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FETL paper - Leadership, learning and lockdown

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A new paper from @FETforL reflects on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on education leadership and considers what lessons can be learned as we look towards an uncertain and, almost certainly, very different future

The Further Education Trust for Leadership (FETL) has published a new paper highlighting the challenges faced by the education system, and education leaders, in particular, in responding to the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting lockdown.

This FETL monograph, Leadership, learning and lockdown: First thoughts on lessons for leadership from the coronavirus crisis, by Sir Chris Husbands, Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University, gives an inside view of how staff, leaders and institutions are coping with the unprecedented circumstances in which they find themselves.

The crisis has obliged education institutions to adopt new ways of working, almost overnight. This paper gives draws lessons from the crisis for leaders and learning, outlining cautious but informed conclusions about the ‘new normal’ that will emerge from the pandemic.

Dame Ruth Silver, President of FETL, said: ‘This is a hugely welcome contribution that reflects on the challenges the COVID-19 crisis has posed for learning and its leaders, and asks what it can tell us about leadership and the future of education. The transition from face-to-face teaching to online and distance learning placed significant and unprecedented demands on leaders, their institutions and staff. The response in further education, and in the education system more generally, has been remarkable, but there are also important lessons to be learned from all of this, and this FETL monograph begins the process.

‘We are on the verge of a new and unpredictable normal that we, as leaders, have, to an equally unpredictable extent, an opportunity to shape. In these difficult and challenging times, when the present can seem all-consuming, it is more critical than ever that we try to fix our gaze on the future that is emerging from the crisis and on the potential role of FE and skills within that. I would like to express my respect and gratitude to Sir Chris for rising to the call so eloquently and offering some direction and foresight from within the heart of the storm.’

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