Black Lives Matter.

June 5, 2020

Hilary Spencer, CEO of Ambition Institute, responds to the killing of George Floyd and what the Black Lives Matter movement means for Ambition Institute.

“We condemn the killing of George Floyd and the history of systemic racism that made it possible. While many elements of the anger and frustration felt right now are universal, I want to acknowledge specifically the impact on our black colleagues, friends and families whose experience many of us, myself included, will never be able to understand fully. 

“I strongly believe that if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem – and the problem of racism and injustice is global. At Ambition, the heart of our charitable mission is to tackle educational disadvantage and entrenched inequality, and we need to do more to help tackle racism and bias in our education system.

“Black people are underrepresented in the school workforce: under 3% of all teachers and just 1.3% of headteachers are black or black mixed-race. Black teachers do not reach leadership positions at the same rate as their white peers.

“As an organisation dedicated to the professional development of teachers and school leaders, Ambition clearly has a role to play in solving this problem. 

“We’re not starting from scratch: our predecessor organisations laid strong foundations, and our participants and staff are passionate advocates for this mission. But we need to make sure that we draw on this energy and purpose to take stronger action. 
“We will do this in three ways:

  1. Listening. We will gather insights and ideas from our team, our partners, teachers and school leaders to help shape our approach. 
  2. Embedding equality, diversity and inclusion in our strategy. As we develop our strategy for the coming years, diversity will be at its core. We will look at who is currently on our programmes, how recruitment and selection works, and whether our content and curriculum cover the right things in the right way. We want our programmes to be part of changing things, rather than accepting, or perpetuating, the status quo. 
  3. Educating ourselves. We all hold different knowledge and experience, but we can all learn more. Over the past few days, our team has already begun sharing the resources, books and sites that have helped them to better understand racism, as well as people sharing their own personal experiences. This is an opportunity for us all to reflect and learn.” 

You can find a full breakdown of the Department for Education school teacher workforce data here.