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Leadership Diversity Programme

January 19th, 2015

The launch of our Leadership Diversity Programme took place on Wednesday 14th January at William Perkin CofE High School.

Ten female and BME participants embarked on a bespoke programme which will support them as they move from Assistant to Deputy Head posts. I wrote earlier in the year of our successful bid and it was great to see our plans begin to take form.

Gerry Wadwa, Headteacher of Featherstone High – the lead school in ETSA for Leadership began the event with a discussion of some of the thinking behind the lack of diversity in the leadership of our schools. He challenged misconceptions surrounding stereotypes and encouraged attendees to think about some of the perceived barriers to promotion.

Rachel Kruger, Headteacher of Ellen Wilkinson School for Girls, and Alison Lusuardi, Deputy Head at Featherstone High, joined Gerry in sharing their journeys to their current positions and also gave advice to the participants as to what the challenges of the role might be. The feedback for this ‘fireside chat’ was overwhelmingly positive and the questions from the cohort tapped into some key issues surrounding the role of the Deputy Head and the recruitment process. A key idea to emerge from this session was the importance for successful candidates to be resilient, reliable and flexible.

A key feature of the programme is coaching and Business and Educational Coach Nicola Bish shared her vision for the impact of the coaching element in allowing participants to reflect on their practice and motivation.

There was a real buzz about the opportunities the programme will create and also the realisation of the challenges ahead! I look forward to following the progress of the programme and will share more as it develops.