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Black and minority ethnic (BME) staff progression: a leadership succession crisis in further education and sixth form colleges

Deane, Helen A. (2013) Black and minority ethnic (BME) staff progression: a leadership succession crisis in further education and sixth form colleges. EdD thesis, Institute of Education, University of London.

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Further Education and Sixth Form Colleges in the Learning and Skills Sector have made considerable strides in working with learners from diverse backgrounds, have a good track record of tackling inequality for learners and an inspection framework that places an emphasis on improving equality and diversity. However, the experience of some staff is starkly different. In October 2002, the sector published the Commission for Black Staff report, Further Education Leading the Way, which identified institutional racism as a factor negatively impacting on the career progression of Black and Minority Ethnic staff. Seven years on from this report and despite initiatives addressing many of the recommendations, there has been little success in terms of increasing the number of BME staff in senior positions. This is undermining the reputation of the sector and has the potential to affect how a 'leadership succession crisis' is being tackled. Amidst the backdrop of a major global recession and increasing fears of a reversal of the minimal progress that has been made, this thesis revisits the experiences of BME staff seven years on from the report. Through a documentary analysis of sector policies and strategies and the conducting of interviews and focus groups, it reviews how the sector responded then, examines the position of BME professionals now and evaluates the impact of strategies implemented following the recommendations given in 2002. Findings suggest that the most significant barriers are the institutional and micropolitical behaviours that reflect a lack of understanding, awareness and value of the contributions that BME professionals bring to our institutions. The results highlight the importance of the need for a wider discourse about theories of race and the racial discriminatory factors that impact on leadership and management issues in the Learning and Skills Sector and which continue to act as barriers to BME staff progression. Critical Race Theory (CRT) is offered as a framework for this dialogue and further research on the concept of a BME leadership style is suggested.

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Additional Information: Thesis: (EdD) University of London Institute of Education, 2012.
Depositing User: Batch Import
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2014 12:52
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2015 14:57
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