During the summer term, with events around Black Lives Matter heightening awareness of race inequality, we recognised the need to do more to support our diverse membership while continuing to campaign for wider change.
We invited members who identify as Black, Asian or are from minority ethnic groups to join us for a meeting on 8 July 2020, at which many spoke passionately and bravely of the discrimination and challenges they faced on their journeys to school leadership.
"To realise that our difficulties, confusions or conflicts we all face are shared; that's been really supportive."
From this, an informal network evolved, self-named 'NAHT Leaders for Race Equality', which provides a space for these members to come together to discuss the experiences and issues facing them as school leaders within NAHT and the profession more widely.
The knowledge and experience from the network aim to inform and deepen NAHT's expertise. It will also ensure we strengthen our representation for Black, Asian and minority ethnic members.
We facilitate meetings every half term and a busy WhatsApp group that's used regularly by many members of the network. Other opportunities can also be shared with the network, including assisting with the Department for Education's research into the diversity of the teaching workforce and feeding into discussions with other sectors in the union, such as the Diversity and Inclusion group (DiG).
"Put simply: I love the group - it's the first group where I've felt I really belong."
NAHT Leaders for Race Equality is open to all Black, Asian and minority ethnic NAHT members, across all roles, phases and sectors, including those who may have retired from the profession. If you would like to join, please fill out this form.
The next virtual meeting of NAHT's Leaders for Race Equality group is at 5pm on Tuesday 17 May.
All our equalities networks are coming together in person for the first time on Friday 10 June in London. If you are thinking of joining this network, don’t delay – it would be great if you could join us there.
You Are Not Alone
Originating from NAHT’s first equality network for Black, Asian and minority ethnic members, the ‘You Are Not Alone: Leaders for Race Equality’ book shares the personal experiences of 14 NAHT members from Asian, African, Caribbean and multiple backgrounds. It includes personal and challenging stories of the discrimination faced as both leaders and individuals through school, university, interviews and promotion, often having to prove themselves at every step on the way to leadership and facing both overt and covert racism from others. Find out more and hear what some of the authors had to say in our blog for Diverse Educators.
First published 23 June 2021