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Promoting and Supporting Diversity in School Leadership Development

Project Description

This research examines and raises awareness of the experiences of UK-based school teachers who identify as LGBT. It will focus on those teachers participating in the UK’s only LGBT Leadership programme for teachers, Courageous Leaders. It will identify the challenges facing LGBT teachers aspiring to positions of school leadership and evaluate the effectiveness of the Courageous Leaders programme. The findings and recommendations of the research project will provide a valuable resource for policy makers and those planning or running specific school leadership programmes.

Through interviews with alumni of the Courageous Leaders programme, the research will:

• Explore the challenges facing LGBT aspiring teacher leaders.
• Evaluate their experiences during the Courageous Leaders programme.
• Examine the application and impact of the Courageous Leaders programme to the career development and professional practice of participants.

A phenomenological theoretical framework will underpin this research. It will assume a descriptive and interpretive theory of social action that explores subjective experience within the taken-for-granted world of the daily life of individuals. Interpretative phenomenological analysis will be used to examine how the participants made sense of their experiences as an LGBT aspiring teacher leader before, during and after the programme.

The proposed project builds on Dr Catherine Lee’s research, which examines diversity in school leadership and explores ways in which LGBT teachers can be supported to gain leadership roles. In 2016, working with three academy trusts in Essex and Cambridgeshire, Lee established Courageous Leaders. Based on the values of authentic leadership, promoting inclusion, and achieving social justice, the Courageous Leaders programme provides mentoring, training and support for LGBT teachers aspiring to become school leaders. The programme appears to be effective, with 80% of LGBT teachers achieving promotion within their year on the programme. However, the reasons for its effectiveness are not clear and this research project will provide a strategy and principles for success, which other school leadership programmes can adopt.

To discuss the research project, please contact

Candidate requirements

Applications are invited from UK/EU nationals only. Applicants are expected to hold, or about to obtain, a minimum upper second-class undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in a cognate discipline. A Masters degree in a relevant subject is desirable.


You can apply via our landing page http://www.anglia.ac.uk/studentships. We will review all applications after the submission deadline of 9 February. Applications missing the project reference number will be rejected as will applications for multiple studentships.

If you have any queries relating to the application process or the terms and conditions of the studentships, please contact Becky Kraszewski on 01245 684920, or email .

Documentation required

You will also need the following documents available electronically to upload them to the application portal (we can accept files in pdf, jpeg or Word format):

1) Certificates and transcripts from your Bachelor and Masters degrees, (if applicable)
2) Your personal statement explaining your suitability for the project
3) Passport and visa (if applicable)
4) English Language qualifications (if applicable)
5) Curriculum Vitae

Funding Notes

The successful applicant for this project will receive a Vice Chancellor’s studentship awards which covers Home/EU tuition fees and provides a UKRI equivalent minimum annual stipend for three years. The award is subject to the successful candidate meeting the studentship Terms and conditions.

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