To mark International Women’s Day, Bolton Learning Partnership and Alliance for Learning have joined forces to host a lunch, workshop and will be hosting a forthcoming CPD session for women who are aspiring to senior leadership roles including headship within Education. The aim is to empower women within Greater Manchester to reach and succeed in their educational careers at the highest level.
The DfE School Workforce Census continues to evidence the underrepresentation of women in Headship in all sectors, compared to their numbers in the profession. Women account for over 60% of the profession in secondary schools and over 85% in primary schools but only account for 37% of Headteachers in secondary schools and 71% of Headteachers in primary schools. This is a massive under-representation of women in senior leadership roles.
The first of the events was held on 9th March 2020, an event planned to recognise International Women’s Day; a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The theme of which for 2020 is ‘An equal world is an enabled world.’ Lisa Fathers, Director of ‘The Alliance for Learning’ Teaching School and Partnerships talked to attendees on how women can be 10% braver. Alison Oliver, Chief Executive Officer of Youth Sport Trust, and Dr Sandeep Ranote, Medical Director of Northwest Boroughs Healthcare NHSFT each shared their stories of how they reached their positions as senior leaders within their organisations in “Two women, two very different stories.”
Melanie Wicks, Principal at Wellacre Academy and Lynn Nicholls, Executive Headteacher joined a panel event to share their experience. Common themes emerged around the importance of role models and coaches; adopting explicit confidence-building techniques and moral purpose. All driven with the aim to encourage more women to have the confidence to progress their careers to senior leadership.
Tony Purcell, Executive Lead of Bolton Learning Partnership said: “At Bolton Learning Partnership, we are keen to encourage and empower more women to take up positions as senior leaders within Education. We have female leaders within our schools who are absolutely inspirational, and through supporting a network of shared learning and providing CPD opportunities, we aim to equip those aspiring to positions of senior leadership including headship with the courage, the knowledge and the tools to reach this position.”
Lisa Fathers commented “Collaboration is at the heart of our work as a Multi Academy Trust and a large teaching school and we really enjoy working closely with our Bolton schools and colleagues. We are proud of the ‘Women into Leadership’ work we have done connected with the ‘WomenED’ agenda in terms of specific CPD and coaching female leaders and of course and our work around Girl’s Football. Breaking gender stereotypes and challenging bias has never been more important. At Bright Futures Educational Trust equality of opportunity and ambition for all is a central theme from our trainees in our successful SCITT to our executive team”