Apply for funding for school-led equality and diversity projects in your region.


The equality and diversity fund regional hubs support schools to develop local solutions that help teachers covered by at least one of the protected characteristics as defined in the Equality Act 2010 progress into leadership. The protected characteristics are:

  • age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment
  • marriage and civil partnership
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race
  • religion or belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation

The funding of the equality and diversity regional hubs reinforces the government’s commitment to increasing the diversity of school leadership and maximising the number of leaders available by raising aspirations and the chances of successful promotion among people with leadership potential.

We invited lead schools to apply for grant funding in 2018 to 2019 and 2019 to 2020. The application round for 2018 to 2020 regional hub lead schools is closed. Funding was awarded to lead schools covering each of the 8 regional school commissioner (RSC) regions.

Regional hub lead schools are responsible for allocating funding to individual school-led projects and for co-ordinating leadership development for teachers covered by protected characteristics across their region.

Role and responsibilities of regional hub lead schools

Regional hub lead schools will be responsible for:

  • the effective, efficient and appropriate use of all grant funding they receive including guarding against fraud
  • ensuring that all conditions of the grant are met
  • running a fair and transparent process to facilitate the allocation of funding to schools for the design and delivery of school-led projects, and running an audit of this
  • ensuring that each project demonstrates need relating to the protected characteristics (where appropriate)
  • ensuring maximum geographical coverage within their region, based on need, including in opportunity areas
  • putting in place formal arrangements with each individual school delivering a project for example service level agreements or memorandum of understanding
  • monitoring school-led project progress and ensuring delivery against milestones and key performance indicators (KPIs)
  • supporting schools by building new, and/or working with established school networks across their region, and enabling the sharing of best practice
  • supporting schools in negotiating any partnership agreement (including data handling, intellectual property for example) with strategic partners
  • effective risk management
  • putting appropriate quality assurance arrangements in place
  • collecting and collating financial and performance information including progress against KPIs
  • reporting on all aspects of the programme, for example performance against KPIs, providing financial returns. Lead schools will be asked to report in writing once per term outlining the progress of all projects
  • undertaking evaluation activities as requested by the department including issuing participant surveys to participants and collecting teacher reference numbers (TRNs)
  • participating fully in any external evaluation commissioned by the department
  • providing case studies as requested by the department

Who can apply

State-funded schools in England can apply to their regional hub lead school for funding for individual projects.

Schools applying for funding must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • achievement of outstanding or good for overall effectiveness by Ofsted in their most recent inspection
  • project will offer leadership development activity for teachers covered by at least one of the protected characteristics


Teachers at any stage in their career can apply for funding for a place on a project, as long as they are:

Teachers working in other educational settings, including further education institutions and non-teaching staff are not eligible for funding.

Apply for funding

Schools who would like to apply for funding for an individual project should apply directly to the regional hub lead school. These schools have obtained a grant to help them increase the diversity of senior leadership teams in England’s schools.

Teachers who would like to apply for a place on a project should contact their regional hub lead school to find out which schools are taking part.

Each regional hub lead school will run their own application rounds and dates may vary by region.

All individual projects should be completed by the end of summer term 2020.

Regional hub lead schools

Region Regional hub lead school Contact and email Project focuses
East Midlands and the Humber Skipton Girls High School Kate Walter
[email protected]
Age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, sex, sexual orientation
East of England and north-east London Linton Village College Gemma Goldup
[email protected]
Disability, gender reassignment, race, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity
Lancashire and West Yorkshire Otley Prince Henry’s Grammar School Specialist Language College Janet Sheriff
[email protected]
Pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex
North of England Skipton Girls High School Kate Walter
[email protected]
Age, disability, gender reassignment, pregancy and maternity, race, sex, sexual orientation
North-west London and south central England Challney High School for Boys Karen Bateman
[email protected]
Age, race, sex, sexual orientation
South-west England Backwell School Isobel George
[email protected]
Gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, sex, sexual orientation
South-east England and south London Harris City Academy Crystal Palace Natasha Evans
[email protected]
Age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation
West Midlands Kenilworth School and Sixth Form Hayden Abbott
[email protected]
Age, race, sex

Further information on improving diversity

Look at the education section of the LGBT action plan: improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Get involved in your school-led regional network to support the leadership development of women in education.

Read our case studies to find out more about the tools and techniques some schools use to support teachers with leadership potential.

Join our commitment to addressing the issue of underrepresentation in the teaching workforce by co-signing our statement of intent.

Read our analysis into the perceptions of those who participated in projects funded by the leadership equality and diversity fund:

  • 2016 to 2017 and 2017 to 2018 programmes
  • 2015 to 2016 programme

Contact us

Equality and Diversity

Email[email protected]

Published 20 May 2014
Last updated 17 July 2020 + show all updates

  1. Updated ‘East of England and north-east London’ contact name and email address.

  2. Updated information about applying to regional hub lead schools for funding. Added a list of regional hub lead schools.

  3. Added links to analysis of surveys of participants in Leadership Equality and Diversity Fund, 2015 to 2018.

  4. Changed the title to reflect the new name and to remove outdated information following the announcement of the successful applicant.

  5. Added application details for the East Midlands and the Humber region.

  6. Changes made to the ‘Apply’ section to reflect the end of the 2018 to 2020 application round and how to see the list of successful schools.

  7. Updated guide as the 2017 to 2018 application round has closed.

  8. Application round is now open.

  9. Application round has now closed

  10. Application round now open

  11. Application round now closed.

  12. Leadership equality and diversity WebEx slides added.

  13. Application round is now open

  14. Application round for the equality and diversity grant funding has closed.

  15. First published.