This paper is one of several drawn from the findings of a research project entitled Integrating Leadership and Diversity in Leadership in Further Education funded by the Centre for Excellence in Leadership (CEL) and conducted by Jacky Lumby, Kalwant Bhopal, Martin Dyke, and Felix Maringe at the University of Southampton and Marlene Morrison at Oxford Brookes University. In this section we introduce the aims, purposes, and parameters of the research, and identify those aspects with which this paper is primarily concerned. The Full Report is available at: http://www.lums.lancs.ac.uk/leadership/cel/ Further Education has an historic commitment to providing inclusive education and training opportunities. In consequence, it has sustained an enduring engagement with issues of diversity and inclusion related to learners. The Green Paper Further Education: Raising Skills, Improving Life Chances (DfES, 2006) notes what has been achieved: ‘Many colleges are exemplars in the diversity of their students and staff, serving as a resource that is available to, and valued by, all sections of their community’ (op cit, para. 2.35). However, the paper also suggests that ‘there is more to be done to address the current lack of diversity within the workforce. Too many minority groups continue to be under-represented, especially at senior levels, and face barriers to progression in the sector’ (DfES, 2006, para. 4.34). The sector is increasingly seeking means to address these and other issues related to a diverse workforce. Within this context, diverse leadership is emphasised as key to achieving organizational effectiveness and to modelling values of equity for learners and the wider community (DfES, 2005). However, previous research by Lumby et al (2005) suggests that achieving diversity in leadership presents formidable challenges, not least because it raises questions about what is meant by diversity, and whether assumptions about its meaning are shared. As importantly, it raised concerns about whether there is, as yet, universal support for seeking a more diverse and inclusive leadership, what this might ‘look like’, and whether it would, in itself, lead to more effective leadership
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