A petition has been launched demanding that Nicky Morgan uses her “position and privilege” to create an expert panel to address the “serious” lack of women school leaders.
Set up by Keziah Featherstone, headteacher of the Bridge Learning Campus in Bristol, the appeal calls on the education secretary to “immediately address” the issue as just 36 per cent of heads are women.
This is despite 62 per cent of qualified teachers in secondary schools being women, the petition published on the Change.org website adds.
The call comes ahead of the first Women in Education “unconference” on Saturday, which aims to tackle the problem of too few women in top positions, despite them “dominating the workforce across all sectors”.
The petition states that having a woman as education secretary “sends a vital message that women can lead in our sector at the highest level”, but Ms Morgan needed to go further in her support of the cause.
“Therefore we call on you to create an expert panel to immediately address these concerns and provide solutions that can ensure that every innovative, inspirational and encouraging woman can progress into leadership in the same way that her male counterpart can,” the appeal states.
As both education secretary and minister for women and equalities, Ms Morgan has stated that gender has “absolutely nothing to do with a teacher’s ability to innovate, inspire or encourage”.
But Ms Featherstone has warned that not enough is being done to address the issue at a time when schools are struggling to recruit teachers and leaders.
Earlier this month, TES columnist Jo Brighouse explored what was holding women back from taking up leadership positions in today’s schools.