Resources - 'Critical Mass'

Allana Gay, Headteacher, Vita Et Pax School: recommended reading, research, programmes & upcoming conference

Hello listeners and subscribers!

This is the last newsletter of 2019 but the penultimate from Series 2 of the We Are In Beta Podcast. Thank you so much for being a part of it.

This weekend, catch up on the first part of our recent double bill on BAME leadership in education.

Listen to ‘Critical Mass’ where Jay - my producer - and I address an elephant in the room and the mistakes we made producing this episode.

Allana Gay, headteacher at Vita et Pax Preparatory School, tells us about her upbringing, her challenging journey to leadership, the striking similarity between the two and her advice about how we improve representation and diversity in schools.

What’s in store this week?

  • What you’ve been saying about her episode

  • The best ‘In Beta’ bits - key resources that have come up via her episode

(Allana Gay - headteacher, Vita Et Pax Preparatory School and Co-Founder of the BAMEed Network)

What have people been saying?

Check out Allana’s story

👂 Listen and subscribe on iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | Libsyn | TuneIn 🔉

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💬 Join the conversation with Allana Gay, BAMEed Network and me @NiallAlcock. We’d love to know what you think.

🐦 Tweet about the episode or join the conversation on LinkedIn and I’ll give you a shout out in the Community News - like this.

The best ‘In Beta’ bits

As promised last week, and with a big thank you to Allana, here are the resources that have come up via her story and some others, which have influenced her journey significantly (and her thoughts about them):

  1. How Allana keeps up to date with educational research…

    “I currently use the Chartered College’s Impact and ResearchEd’s magazine to gather ideas on various topics.”

  2. The two books she recommends…

    …that give us a deeper understanding of the systems and structures that limit success.

    Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.

    “The consideration that it is the structure of systems that are the limiting factors in determining success has influenced how I measure success and potential in children.”

    Tell it like it is: How our schools fail black children by Brian Richardson. 

    “Having entered the UK from a Caribbean educational perspective, I have been fascinated by the structures and institutions that have led to the severe underachievement by black children in comparison to their white and BAME peers.”

    “Having some understanding via this book has shaped a view and interaction of educating students that is based on understanding circumstance to maximise their potential for learning.”

  3. What she thinks all developing school leaders should have access to…

    “I would say mentorship is very important for developing leadership. Having someone who is more experienced to listen to your ideas and share theirs makes headship easier”.

    Two sources of mentorship you might be interested in:

    • BAMEed Network’s mentoring programme for Developing Future Black Minority, Ethnic (BME) Leaders' Self Efficacy through Mentoring and Coaching.

      Read about it here.

    • Ambition Institute have a suite of programmes that include mentoring and access to networks.

      Allana completed what was then called the Future Leaders Programme. A programme that arguably helped her overcome the challenges she discussed in her episode.

      Learn what support you can access here.

      Image result for ambition institute
  4. Links to the reports mentioned in the episode…

    The Swan Report [1985] looked at ethnic diversity in schools. It looked at the curriculum. It said it’s not suitable to encourage diversity. [It looked at] experiences teachers were having and why they weren’t able to progress. It looked at racism in schools.”

    “And if you identify from the Swan Report, all of the different aspects and recommendations and then if you read the Runnymede Report [Visible Minorities, Invisible Teachers, 2017], it’s exactly the same.”

  5. BAMEed Network’s upcoming conference…


    Keynote speakers and workshop leaders so far include:

All educators welcome. 18th January 2020. Tickets here.

If you found this collection of resources useful, hit the button below to receive all the resources from every episode straight to your inbox. Then check your spam - the welcome email might land there.

Thanks for playing your part in making education the place we all know it can be.

Speak soon,


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