As businesses respond to the current economic situation, the director of Rising Stars Nursery and Day Care spoke with The Leaders Council about the importance of providing direction-based leadership and introducing the first private scholarship scheme in Haringey. Meanwhile Michael Gove has disclosed plans for a joint Covid statement with First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon.
Leadership in Focus
For the past decade, Gabriel Dumaka has overseen the operations of Rising Stars Nursery and Day Care, a Haringey-based collective of nurseries and day-cares, who believe in the importance of promoting British values. In an interview with The Leaders Council of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Dumaka considered the importance of strong leadership amid the pandemic.
“The discussion of leadership could not have come at a better time,” he notes, praising the work of nurses and doctors across the country for their tireless efforts to combat the worst of the pandemic.
When asked what he considered the word leader to mean, Dumaka responded: “For me, the word leader means someone who provides direction – a visionary who is able to motivate and engage others, who is able to think critically and to engage with problem solving skills.”
The recent decision from the nursery to introduce the first private scholarship scheme in Haringey demonstrates that Dumaka and his team are willing and able to support their beliefs with concrete actions. The scheme, launched in February, has gained support from MPs including David Lammy and Catherine West, and will provide subsidies for children until the age of five.
Dumaka concludes that the role of a leader is not centred around popularity: “Ask anyone in a leadership position and they will tell you that their priority is not to try and be popular, it is to pursue policies and to inspire others.”
The work of Dumaka and his team during the pandemic demonstrates the importance of deeds as well as words, and provides inspiration to leaders across the country.
Gove stated that, at the request of the country’s devolved administrations, a “shared statement” will be issued regarding how coronavirus will be tackled across the country.
The announcement follows increasingly strained relations between the UK and Scottish government in recent weeks, with prime minister Boris Johnson, referring to Sturgeon’s quarantine warning as “shameful”.
When asked about his recent visit to Scotland, Gove, who hails from Aberdeen, said: "I was talking to Nicola just last Friday and we agreed we would shortly release a shared statement across the UK about our approach towards the virus so whatever noises off we’ve had in the past, the right approach, the approach we discussed on Friday and shared on Saturday is to work well together."
He concluded that the statement would indicate that: “We also recognise that we're stronger together.”
Leadership in History
Just under 150 years ago today, Kate Sheppard delivered a petition to the New Zealand parliament, demanding women’s suffrage. Signed by over 25,000 women, over one fifth of the number of women in Europe at the time, the petition helped to pass the country’s 1893 Electoral Bill.
The 1893 election saw 88 per cent of New Zealand’s women register to vote, and 70 per cent ultimately cast their ballots, the first time in the world women were allowed to vote, aside from the Corsican Republic.