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Progression or cul de sac? From Foundation Learning to the Study Programme: A Study of four organisations in the English Further Education Sector

Deere, JA; (2016) Progression or cul de sac? From Foundation Learning to the Study Programme: A Study of four organisations in the English Further Education Sector. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Successive governments have raised concerns about the relatively low numbers of people who achieve qualifications at Level 2. In 2005, the New Labour government announced the intention to introduce a new programme, the Foundation Learning Tier, that would provide qualification progression routes from Entry Level to Level 2. The mechanism for this progression would be the Qualification and Credit Framework (QCF). The underpinning aim of this contemporaneous study is to explore the perceptions and understandings of managers and lecturers in the Further Education Sector of the change to Foundation Learning and its successor, the Study Programme. The key question to be explored is the extent to which these programmes facilitate progression to a Level 2 course. A case study approach was selected, with four sub-cases: two General Further Education Colleges and two Independent Learning Providers. Managers and lecturers were interviewed, using a semi-structured approach, focusing on the structural and educational consequences of policy implementation. The centralised national policies and performance measures were not sufficiently flexible to accommodate the diversity of the provision in the four sub-case organisations. The implementation of the Foundation Learning Programme resulted in increasing perceptual and structural hurdles to vertical progression. The pedagogical approaches in the curriculum design served to compound educational disadvantage and limit opportunity. Without a paradigm shift in policy-making, encompassing a fundamental understanding of the purpose of education, and of the ways in which policy and pedagogy can combine to foster progress, the provision around level 1 for school leavers who under-achieve at school is unlikely to result in a reduction in the attainment gap.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Progression or cul de sac? From Foundation Learning to the Study Programme: A Study of four organisations in the English Further Education Sector
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Keywords: education, post-16, pedagogy, Foundation-Learning, Study-programme, progression, Level 1, further education, double-shuffle
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1493167
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