The 9th Subject from my ‘You Are Enough’ series is artist and educator Linett Kamala. Linett is passionate about improving the lives of others, especially young people through education and the arts. She has worked tirelessly with organisations across the private, public and not-for-profit sectors on educational assignments and creative projects, particularly with the goal of providing enriching opportunities for disadvantaged young people.

For over 26 years she has quietly influenced change within the U.K. education system helping staff and students achieve excellence in schools facing significant challenges. As a founding cohort member of The Future Leaders Headship programme in 2006 and speaker at numerous education events, she helped to shape and influence various government policies of the view that ‘every child’ is entitled to a quality education provision regardless of their background and with the right support can be helped to reach their full potential.

Her professional career in education begun in 1996 as a teacher of art and design and unusually for someone with a visual arts background in education, she became an education director for a multi-academy trust which at the time had over 5,000 children across its schools. Linett has gone on to train, mentor and inspire hundreds of head teachers, including many black and asian school leaders into their first senior leadership roles and headships.

In 2008 whilst working as a senior leader in a challenging school, Linett was diagnosed with depression. Through the support of her family, loved ones and health professionals she was able to return to the profession. However, she has kept her condition hidden for fear of being stigmatised by those within her profession. This is despite her being an advocate on the importance of wellbeing for students and staff within the education system, particularly for those in challenging circumstances. Linett has bravely agreed to use this platform to share her struggles of not only working as a black female at the top of the education system in the U.K., but also one who lives with depression.

In 2016 after 16 years of successful senior leadership in schools, Linett made the decision to walk away from executive leadership and return to her original love of teaching art. She currently teaches Art part-time, works as an education consultant specialising in leadership and behaviour management. As a trainer, facilitator, coach and mentor she is busy educating the next generation of school leaders about the importance of wellbeing and taking a holistic approach to education.

Linett is currently training as an arts psychotherapist and recently set up her new company Lin Kam Art to enrich the lives and wellbeing of others through art, particularly adolescent girls. Her dream is to provide therapeutic and unforgettable artistic experiences to young people who love art. As a former secondary school art teacher myself I am aware that society undervalues this profession and I am awed by Linett’s resilience and dedication to supporting and nurturing young people and her colleagues.

Wall provision: at Brixton’s Street Gym