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Create a panel to ensure women progress into education leadership equally.

This petition had 110 supporters

Dear Ms Morgan

 You are a high profile female leader within education, and importantly, an extremely powerful one. Having a woman holding the most important ministerial education brief in the country sends a vital message that women can lead in our sector at the highest level. Yet across the UK women are under-represented at all levels of educational leadership. Women make up only 25% of professors in our universities. In secondary schools 62% of qualified teachers are women and yet only 36% of headteachers are women; this is a statistic that has not changed nationally for the past three years.  It is a situation that cannot be allowed to continue. It is not only unfair to extremely talented  and committed women, it also means that we do not have access to the best minds in education and crucially, it limits  the role models available  for the children with whose education we are charged.

 The statistics we refer to are not new to you; you very helpfully referred to them, and many more in your March 2015 speech to the Empowering Women in Leadership Conference where you concluded “It’s clear to me that gender has absolutely nothing to do with a teacher’s ability to innovate, inspire, or encourage.” However, not enough is being done to rectify this imbalance at a time when schools are struggling to recruit teachers and leaders.

 Therefore we call on you to create an expert panel to immediately address these concerns and provide solutions that can ensure that every innovative, inspirational and encouraging woman can progress into leadership in the same way that her male counterpart can.

 Further to this, when selecting that expert panel, we urge you to consider an appropriately representative membership, one that is diverse and reflects the demographic that it seeks to influence and the wider community of children and parents whom it serves. We were horrified and extremely disappointed to discover that the recently announced Tom Bennett’s working party on behaviour, led by Tom Bennett,  includes only two women in a team of nine; the Leadership, Governance and Management group in federations of schools includes four women in a total of eight; and the Ofsted Advisory Board features only one woman amongst seven.

 In March tThe DfE announced has recently awarded funds for leadership diversity and perhaps this is one attempt to make educational leadership more representative. Although a start, this will not make any difference at a macro micro level, it is not going to eradicate structural inequalities

 Please, we ask you, use your position and privilege to address this serious situation debacle before we lose another generation of female leaders.

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