Diversity in leadership
To tackle diversity in a truly in a truly 360-degree way in schools, it’s important to look at the racial makeup of teachers, head teachers and governing boards in schools. People in leadership in schools are disproportionately white, and that includes teachers. The area that I focus more within my work is diversity in school governing boards. Governing bodies tend to be white, and this is a huge issue.
Before Nanouche could address and change this, she did research within Camden interviewing current and past school governors from an ethnic minority background. Working alongside Camden Learning, Camden Council and councillors, she looked at the barriers that prevent ethnic minorities from being on governing boards.
Issues and challenges that came up on this research were things like: the way governors are recruited using a CV and having to showcase their skills, the time commitment, childcare issue, being financially able to volunteer your time, the complicated formalities of governor’s meeting, the paper work and jargon.
She expands, “What I could relate to the most was the mental burden of always been seen to represent everyone ‘non-white’ and all racial issues. I am a Black woman, but I don’t represent all Black women, never mind representing an Asian man whose lived experience would be so different to mine”. She believes it’s important that these challenges and barriers are properly looked at and addressed if we really want diverse governing bodies in our schools.
Listen to what she has to say about giving people who don’t look like you a chance, in this video.