Professor Paul Miller

School leaders in England have a huge task to mediate factors in a school’s environment (regulatory/legal and institutional). Rapid and sometimes conflicting policy agendas for improved performance have become a main preoccupation of school leaders as they jostle to keep their jobs as they wrestle to implement the latest government mandate. As a result, many school leaders to ignore, at best, or are unprepared for, at worse, how to deal with institutional impacts and challenges associated with unprecedented levels of migration, and race discrimination. This is compounded by school leaders’ lack of understanding of, for example, personal and structural racism, and how these collude against attempts to build racially inclusive school environments. Through an ecological model this paper argues that in spite of performativity pressures, school leaders should develop skills, attributes and knowledge in areas of curriculum diversity, recruitment and career progression, leading change for race diversity that (i) reflects the contexts within which they live and work, and that (ii) empowers them to more effectively serve their institutions. The paper asserts that ‘anti-racist’ training for school leaders should be central to ongoing professional development efforts, especially in multi-cultural, multi-racial and multi-ethnic societies/educational environments.

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