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, email email@example.com to find out more.
Our next meeting will be held on Thursday 20 May and will include an audience with Bushra Nasir (the first female Muslim head teacher of a secondary school in the UK).
First published 30 April 2021