Diversity and Inclusion Hub

Gender and ethnicity in leadership in education

Associate Professor Kay Fuller, School of Education, D&IRH Steering Committee member

Dr Fuller takes a gender and feminist perspective in researching women in leadership mainly in compulsory school education. Her work cuts across gender, race, LGBT and religion. Her research demonstrates the underrepresentation of women in secondary school headship in England and elsewhere and addresses compliance with the Public Sector Equality Duty by arguing for the mobilization of resources to targeted areas to enhance women’s proportionate representation in school leadership.

She also argues that educators and school leaders need to understand intersectionality as simultaneity so they can navigate identity, institutional and social practices in relation to school leadership and the education of minoritised students. Through an investigation of the social construction of identity, Dr Fuller reveals the workings of institutional racism that impact on students, teachers and/or school leaders. Her conceptual framework drawing from Bourdieu can be applied to men of Black Global Minority heritages as well as women and is designed to help white leaders and educators unlearn their privilege and to think about the education and leadership of minoritised students and staff in inclusive terms. Dr Kay’s theorisation of intersectionality is vital for researchers, policy-makers, school leaders and educators doing intersectionality work in pluralist societies in England and elsewhere. Her policy-oriented research is particularly relevant and timely in a time when racist, misogynist and Islamophobic discourses are increasingly legitimised.

Her work addresses the Department for Education’s objective to ensure that public appointments made by the Department for Education contribute to realising the ambition that by 2022, 50% of all public appointees are female and 14% of all public appointments made are from ethnic minorities. Dr Fuller is PI on Joining up Networks in Education for Women, a project funded by the British Educational Leadership, Management and Administration Society.

Research team







Diversity and Inclusion Hub

The University of Nottingham
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