Past fellows and projects

Jessica Russell

Jessica Russell worked at Southend Adult Community College and is currently lead for the Adult Education Mental Health Research project, funded by the Department for Education at the time of her fellowship

She has extensive experience in community engagement and in the design and delivery of community learning for the most disadvantaged groups, working in partnership with a range of statutory and third sector stakeholder organisations.

Jessica is qualified to teach in the lifelong learning sector and has delivered across a range of curriculum areas from English and maths functional skills to community and family learning.

She is the current Chair of the REACH South Essex Recovery College Consortium board, a pilot initiative between statutory and voluntary mental health sector organisations and further education providers.

Recognising Excellent Governance in the Independent Training Provider Sector

This monograph will seek to determine and recognise excellent practice in the ITP sector.

Leading innovation in further education and skills

This project looked at innovation in further education, where innovation comes from, and how it can be encouraged.

What next for FE and skills in Scotland

Working with IPPR Scotland, this project consists of a roundtable, symposium and research report bringing together key representatives from within and outwith the skills system in Scotland, key decision makers, employers and students to take stock of the last few years and look ahead to how the skills system can build on its current performance to ensure it is best fulfilling its role, meeting the... Read more

Possibility thinking

Possibility Thinking is a new collection of essays published in collaboration with the RSA. It focuses on three interconnected and overlapping areas of change that will enhance the FE and skills sector’s potential to develop the creative capacities of learners and their communities

10-year scenarios for FE and skills

The purpose of the project is to look beyond the immediate policy and financial challenges in further education and skills and envisage the next 10 years.

Leadership in a world of change: Understandings of, and leadership strategies to deal with, emerging models of ‘localism'.

The over-arching research question for this project is: ‘How and with what consequences, are colleges and other stakeholders responding (strategically and operationally at a range of levels from individual institution to national system) to devolution, localism and attempts to spatially restructure education and training provision against a backdrop of declining central government financial... Read more

New blood: The thinking and approaches of new leaders in the employment and skills market

The project looked to harness the new and fresh leadership styles from new entrants to the FE and Skills sector in order to share these with established leaders and generate new thinking around the leadership of learning. Working with 157 Group it will identify a sample from 100 relevant organisations, carry out interviews, run ‘leadership thinking exchange’ roundtable events, develop... Read more

The changing face of FE leadership in Wales: Meeting the challenges of financial austerity

The research investigated the governance role of college leaders in fostering good practice at a time of financial austerity. It will also investigate governor perceptions of the impact of austerity, the interface between college management and governors in fostering a culture of enterprise and innovation, and develop strategies for governors and principals to enhance their influence more widely... Read more

Leadership for learning: Ethical practice

The project developed a practical understanding of the behaviours and approaches adopted by ethical leaders in FE.  Case studies were developed based on those leaders who have successfully enacted their ethical values within the institutions they lead. 

How can psychoanalysis and systems theory contribute to leading thinking in FE and skills?

The project ran strategic seminars for senior and middle leaders that focus on systems thinking. The result was a series of think pieces that will showcase new thinking and increase scholarship in the sector around this area of work.