Where are our BME leaders in education?

52 years ago, Tony O'Connor was appointed as headteacher at Bearwood Primary School in Smethwick, West Midlands. He is believed to have been Britain's first black headteacher. Two years later, Yvonne Conolly became Britain's first female black headteacher at a primary school in London. And yet, in five decades, the picture has barely changed. As of 2017, the statistics from the Department for Education show that just 3.2 per cent of state-funded secondary headteachers identified as non-white, while for primary school headteachers, the figure was 2.4 per cent. In January 2016, according to official figures, just 39 secondary head teachers in England identified as black. Fifty years. Two generations. During this time, the UK has changed almost out of all recognition and yet black and minority ethnic (BME) people are still massively under-represented in leadership positions in UK schools. This, of course, has a hugely negative impact on the life opportunities of BME children and students.  With no BME leaders, how can we best tackle racism in our schools?With no BME leaders, how do we encourage BME students to aspire to be leaders themselves?

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