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Prize for research into importance of black school leaders

AWARD-WINNING: Dr Dolapo Ogunbawo

AN EDUCATIONALIST whose research paper emphasises the need for more black and minority ethnic (BME) leaders in schools has won a top prize.

Dr Dolapo Ogunbawo, based at the London Centre for Leadership in Learning at the Institute of Education, was last month named the ‘best paper’ of 2012 by BELMAS (British Educational Leadership, Management and Administration Society).

Developing BME leaders: The case for customised programmes was driven by Ogunbawo’s concern over the low numbers of black teachers and school leaders serving the diverse school population in England. It also addressed the under-representation of BME teachers in senior leadership positions among the teaching workforce.

Ogunbawo explored the importance of customised leadership programmes in addressing the barriers to development and progression of BME teachers.

It was based on her work on the Equal Access to Promotion (EAP) initiative which she was responsible for delivering.

Ogunbawo said: "The award came as a surprise – a very pleasant one because I am not an academic. I see myself as a professional and a practitioner.

“I believed in the EAP programme and had some of the best serving [headteachers] in London working with me so this was a paper I wanted to write to get the message out to the academics about the need for research in the area of diversifying leadership."

The EAP programme focused on increasing the number of BME teachers in senior management positions by equipping them with the necessary skills. It was attended by teachers of minority backgrounds from all over England and jointly funded by the National College and the National Union of Teachers (NUT).

Ogunbawo will be presented with her award at the BELMAS 2013 conference set to take place in Edinburgh between July 12-14.

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