Mrs Bushra Nasir was a secondary headteacher with 20 years’ experience at Plashet School in the London Borough of Newham before retiring in December 2012. She was the first Muslim female headteacher of a secondary school in the UK.
In 2003, she was awarded a CBE for her services to education and in 2005 won the ‘Asian Professional Woman of the Year’ award. She served on the General Teaching Council from 2000 to 2005 and was president of the Muslim Teachers’ Association for six years. In 2006, Mrs Nasir was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of East London for her services to education; in 2007 she received a Fellowship from Queen Mary College London.
Plashet is an 11–16 comprehensive girls’ school with 1,355 students, 90 per cent of them from ethnic minority backgrounds and a high percentage with free school meals. Plashet is a high-achieving school with GCSE results above national average; the 2012 GCSE results were the highest achieved by the school at 74% 5 good passes including English and Maths compared to 28% in 1993.
Plashet gained Beacon status in September 2000, Leading Edge status in 2004 and Science Specialist College Status in September 2007. The school was ‘outstanding’ in its Ofsted inspection in March 2005 and March 2008. It was featured in a national report produced by Ofsted entitled ‘12 Outstanding Schools – excelling against the odds’.
While working in Newham, Mrs Nasir chaired Secondary Heads’ meetings and led a Leading Edge Partnership. She has also mentored ten newly appointed Head-teachers.
She has been trained and accredited as a mentor by the Institute of Education and has completed the Consultant Leaders Programme. She is an accredited School Improvement Partner (SIP) and has supported schools in Essex. She is currently on the Education Advisory Panel for Mosaic and is a coach for the NCSL BME headteacher internship programme. She is a Council member of Queen Mary University and the Chair of the Education Committee of the Migration Project.
Mrs Nasir has spoken at a wide range of conferences and events related to educational issues for parents, head-teachers and educationalists.
Mrs Nasir is co-author of a book called Breaking Stereotypes, which aims to provide positive role models for ethnic minority young people. In 2009, she was named in the top 10 list of Muslim women in the ‘Muslim Power’ list produced by the Equality and Human Rights Commission and published in The Times.
Mrs Nasir was awarded TES Headteacher of the Year in summer 2012.