reduced. Further issues have arisen affecting school leaders of academies, as the Government has withdrawn plans of converting all school into academies (BBC, 2017c). Instead, the Government has a new agenda outlined in the Autumn Statement (H M Treasury, 2016) investing £50 million of funding supporting the controversial expansion of grammar schools to support the gifted and the talented students.

The budget cuts in education have resulted in some academies putting in a process of cost saving. Most of the school autonomy in Government policies relates back to finance. An example of this is the manifestation of a procurement plan to manage school funding (DfE, 2016d) which contributes towards a school becoming more efficient and ‘autonomous’. Academies are now pressured to become frugal. This has led to some schools restructuring the curriculum, (leading to the discontinuance of non EBacc subjects), reducing the number of school timetable hours, and in extreme cases, the dismissal of school practitioners (BBC, 2017d. BBC, 2017e).



Pros and Cons

Image result for teacher stress

As autonomy is increased, the rate of accountability is also escalated (Keddie, 2015; Salokangas, 2014), resulting in new complications and challenges for schools (Keddie, 2015). Saltman (2014) discusses the neoliberal emphasis of educational outcomes in the United States. Consequently, social segregation and the reduction of the curriculum have occurred during the privatisation of public schools into charter schools. A similar narrative has occurred during the academisation process of secondary schools in England. Since the 2010 Academies Act,  educational leaders now have increased accountability through a number of means; rigorous assessment frameworks and inspections (Woods et al, 2014); increased performance management criteria (Salokangas, 2014); increased pupil attainment outcomes to compete with National league tables regulated by inspections via Ofsted (Muijs et al, 2008; Keddie, 2015);  and new performance measures with Progress 8 and Attainment 8 metric grading systems and the associated Government attainment benchmarks. These challenges are now normative for academy type schools, as they are required to adhere to the demands of neoliberal performance outcomes (Lumby, 2016) set by the Government (Purcell, 2011).

The challenges to boost learner numbers are essential for any academy to maintain a viable position. Government funding for existing academies has been reliant on a school census whilst new academies are based on learner number predictions. Schools are funded with an average allocation of 6000 GBP per student (DfE 2016f; DfE 2017a), which is fundamental for a school to become sustainable. With the increase of autonomy, academies have more control of the admissions. As mentioned earlier, some academies have been targeting pupils from a ‘higher class’ to contribute towards their attainment outcomes, consequently discriminating pupils based on ethnicity and social demographics and thus further contributing towards divisions in society (Lumby, 2016; Keddie 2015).

Some schools have gone to extreme lengths to maintain their reputation. The BBC (2017f) have recently reported the outrageous lengths of gross-misconduct through exam malpractice an academy has undertaken to meet the performance measures. It is important for school leaders to adopt a moral standpoint and address areas of social justice and equality throughout the school. It is essential that school leaders are supported by the Government, as school leaders have been discouraged by the increase in workload leading to an increase in resignations.




As discussed by Earley (2013), change is inevitable to enable England to compete economically with other nations around the world. Therefore, it is important for schools to become autonomous to both survive rapid change and influence the future of education (Earley; 2013; Stoll et al, 2003). However, autonomy that has been associated with academies has been discursive rather than actual, resulting in little impact on educational outcomes (Keddie, 2015; Glatter, 2012). Being presented with a subsidiary version of autonomy contradicts the true purpose of autonomy and has been used in an ‘exceedingly broad fashion’ (Wermke, 2015:2). Consequently, school leaders have been left dependant on the Government, who are still ultimately responsible in leading educational change.

Schools are often left instead with the aftermath of educational change (Harris, 2009). Changes to education need to be substantial and sustainable, not just a ‘fad’ that is implemented through reforms to adhere to a neoliberal regime. If this trend of ‘cycling change for change sake’ continues, it will further justify the claim of Salokangas (2014) that England is a real world educational laboratory.

inted5Saltman (2014) and Chapman et al (2008) argue that future educational reforms need to focus on creating a more inclusive environment and both break free from and challenge the accepted norms and legacy of neoliberal ideals. If this strategy is implemented nationally over time this would become normative and redefine local and national discourses (Purcell, 2011). If not, issues relating to social segregation will continue into the next Government and beyond. There is a need for additional research focusing on the impact of ‘Converter’ academisation of an underperforming socially segregated schools, addressing issues relating to school structuring and learner outcomes.



Abrams, F (2012). No money in academy status these days. Educational Guardian, 13th April 2017. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/education/2012/jun/04/academy-status-incentive-cuts

Academies Commission. (2013). Unleashing greatness: Getting the best from an academised system. Retrieved April 14 2017, from http://www.educationengland.org.uk/documents/pdfs/2013-academies-commission.pdf

BBC news. (2017a). Call to end ban on council-run schools sponsoring academies. Available: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-38919454. Last accessed 22nd Feb 2017.

BBC news. (2017b). Half of academies fall short on funding. Available: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-38809574. Last accessed 25th Feb 2017.

BBC News. (2017c). Treasury takes back £384m school funding. Available: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-38762243. Last accessed 25th Feb 2017.

BBC News. (2017d). Head resigns over school funding crisis. Available: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-39057276. Last accessed 25th Feb 2017.

BBC News. (2017e). School days ‘could be shortened’ to save money at seven schools. Available: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-39055714?intlink_from_url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/topics/66fd9b9b-0efa-4254-a7fe-fe39d9c266f5/department-for-education&link_location=live-reporting-story. Last accessed 25th Feb 2017.

BBC News. (2017f). Green Spring Academy: Intimidation and exam-fixing claims. Available: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-39194587. Last accessed 21st March 2017.

Beckett, F (2010). Preface. In: Gunter, H.M. ed. The state and education policy: The academies programme. Bloomsbury Publishing. pg xxii

Bhattacharya, B. (2013). Academy schools in England. Childhood education89(2), pp.94-98.

Chapman, C (2013) Academy Federations, Chains, and Teaching Schools in England: Reflections on Leadership, Policy, and Practice, Journal of School Choice, 7:3, 334-352, DOI: 10.1080/15582159.2013.808936

Chapman, C. and Gunter, H. eds., 2008. Radical reforms: Perspectives on an era of educational change. Routledge.

Courtney, S.J., 2014. Developing school leaders of diverse school types. Paper presented to the American Educational Research Association conference, 3-7 April, Philadelphia, USA.

Courtney, S.J. and Gunter, H.M., (2015a). Get off my bus! School leaders, vision work and the elimination of teachers. International Journal of Leadership in Education18(4), pp.395-417.

Courtney, S.J., (2015b). Corporatised leadership in English schools. Journal of Educational Administration and History , 47(3), 214-231.

Courtney, S.J., (2015c). Mapping school types in England. Oxford Review of Education, 41(6), pp.799-818.

Department for Education. (2015). Department for Education’s settlement at the Spending Review 2015. Available: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/department-for-educations-settlement-at-the-spending-review-2015. Last accessed 25th Feb 2017.

Department for Education. (2016a). Academies Show 2016: educational excellence everywhere. Available: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/academies-show-2016-educational-excellence-everywhere. Last accessed 31st Jan 2016.

Department for Education. (2016b). Educational Excellence Everywhere. Available: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/508447/Educational_Excellence_Everywhere.pdf. Last accessed 31st Jan 2016.

Department for Education (2016e). Income and expenditure in academies in England, 2014 to 2015. Available: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/541051/SFR27_2016_Main_Text.pdf. Last accessed 25th Feb 2017.

Department for Education (2016f). School Revenue funding: `current funding arrangements. Available: https://consult.education.gov.uk/funding-policy-unit/schools-national-funding-formula/supporting_documents/Current_funding_system.pdf. Last accessed 10th Dec 2016.

Department for Education (2017a). School Revenue funding 2017 to 2018:`Operational guide. Available: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/590167/Schools_revenue_funding_guide_updated_07_Feb_17.pdf. Last accessed 24th Mar 2017.

Department for Education. (2010a). The Importance of Teaching The Schools White Paper 2010 . Available: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/175429/CM-7980.pdf. Last accessed 11th March 2017.

Department for Education. (2016d). Buying for schools. Available: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/buying-for-schools. Last accessed 25th Feb 2017.

Earley, P., 2013. Leading and managing change: Why is it so hard to do. The Critical Factors in the discourse on SL from the perspective of equity and learning. EPNoSL Project.

Education Funding Agency. (2016). Academies financial handbook 2016 For academy members, trustees, accounting officers, chief financial officers and auditors. Available: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/535870/Academies_Financial_Handbook_2016_final.pdf. Last accessed 4th April 2017.

Fidler, B., Russell, S. and Simkins, T. eds., 1997. Choices for self-managing schools: autonomy and accountability. Paul Chapman Educational Publishing.

Francis, B., 2015. Impacting policy discourse? An analysis of discourses and rhetorical devices deployed in the case of the Academies Commission. Discourse: studies in the cultural politics of education36(3), pp.437-451.

Glatter, R., 2012. Persistent preoccupations: The rise and rise of school autonomy and accountability in England. Educational management administration & leadership40(5), pp.559-575.

Gorard, S. (2014) The link between Academies in England, pupil outcomes and local patterns of socio-economic segregation between schools, Research Papers in Education, 29:3, 268-284, DOI: 10.1080/02671522.2014.885726

Gunter, H.M. and McGinity, R., 2014. The politics of the Academies Programme: natality and pluralism in education policy-making. Research Papers in Education29(3), pp.300-314.

Gunter, H.M., Hall, D., and Bragg, J. (2013) Distributed Leadership: a study of knowledge production. Educational Management Administration and Leadership. 41 (5) 556 – 581.DOI 10.1177/1741143213488586

H M Treasury . (2016). Policy paper: Autumn Statement 2016. Available: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/autumn-statement-2016-documents/autumn-statement-2016. Last accessed 25th Feb 2017.

Harris, A., 2009. Big change question: does politics help or hinder education change?. Journal of Educational Change10(1), pp.63-67.

Higham, R. and Earley, P., 2013. School Autonomy and Government Control School Leaders’ Views on a Changing Policy Landscape in England. Educational Management Administration & Leadership41(6), pp.701-717.

HM Government. (2002). Education Act 2002. Available: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2002/32/contents. Last accessed 27th Mar 2017.

Jacobson Browne (2017). Academy Conversions. Available: https://www.brownejacobson.com/education/services/academy-conversions. Last accessed 25th March 2017

Keddie, A., 2015. School autonomy, accountability and collaboration: a critical review. Journal of educational administration and history47(1), pp.1-17.

Lewis, P. and Murphy, R., 2008. New directions in school leadership. School leadership and management, 28(2), pp.127-146.

Local Government Association. (2017a). Maintained schools outperforming academies – Time for councils to support failing academies. Available: http://www.local.gov.uk/media-releases/-/journal_content/56/10180/8230765/NEWS. Last accessed 24th Feb 2017.

Local Government Association. (2017b). Inspection Statistics: Council Maintained Schools & Academies. Available: http://www.local.gov.uk/documents/10180/11431/Academies+and+LA+maintained+schools+2017.pdf/dd0ad0be-918f-4e38-8a8d-23878276d53a. Last accessed 24th Feb 2017.

Lumby, J. and Coleman, M., 2007. Leadership and diversity: Challenging theory and practice in education. Sage.

Lumby, J. and Coleman, M., 2016. Leading for Equality: Making Schools Fairer. Sage. Pg 19, 155

Machin, S. and Vernoit, J., 2011. Changing School Autonomy: Academy Schools and Their Introduction to England’s Education. CEE DP 123. Centre for the Economics of Education (NJ1).

McGinity, R., 2015. Innovation and autonomy at a time of rapid reform: an English case study. Nordic Journal of Studies in Educational Policy1(2).

McInerney, L (2016). This academies plan doesn’t address schools’ real problems. Educational Guardian, 25 March 2017. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/16/academies-schools-problems-george-osborne

Morris, E. (2011). Stephen Twigg will not rush to judge on education policy. Education Guardian, 25 October. Retrieved from http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2011/oct/24/stephentwigg-free-schools-education-policy

Muijis, D. Chapman, C (2008). Accountability for improvement Rhetoric or reality. In: Chapman, C. and Gunter, H. eds. Radical reforms: Perspectives on an era of educational change. Routledge, .pp. 31, 33-34,

Natalie Papanastasiou (2017) Practices of boundary-work in the collaboration between principals and private sponsors in England’s academy schools, Journal of Education Policy, 32:1, 82-99, DOI: 10.1080/02680939.2016.1230785

Purcell, K., 2011. Discourses of aspiration, opportunity and attainment: promoting and contesting the Academy schools programme. Children’s Geographies9(1), pp.49-61.

Salokangas, M. and Chapman, C., 2014. Exploring governance in two chains of academy schools: A comparative case study. Educational Management Administration & Leadership42(3), pp.372-386.

Saltman, K., (2014). Neoliberalism and Corporate School Reform: “Failure” and “Creative Destruction”. Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies, 36(4), 249–259

Stoll, L., Fink, D. and Earl, L.M., 2003. It’s about learning (and it’s about time). Psychology Press.*

Waldfogel, J. and Washbrook, E.V., 2010. Low income and early cognitive development in the UK.

Walford, G., 2014. From city technology colleges to free schools: sponsoring new schools in England. Research papers in education29(3), pp.315-329.

Wermke, W. and Salokangas, M., 2015. Autonomy in education: theoretical and empirical approaches to a contested concept: Special Issue of Nordic Journal on Studies on Educational Policy, NordSTEP.

West, A (2014) Academies in England and independent schools (fristående skolor) in Sweden: policy, privatisation, access and segregation, Research Papers in Education, 29:3, 330-350, DOI: 10.1080/02671522.2014.885732

Woods, P. and Simkins, T., 2014. Understanding the local: Themes and issues in the experience of structural reform in England. Educational Management Administration & Leadership42(3), pp.324-340.



Barriers and limitations: How are you labelled? BAME? BME? Black Asian Minority Ethnic?

BAME is the latest terminology used to summarize ethnic groups in England. The main characteristic that people associated to the BAME group have in common, is that they are non-white British within the UK.

Aspinal’s (2002) work on collective terminology is complemented by Richardson (2006). using the label ‘BAME’ could present limitations as the term Minority has connotations of inferiority, whilst the majority, being white people, belong to a single dominant group. Whilst the use of Black and Asian does not imply that the two ethnic groups belong to a minority.

Ethnic grouping does not cater for the individual needs of different ethnic backgrounds. For example, issues of islamophobia  is typically directed at Muslims commonly from an Eastern Asian origin may not apply to other ethnic groups within the BAME group. Therefore, issues need to be addressed independently rather than being placed in ‘ethnic groups’ as it fails to cater for particular needs of individual ethnic groups.

For the full report visit


How does unconscious bias affect you?


An example of good practice for encouraging diversity exists at the University of Manchester (University of Manchester, 2016), during the recruitment process they use an Implicit Association Test Beattie (2012), which measures unconscious attitudes to create a fairer employment procedure. A similar system in the secondary education recruitment process would be beneficial to promote quality and diversity. Similarly, the government funded charity, Teach First (2015), has restricted the occurrence of unconscious bias within their own recruitment. Through the ‘Name Blind’ process, a cohort of BAME trainee teachers has increased to 15%. This is evidence that similar ‘nameless’ systems should be considered as policy across the UK workforce as it promotes diversity and reduces discrimination.

Interested in Unconscious Bias? Sign up to the upcoming ‘beyond unconscious bias’ event.


Intersectional Discourses: Race and Gender

Seminar of the Critical Discourses in the Academy seminar series on 7th June, 2017 (4-6pm). We will be looking at Intersectionality and the need to theorize Race, Gender, Sexuality and Religion together! The seminar will be held in Room AG3/4, Ellen Wilkinson Building, University of Manchester. Further details are in the poster below.

Saturday Suplementary Schools

Image may contain: 5 people, hat

In general, Black males from an afro Caribbean heritage still underperform in school compared their white counterparts. This along with a rigid ‘Anglo-centric’ curriculum and the news of less world history being included within the curriculum has led to a culture of underachievement and low self-esteem.

In 1966, the England’s first Saturday Supplementary School for black students in Manchester by Nama Bonsu as support for black children to survive in a mainstream school. Supplementary schools are still active across England, dedicated to raise aspirations, attainment and self-worth..

These supplementary schools are also known as ‘Saturday schools’ as they normally take place on a Saturday. Saturday schools provided Black youths fundamental black history lessons. Core EBAC subjects such as Mathematics and English are also taught to raise achievement and close the attainment gap.

As a youth I attended a Saturday supplementary school and I believe that it was a fundamental support structure for the community. There is still a need for Black supplementary schools to reinforce positive self-image self-confidence and to meet various challenges in mainstream education