What the RAF can teach schools about leaders and diversity

Last year’s Tes Awards led Deborah Leek-Bailey to discover how the RAF can help schools build leadership skills in both students and teachers

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Amid the applause and congratulations at last year’s Tes School Awards, for which I was a judge, you would have spotted me in deep conversation with two members of the armed forces. The RAF is one of the lead sponsors of the annual prize giving – I was sat next to a group captain and a more recent recruit.

The two women challenged some of the assumptions levelled at the RAF, in relation to elitism and gender inequality when it comes to leadership – issues that also affect our schools. I queried aspects of social mobility and whether the RAF had also come close to representing the diverse ...

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