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The mediation of Further Education professionalisation policies at the meso-level of policy-making

Poma, S; (2017) The mediation of Further Education professionalisation policies at the meso-level of policy-making. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Using a case study composed of meso-level organisations, with a particular emphasis on Higher Education institutions, the thesis focuses on the mediation of Further Education professionalisation policies during and following the 2012 Lingfield review. The literature reflects a ‘top down’ application of Further Education professionalisation policies but there is theoretical evidence that policy-making is a ‘messy’ process. Drawing on a hybrid theoretical and analytical framework, which suggests that the organisations studied mirror ‘issue’ networks’ practices, the study examines the processes and levels of agency exercised by players whilst mediating policies. The level of agency is of importance in a sector described as the Cinderella of education. Central to the argument of this thesis is thus the current and potential agency of the policy players. The findings confirm that the mediation is a ‘messy’ and complex process. They reveal that the network’s meso-level policy-players are not all equal and that they mediate policies through an exchange of resources, interactions and ‘playing games’. As a resource, funding has the most currency but professional expertise has been undermined. Players struggle with their relationship with government but also with their peers, particularly in the case of Higher Education, whose policy-making behaviour is perceived as protectionist. The findings identify two specific games operated ‘below the radar’; one of connivance and the other of avoidance, and stress the need for the Further Education sector to evolve from its current ‘Cinderella’ image. The case study shows that the meso-level policy mediation practices have little impact and that the players react to the policy-making process. The study concludes that the players need to progress from a reactive to a proactive level of mediation to increase agency over policy-making. It suggests the adoption of a ‘nibble and nudge’ strategy embedded within a triple professionalism framework.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: The mediation of Further Education professionalisation policies at the meso-level of policy-making
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1538829
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