I live in West Sussex in a predominantly white area. I recently visited a school where 99% of the children were white, not all British, about 10% are Polish and other European. I was appalled though when I met the SLT and they were all black women.
No, this didn't really happen but can you imagine the outcry if I had posted such a thing? Yet it seems it's perfectly acceptable (not in my book though) to be horrified in a reverse situation. No one chooses their race or gender so to demonise today's men for past history is crazy in my book. We need to change conditioning. The funny thing is children are not naturally prejudiced, it's something they learn. So by pointing out our differences they begin to pick up on them. You may have seen an article that went viral recently where two 5 year old boys had the same haircut so their teacher would think they were twins, one was white and one was black.
75% of teachers are female and only 38% are headteachers are female. Do I have a problem with that? Well no I don't actually. When I became a teacher I had no interest in going for a leadership position because - shock, horror! - my family came first. In my primary school the head was a man, in my secondary it was a woman so I had no illusions that I couldn't be a head teacher if I had wanted. I wanted to be the best classroom teacher I could be, do my job well then go home to my children. I speak to many other women who feel the same way. There are jobs that attract more men and others that attract more women. Let's be grateful that we now have a choice but never should anyone be able to feel that they are not confident or unambitious because they don't want to be in SLT.
I have worked with good leaders and less skilful ones. I have been bullied in teaching and non-teaching jobs too - both by men and women but more often by women. So it's time to chuck that chip off your shoulder and look at what we really are - amazing human beings with unlimited potential.
You may have seen my recent post about why I am no longer taking part in the DfE coaching pledge. Apart from the fact that it devalues coaching professionals I cannot stand by and endorse a programme that excludes 50% of the population because they are the wrong gender. Yes women may have been discriminated against in the past - and there is still a way to go to close the gap on unequal pay etc. - but the way forward is not to discriminate against men.
I would love to coach some more white, male school leaders. I also don't mind if you are black, purple, yellow, orange and female or something in between. I also don't care what your preferred bedroom activities are. You are a precious human being and I love you for that.
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