Crossing Boundaries 2: The FE Sector and Permeable Spaces

A review of recent FETL-funded projects and think pieces.

The first volume of Crossing Boundaries was commissioned by the Further Education Trust for Leadership in 2017 to provide a review and analysis of FETL’s published work to date. Paul Grainger produced a very clear and stimulating report that both demonstrated the wide range of activities which FETL had supported and highlighted some promising areas for development. Two years on, we approached Paul to reflect again on the work carried out by FETL and its partners against the wider context of changes in the wider further education community. And, once again, Paul has delivered a fascinating, highly readable review that makes intelligent sense of the main themes of our work and their relationship to the sector.

The common title shared by the two reports reflects both a key theme of our work, picked out in Paul’s original report and developed again here, and the nature of leadership in a sector with ‘permeable’ boundaries and diverse stakeholders. The willingness to move between disciplines and challenge and transcend boundaries remains pivotal to FETL’s work, and is reflected in very many of the projects which we have funded or in which we have participated. It is also a growing dimension of the work of FE leaders, reflected in new thinking about place and the role of colleges in contributing to the ‘narrative of their localities’.

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