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‘Modernisation’ and the role of policy levers in the Learning and Skills Sector

Steer, Richard; Spours, Ken; Hodgson, Ann; Finlay, Ian; Coffield, Frank; Edward, Sheila; Gregson, Maggie; (2007) ‘Modernisation’ and the role of policy levers in the Learning and Skills Sector. Journal of Vocational Education and Training , 59 (2) pp. 175-192. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper examines the changing use of policy levers in the English post-compulsory education and training system, often referred to as the Learning and Skills Sector. Policy steering by governments has increased significantly in recent years, bringing with it the development of new forms of arms-length regulation. In the English context these changes were expressed during the 1980s and 1990s through neo-liberal New Public Management and, since 1997, have been extended through the New Labour government’s project to further ‘modernise’ public services. We look here at the changing use of policy levers (focussing in particular on the role of targets, funding, inspection, planning and initiatives) over three historical phases, paying particular attention to developments since the formation of the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) in 2001. We conclude by considering the range of responses adopted by education professionals in this era of ‘modernisation’.

Type: Article
Title: ‘Modernisation’ and the role of policy levers in the Learning and Skills Sector
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: a. Policy in post-16 education and training b. Historical look at policy phases in the sector, linked to a conceptual approach examining the role of policy levers in a system of arms-length regulation c. Contributing to understanding of how education policy operates and offering insights on the functioning of the learning and skills sector d. - e. Based upon 3 ½ year TLRP Project Impact of Policy on Learning and Inclusion in the Learning and Skills Sector f. Refereed by two reviewers for the Journal of Vocational Education and Training g. 80% contribution This is an electronic version of an article published in Steer, Richard and Spours, Ken and Hodgson, Ann and Finlay, Ian and Coffield, Frank and Edward, Sheila and Gregson, Maggie (2007) ‘Modernisation’ and the role of policy levers in the Learning and Skills Sector. Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 59 (2). pp. 175-192. Journal of Vocational Education and Training is available online at: http://www.informaworld.com/10.1080/13636820701342574
Keywords: Funding of further/higher education , Public policy analysis , Inspection in further and higher education
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10001562
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