Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic Leadership – BAME (2019)

A critical examination of discourse linked to one BAME leadership programme offered by an East London School (2019).

The aim of this study was to critically examine discourse linked to one Black Asian &  Minority Ethnic (BAME) leadership programme offered by an East London School. This was part of a larger initiative being led by the Department for Education to increase representation of individuals from BAME backgrounds in schools.  The research objectives were as follows:

  • Critically examine underlying assumptions and ideologies associated with BAME leadership programmes via a critical discourse analysis (images and texts).
  • Understand the role that ‘White Sanction’ plays in the organisation and structure of educational leadership programmes (school management teams may be responsible for or, involved in the creation of programmes and associated materials)

Critical Discourse Analysis was used to conduct this research in conjunction with Critical Race Theory as a framework to guide the development of themes and interpretation of findings.
Findings show that approaches used on BAME leadership programmes to increase BAME leaders in schools across England continue to maintain the status quo. The lack of confidence in potential BAME leaders, has led to the development of a leadership programme with a substantial focus on coaching, mentoring and shadowing.

Curriculum content related to leadership skills which enabled attendees to learn and develop operational and strategic skills, was limited. The selection of content, and the structure of the programme may be detracting from attendees maintaining their identity, leading to the creation of leadership clones.
Further research involving curriculum content, an exploration of individuals’ perceptions of BAME leadership programmes and associated identities, may provide an opportunity to better apply the Critical Race Theory framework in exploring issues of race related to code-switching, acting white, and intersectionality.  This could be extended to classroom teachers and initial teacher trainees, adding to the current understanding of barriers/enablers throughout a BAME educators’ career.

More detailed research findings are available upon request:

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