Don’t let @BAMEedNetwork shame your education event

February 17, 2018

Last week I wrote about how progressives use race to smear education events. I noticed how certain events are singled out for criticism for not having enough ethnic minority speakers on every single panel, while others are not commented on at all even when they advertise a completely white line up.

Most of the response was what you might expect. People claimed the events I mentioned were unrepresentative, or that there were special circumstances, but then couldn’t come up with any counter-examples. People denied the debate between progressives and traditionalists, or refused to acknowledge that some events were progressive dominated while others had a range of viewpoints. People claimed that all events were national events, and, therefore, anybody who took account of where events were held, was defending racism. Nobody gave any evidence that speakers, who often travel at their own expense, will agree to travel anywhere in the country without any regard to time and money. Add to that the ad hominem comments about me and the people who took offence about statements of facts, and you get the picture.

However, one thing that came up was that there was more co-ordination to one of the Twitter shamings than I realised. I later updated my post to include it, but I hadn’t noticed one of the shamings began with a tweet saying:

Diversity klaxon going wild there. Need some help? #BAMEed

This was a signal for people to make complaints and it came from one of the founders of the “BAMEed” group (@BAMEedNetwork). Another one of their leaders described what the group does in response to my questions:

The aim is to call out lack of diversity where it is seen. … If there was a system to ensure all event organisers checklist diversity objectives and balance at events trust me I would encourage it… [we] Just call out any event that has been organised without due respect to the various educators we have… It is public as it on Twitter. It is shaming as those who organise know that they should be doing better on representation. [The] Standard is as arbitrary as inclusion itself. … NRocks, SRocks, TEDxNorwich have actively asked for help with diversity speakers. Have spoken with EducationFest, OxfordshireHeads, ASE after they responded to challenge… Some such as the ASE were called out publicly and responded well. We work with them to improve… I say ‘Hey event organiser! Would be great if your event had the representation of BAME that we have nationally. Would really be good for educators to get more voices. Having trouble finding some? I can help.’

So there is a group that publicly shames… sorry… “calls out” some education events (but not others) for not having the right ethnic balance of speakers according to their own arbitrary standard. It also helps conferences by advising on speakers. Now, there are issues with the fairness of this that arise from the last post. However, there is a bigger concern here. Who are BAMEed to police education events in this way?

Well it turns out that of the 4 founders of BAMEed:

  • One has done work for Leadership Matters a group who advise schools. She explained that it was unpaid writing for their website, but until challenged on it had not been forthcoming about this even when I asked “…can you say directly that you do not work for any consultancy company?”.
  • One works for Challenge Partners, a group that organises education events and advises schools, and promises on their website to provide opportunities to “access the expertise of practitioners and external consultants”. While the debate over the shamings was happening, she advertised the Challenge Partners Conference with the words “Think Festival of Education but far more useful practically!” The Festival of Education, clearly identified here as a rival, was one of the events that has been Twitter shamed over diversity with what seemed like no real justification at all.
  • One works as a “Consultant/Trainer” and according to his website “travels offering training and CPD to educational institutions”.
  • One is the director of ThinkSimple Ltd, a consultancy firm which “consists of a team of experienced educators and trainers who use the philosophy of 21st century learning to support schools and businesses to help redefine a more efficient and successful way of working.”

Now, consultants have a huge interest in speaking at conferences. It is somewhere school leaders will see them and consider hiring them. Nobody looking for a fair judge of education events would ever consider people who work with; for, or as consultants as anything other than a vested interest. I’m not alleging deliberate corruption, nor a conspiracy, but observing the fact that this group has a significant conflict of interest when it comes to policing conferences online, and in advising conferences on who to invite to speak. They even admitted that some of the events they sought to advise actually paid speakers.

Even if it was without conflicts of interest, trying to enforce an arbitrary standard of diversity, through the means of Twitter shaming is morally dubious. As my last post pointed out, there is reason to doubt the neutrality of these campaigns and several people from ethnic minorities involved in education raised the concern that the group did not speak for them or their interests. But now that it has emerged that the shamings are being organised by people who have significant conflicts of interest regarding who gets to speak at education events and how those events are perceived online, it’s time to call on them to stop it. The use of social media to police and publicly shame education events, particularly those organised by unpaid volunteers, needs to end now.



  1. I’ve experienced this firsthand. A pause in a Twitter conversation turned out to be the result of a call to a cohort who immediately attacked me and hijacked the thread. Turned out that both worked for the same Education firm. Ad hominem at its finest.

    • As a BAME teacher – I’m sick of these social justice warrior bullies playing identity politics with my skin colour – we don’t want their virtue signalling and hijacking of our experiences – whilst claiming to speak for us.

      They are only interested in spreading division, racism, sexism, hate and progressive pseudoscience

      Do not engage with them and never ever apologise to them and if you value your sanity avoid being bullied into letting them speak their poison at a venue/conference

      • Am with you on this. If we do get asked on merit it’s worth nothing and if we don’t then kick up a fuss. I would accept criticism is merited if genuinely someone specific should have been asked for their expertise and isn’t on a regular basis but that isn’t happening.

  2. As an unacknowledged ethnic minority, white western caucasian, I find the idea that anyone is virtue signalling in order to drum up business for consultants obnoxious. I would think anyone in the BAME community would be annoyed as well – it does not help, and actively gets in the way of peole who want to discuss the real concerns, underachievement of some ethnic minotities of example.

  3. No matter who calls out lack of diversity and for whatever motive – lack of diversity is just that – RACISM and SEXISM! Get over it mate.

    • Even if the “lack” is entirely subjective and based on a standard that nobody but the vested interest calling it out has agreed to? Even if the event is small, in a less diverse part of the country, based entirely on volunteers and any lack of diversity is entirely a result of who is willing to volunteer, where the event is and the random variation you’d expect with a small sample? Even if the people calling it out only call it out for events where they disagree with the views of the speakers and ignore events that are more lacking in diversity if the speakers are ones they agree with?

      No. Bullying is bullying, and diversity policing is a form of bullying by vested interests with grudges, not something people bring on themselves by being insufficiently “woke”.

      • Now you are sounding like you are blaming the victims of historical racism and misogyny! Sorry but your whole premise is discriminatory. For too long women who are more than 50% of the teaching profession have had to listen to mansplaining. For too long people of colour have been listening to white people telling them to stop complaining and get with the plan. And still today this goes on and people like you with an ideological grudge to push are trying to maintain their position of privilege that is so hard to let go.

        • Andrew was referring to BAME only so your references to women are unnecessary distractions for the purposes of smearing.

          Here’s what I think is racist

          a) Use of the term people of colour – it’s simply an inversion of coloured people.

          b) “people of colour have been listening to white people telling them to stop complaining and get with the plan.”

          I agree but it’s the “white allies” in the system who say it and now they have changed their tune and want to give promotions and jobs to BAME in exchange for not changing the methods of teaching that leave the poorest unable to read and to continue a system of depriving them of knowledge. Hardly a noble cause.

          c) “still today this goes on” Agree – see above.

          d) “people like you with an ideological grudge to push are trying to maintain their position of privilege that is so hard to let go.”

          Andrew has no ideological grudge. He acts on principle alone and is willing to be challenged on that principle. You have not addressed it once. I am BAME and Andrew has encouraged my blogging both at Labour Teachers and through addition to the Echo Chamber list.

          It’s hard to argue he wants to maintain a position of privilege seeing as he has consistently argued that class teachers should not have to go into senior management.

          BAMEed chose to be a self-promotional tool who don’t respect diversity of thought hence the reason I haven’t joined.

          Throwing racist or sexist at someone is a lazy argument, denigrates the experiences of actual victims of racism.

        • For too long, people with no talent or ability of any sort, and who have nothing interesting or relevant to say, have tried to make themselves little niches in education where they can waste other people’s time and money (directed towards themselves).

          This sort of drivel is a variant of that.

    • No,lack of diversity is not racism and sexism. I would not expect to find ethnic minorities at meetings in Leicestershire.

      • I’m assuming you aren’t including Leicester in Leicestershire there.

        • Of course not. They are different places. Btw I would be quite surprised to find ethnic minorities at a meeting in Blackpool either, but I would be surprised to find them lacking in Blackburn and Burnley.

  4. Reblogged this on The Echo Chamber.

  5. Yawn! Why you so angry? The majority of these so-called events attend are full of people that look just like you. If a network for underrepresented ethnic groups want to call this out/highlight this as an issue why not? Who else will speak for the minority? Get over it and stop suppressing the voice of the few!

    • Did you read the post, the last one or the comments?

      This “network” is run by a vested interest, and the events that have been shamed seem to be shamed less on the basis of being unrepresentative of the ethnic mix of their local area, and more on their willingness to let ordinary teachers and traditionalists speak. Far from speaking for the minority, in the comments some of the ethnic minority speakers with more traditionalist views on education have made it clear that this group does not speak for them.

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