Ethnic Culture in Educational Leadership
University of Leicester public lecture will explore issues of multiculturalism
in schools, particularly in relation to the role of the head teacher.
his Inaugural Lecture, which will take place on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 at
5.30pm on the University main campus, Professor Clive Dimmock will speak on An
Introducing a Little
into Education Leadership.
his lecture he will discuss schools as multicultural centres, important
leadership issues concerning ethnic minority schools, the inadequacies of
training for head teachers in this respect and the implications all this has for
society at large.
Dimmock will touch on the subject of immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers,
their role in filling a shortfall in labour, the part schools can play in
diffusing racial tension, and education and behavioural problems.
Dimmock commented: “In these days of
racial and religious tension in society, it has never been a more important time
to highlight the roles that schools and those who manage them can play in a
multicultural society. Through research we need to understand how schools can be
effective in creating a more harmonious society.”
Inaugural Lecture by Professor Clive Dimmock of the Centre for Educational
Leadership and Management, University of Leicester School of Education, will
take place on Tuesday, February 11, 2003, at 5.30 pm in Lecture Theatre 1, Ken
Edwards Building, University Main Campus. It
is open to the public and free.
NOTE TO EDITORS: A
synopsis of Professor Dimmock’s lecture follows.
Further information is available from Professor Clive Dimmock, of the
Centre for Educational Leadership and Management, University of Leicester School
of Education, telephone 01604 251813,
Inaugural Lecture by Professor Clive Dimmock
Centre for Educational Leadership and Management
importance of leadership, particularly of the head teacher, is widely
acknowledged as a key factor behind school performance. However, hitherto,
little attention has been paid to the challenges facing leaders of schools with
substantial numbers of ethnic minority students. Indeed, current leadership
training takes little cognisance of the fact that many head teachers will, and
do, lead multicultural school communities.
lecture will point up important leadership issues concerning ethnic minority
schools, the justification for preparing leaders to manage such schools
competently and sensitively, and the need for research to understand the
problems and issues confronting such leaders as a prelude to identifying
informed leadership practice in multicultural schools.
will argue that focusing attention and resources on the leadership of ethnic
minority schools rests on the following:
Like many other developed
societies, Britain is now truly multicultural. Significant numbers of
immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers from different parts of the world, have,
over decades, produced a demographic structure that is pluralist and
cosmopolitan, and a large number of multicultural and ethnic minority schools.
Britain currently has a
falling birth rate at one end of the age spectrum, and greater longevity, at the
other. The ratio of dependants/work force is growing. The shortfall in labour
has to be filled by immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers is imperative.
Britain's multiculturalism will continue.
tensions and conflicts characterise Britain as a multicultural society. While
many panaceas have been identified, the role of schools as socialising agents in
changing young people's attitudes towards multiculturalism at an early formative
age, must become a major thrust of policy and practice.
The standards of academic
performance and behaviour of ethnic minority students often fall below that of
their Anglo counterparts. They are more likely to be troublesome, to truant,
drop out of school prematurely, and to under-perform. Schools with large numbers
of ethnic minority students are more likely to be labelled 'failing'.
As the school population
has become more culturally diverse, the organisational cultures and structures
of schools have failed to keep pace. Their organisational values, processes, and
rituals have shown little capacity to adapt to the changing nature of a
· Finally, while the demographic and ethnic composition of schools has substantially changed, the leadership training offered to head teachers and senior staff, has lagged.
This document has been approved by the head of department or section.