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Black Leadership Initiative

The Black Leadership Initiative® (BLI) was established in 2002 following the publication of the report of the Commission for Black Staff in Further Education. Its brief was clear: to introduce practical measures that would improve the career development opportunities for BAME staff and managers.

Black-led and now housed within the Network for Black Professionals, the BLI® has pioneered award winning practical programmes to support succession planning strategies for BAME staff across sectors.


  • Winner of the British Diversity Award Gold Standard for Education
  • 19.5% of Chief Executives/Principals/Chairs of Governors in the FE sector trained as BLI mentors
  • Pioneered Shadows with Ofsted, DIUS and the Minister of State for Lifelong Learning, Further and Higher Education
  • Increased the number of black principals across the Learning and Skills systems
  • Developed international links with America and South Africa
  • Increasing the number of BAME middle and senior managers
  • Approximately 70% of participants on the Ofsted/BLI Inspection shadowing programme have achieved career progression
  • Featured in the Foster report as 'an organisation making a difference’