EIS has worked with Neish Training to deliver a range of leadership courses across the country this autumn. Speaking about the Leadership Towards Management for BME Teachers and Lecturers that took place in the EIS HQ in Edinburgh during October, Gillian Neish offered:
‘What was clear from the outset was that there is a lot of skill, commitment and ambition within this group and that participants wanted opportunities to fulfil their potential.
What a loss it will be, not only for them, but for their pupils, colleagues, communities and wider society, if they don’t get that chance.
It is frustrating that in education there are so few, senior role models from black and minority ethnic communities. We thought more about that as we explored the nature of racism and its impact as well as the implications for participants, in terms of both how they are perceived and how they see themselves.
EIS rep Tony Adams came along as a guest speaker to share his experience. He talked about the importance of resilience and being prepared to play the long game, of tenacity and being willing to see things through to the end and of hard work to dismiss some of the enduring, negative myths and stereotypes. He also encouraged people to keep up to date by attending CPD events and to think about their networks so that they have allies, from minority and majority communities, and build their ability to influence decisions.
It was helpful for participants to network and share experiences, giving them greater insight into people and interactions, and to develop practical strategies to increase their personal effectiveness.
Many would have liked more time to practise and give each other feedback on the leadership skills introduced. Looks like we’ll have to have a day 2!’