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Riding the waves of policy? The case of basic skills in adult and community learning in England

Hodgson, A; Edward, S; Gregson, M; (2007) Riding the waves of policy? The case of basic skills in adult and community learning in England. Journal of Vocational Education and Training , 59 (2) pp. 213-229. 10.1080/13636820701342913. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper draws on data from secondary sources and in-depth interviews to explore the question: What is the impact of policy on teaching, learning, assessment and inclusion in Adult and Community Learning (ACL) Skills for Life (SfL) provision? In particular, it focuses on the government’s use of five policy-steering mechanisms—funding, inspection, planning, targets and policy initiatives (in this case SfL). The design of the study allows us to use evidence from four sets of interviews with teachers, learners and managers of ACL in eight sites of learning (four in London and four in the North East) over a period of 26 months of considerable policy turbulence. We argue, first, that there is a symbiotic relationship between ACL and SfL provision; and second, that while the combined effects of targets and funding have the most powerful effects on tutor and manager actions, inspection, planning and tutors’ and managers’ own professional values also have an important role in shaping the teaching of literacy and numeracy in ACL sites. We conclude by suggesting that professionals at the local level should be allowed to play a greater role in SfL policy-making to ensure effective policy and practice. © 2007 The Vocational Aspect of Education Ltd.

Type: Article
Title: Riding the waves of policy? The case of basic skills in adult and community learning in England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/13636820701342913
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/1561043
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