Letting the Light in

This report is about repair. It draws upon a range of practical and contemporary lessons of leadership, where a generative space has been created to prepare for, cope with, reflect on, learn from and repair the personal and institutional costs of systemic blaming and shaming. Hopefully it will help to illustrate what can be learned from a new approach to leadership – recently termed ‘leaderhood’ by Dame Ruth – inspired by thoughtful and creative leaders outside and within FE.

It attempts to build upon the important work led by FETL over the past year, exploring the causes and costs of shame within the FE sector and thinking about the conditions required to support recovery and repair. At the time of writing we are working, living and leading in very strange times, with unsettled days and an uncertain future. As Dame Ruth recently remarked, the sector is currently ‘pivoting’; it has been dismantled, and will need to be gradually reassembled in the wake of this multifaceted crisis. Leadership – or more precisely ‘leaderhood’ – has never been more needed to guide organisations purposefully and reflexively through these times, with a keen eye on the ‘good’ and the potential for a healthy and creative – generative – recovery.

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