Greater funding, more role models and more accessible routes into teaching are key to increasing diversity in senior leadership in schools, according to the co-founder of BAMEed.
Speaking to Tes in the video above, Allana Gay, who is also London regional leader for the WomenEd network, explains how to bring about a rise in the number of teachers from ethnic minority backgrounds.
The deputy headteacher at Lea Valley Primary School in North London says: "Right now if you look at education and at teaching, there are far too many routes and not enough strategisation of each route.
"You have all these varieties of routes that are all being advertised somewhere, but not anywhere that is accessible within communities.
"If we are going to bring [the black, Asian, and minority ethnic community] into the system, we need to acknowledge those experiences that they had and change those and get them to come in as change-leaders. Say, 'Well this is what happened in the past when you came into education, but this is how you can come in to help to change it.'"
The need for role models
The Department of Education's school workforce in England survey found that the percentage of teachers recorded as white British (this did not include ‘Other white background’ and white-Irish) fell from 87 per cent in 2015 to 86.5 per cent in 2016, while the percentage of white British headteachers and assistant and deputy headteachers was 93.1 per cent and 90.4 per cent respectively.
Gay acknowledges the importance of role models to increase diversity. "Where are the role models in our senior leadership? Where are the role models in our headteachers and executive headteachers and CEOs," she asks.
"Those senior roles that say to someone on entry, 'You have the opportunity to progress. Look at this person, look what they’ve done. Model yourself after them, build the commitment into this profession and this is where you can end up.'"
Funding is another area which could be improved to increase the number of ethnic minority senior leaders, Gay says. "There is this way within the DfE that says, 'Right, we don’t have enough women or we don’t have enough ethnic minority, there’s a diversity problem. Let’s put money into a diversity grant.'
"What’s the accountability for it? What’s the structure for it? What’s the strategy for it?"