From education to employment

The Black Leadership Group (BLG) three years on…

BLG 3 years on

On 26 September, I and my fellow Black Leadership Group director, Robin Landman OBE, were joined by Gavin O’Meara and FE News for a livestream to launch our BLG annual report for 2022-2023. We also reflected on the impact of BLG since its inception three years ago as an activist, authentic, authoritative, Anti-racist movement and think tank.

Introducing the livestream, Gavin highlighted the sheer scale and reach of the BLG across the UK  evident in the annual report, including the strength of our partnership, affiliate and stakeholder communities, the BLG Job Board, our work with Welsh government in support of the Anti-racist Wales 2030 Action Plan and progress towards establishing the Institute of Black Leadership.

Inviting us firstly to reflect on the lessons learned over our three year journey and then to share some of our plans for the coming year as summarised in The Future: Business Objectives 2023-2024 section of our annual report, Gavin was keen to affirm FE News’ support for the BLG.

In the wide ranging discussion that ensued, we covered the innovative Equity by Design project with the Greater London Authority; Communities of Practice; diversification of our support offer to our members, affiliates and other organisations – BLG 10-point plan for Early Years, Primary and Secondary schools; BLG 10 Point Plan for Business; the BLG Annual Conference 21 March 2024; our new Ethnic Equity in Education (EEE) campaign which started with FE earlier this year and will move to cover HE and Schools in the coming months.

Ethnic equity in education is first and foremost about fairness, and it is very clear that today we have an education system that is unfair and which has so far fallen woefully short of what is required. This is evidenced by Government figures and numerous studies. We are not where we need to be, and the need for progress is urgent and critical. Recent statistics published by the Government paint a stark picture of the wide gap in representation of *Black communities at leadership level in Further Education. This is having a direct and significant impact on the attainment levels of Black students. In Higher Education, the findings in the Ethnic Representation Index (ERI) report are equally stark: the need for change is urgent. The EEE (FE) campaign is supporting the development of an ERI for the FE sector.

Three years on, we are acutely aware that there is a long way to go to realise our vision of an Anti-racist culture at the heart of UK life, education and work. However, momentum is growing, with positive responses from many organisations and individuals. Ethically, racism is wrong and has no place in society. Three years on, we are more than ever convinced of the existential necessity to make the most of an ethnically diverse Britain. This is critical in shaping a strong, successful country for the benefit of us all.

If you missed it, you can watch below. And if you want to know more about the Black Leadership Group, please visit our website

By Stella Ngozi Mbubaegbu CBE, Director, Black Leadership Group

* BLG uses ‘Black’ as an inclusive definition for people from ethnically diverse backgrounds who share a lived experience of the effects of racism.

Related Articles