Presentation on theme: "Race, Racism and Discrimination in School Leadership: Evidence from England and South Africa Tony Bush and Kholeka Moloi."— Presentation transcript:
Race, Racism and Discrimination in School Leadership: Evidence from England and South Africa Tony Bush and Kholeka Moloi
Introduction Paper based on two research projects: 1.Black and Minority Ethnic Leaders in England (funded by NCSL) 2.‘Cross-boundary’ leaders in South Africa (funded by the University of Johannesburg) 3.Colleagues involved in both projects
Methodology 1.Two systematic literature reviews: BME leaders (UK/International) CB leaders (Funded by the MGSLG) 2.A survey of BME leaders in England (64 responses) 3.Case studies of 47 English leaders 4.Case studies of 46 South African leaders
Under-representation of BME leaders (England) Only 48% of BME teachers become leaders compared to 71% of white women and 65% of white men (Powney et al 2003) ‘I have been asked whether I am the cleaner or the teaching assistant – people don’t expect to see coloured senior staff’ (survey) ‘One parent... Called me a “monkey”’.
Under-representation of CB leaders (South Africa) Leaders overwhelmingly work in schools previously reserved for their race % of black leaders in ‘black’ schools % of white leaders in ‘white’ schools % of ‘coloured’ leaders in ‘coloured’ schools % of Indian leaders in Indian schools
Experience of CB leaders White, Indian and ‘coloured’ leaders are generally welcomed in the ‘black’ schools Black, Indian and ‘coloured’ leaders face discrimination and hostility in ‘white’ schools ‘The Indian and white educators do not accept black people readily’ (black leader).
Family and community attitudes Participants in both countries want to maintain their culture ‘Staying close to their communities’ influences where leaders choose to work in both countries Family support is vital for both sets of leaders
Identity Historical and geographical dimensions SA leaders forced to practice in racially prescribed settings ‘Black educators believe that white is good and clever’ (SA black participant) English BME leaders trying ‘to make sense of their roots’ and adopting a ‘black to black’ perspective.
Discrimination Covert in England but statutory in Apartheid South Africa until 1994 Attitudes change more slowly than the law ‘The white construction of black reality prevails’ (Bhatt et al 1988: 150) SA Cultural diversity may lead to conflict and ineffectiveness (Booysen 2003: 3)
Discrimination in England 1.14/64 report ‘no discrimination’ 2.Most report negative discrimination: Racist attitudes, e.g in meetings (10) Management attitudes (12) LEA discrimination (6) Colleagues’ attitudes (4) Other, including parents (7)
Discrimination in South Africa Continues across the racial divide 1.White educators unwilling to learn about black learners’ cultural backgrounds 2.Male ‘coloured’ teachers don’t want to work with a white female leader 3. Continuing racism for black and ‘coloured’ leaders 4.‘Cultural bias is diminishing’ (Indian)
Recruitment and selection ‘Hidden discrimination’ for BME teachers seeking promotion (Powney et al 2003) Career development inhibited by heads (9), SMTs (19), middle managers (5), LEAs (3), colleagues (8) and governors (1) –survey ‘black people are faced with a glass ceiling’ SA appointments process ‘very bad’ and characterised by ‘racism’ and ‘bitterness’.
Isolation and exclusion BME and CB leaders isolated in schools (Bariso 2001; Jones & Maguire 1997) Prejudice in threshold assessment (BME) Black leaders ‘excluded’ in SA white schools – ‘white educators are disrespectful’ One middle manager reports exclusion from SMT meetings & educators ‘defy her’
Overcoming the barriers BME and CB leaders succeed despite the barriers, through: 1.Perseverance, resilience and determination 2.Support and networking Positive discrimination not seen as appropriate: ‘we want teachers because they can teach, not because they are black’
Conclusion Racism ‘ingrained’ (in both countries?) Specific context influences degree of racism BME leaders may be ‘token blacks’ BME/CB leaders are exceptional ‘pioneers’ ‘If you are black you have to be exceptionally good to progress’