Equality in schools: ‘What makes people think a black woman can’t be headteacher?’

The proportion of ethnic minority staff in senior roles is low, even in areas such as London. Why?

It was a Friday evening in spring last year and headteacher Evelyn Forde had arrived at the Association of School and College Leaders’ (ACSL) annual conference dinner in Birmingham. To her surprise, the table she had reserved was already occupied by another woman and her group.

“I said I had reserved the table. The lady said to me: ‘Are you sure?’ I said: ‘My colleagues are on their way. They’ll be here soon.’ And then she said: ‘Oh, I’m sorry! I thought you worked here.’

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