School workforce census data continues to show under-representation of particular groups of individuals within leadership positions. In particular there are significant leadership gaps for Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) and female leaders.
The Government has funded a wide range of local and centrally run programmes to address this under-representation. Activity has included a number of bespoke positive action programmes and the Ofsted Shadowing Programme that enables senior leaders from a BME background to shadow an Ofsted inspector and gain insight into school performance and effectiveness.
Whilst the Ofsted Shadowing Programme is still running, the other centrally run activity has been replaced by leadership development programmes which are locally designed and delivered by schools. We believe that this allows school leaders the freedom to use resources to target their specific needs and to develop high quality leadership for their pupils.
Ensuring that those from BME backgrounds can gain leadership positions is very important and earlier this year we funded collaborative groups of schools to develop their own solutions and leadership programmes to increase the diversity of the school leadership workforce. The scope of the funding covers any of the nine protected characteristics as defined by the Equality Act (age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation).
30 school partnerships across the country are now running leadership programmes which will be completed by 30 June 2015. Of these programmes; 12 will specifically target teachers from a BME background, and 10 will focus on BME and women. A condition of the funding is that schools will share their learning with each other and more widely across the school system and we will be developing case studies to further disseminate learning. We expect all participants to gain next stage promotions within a year of completing programmes.