ERIC Number: EJ721954
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Sep
Reference Count: 45
A New Learning and Skills Landscape? The Central Role of the Learning and Skills Council
Coffield, Frank; Steer, Richard; Hodgson, Ann; Spours, Ken; Edward, Sheila; Finlay, Ian
Journal of Education Policy, v20 n5 p631-656 Sep 2005
This is the first paper from a project which is part of the Economic and Social Research Council's programme of research into "Teaching and learning". The project, entitled "The impact of policy on learning and inclusion in the new learning and skills sector", explores what impact the efforts to create a single learning and skills system are having on teaching, learning, assessment and inclusion for three marginalized groups of post-16 learners. Drawing primarily on policy documents and 62 in-depth interviews with national, regional and local policy-makers in England, the paper points to a complex, confusing and constantly changing landscape. In particular, it deals with the formation, early years and recent reorganization of the Learning and Skills Council (LSC), its roles, relations with government, its rather limited power, its partnerships and likely futures. While the formation of a more unified learning and skills system is broadly seen as a necessary step in overcoming the fragmentation and inequalities of the previous post-16 sector, interviewees also highlighted problems, some of which may not simply abate with the passing of time. Political expectations of change are high, but the LSC and its partners are expected to carry through "transformational" strategies without the necessary "tools for the job". In addition, some features of the learning and skills sector policy landscape still remain unreformed or need to be reorganized. The LSC and its partners are at the receiving end of a series of policy drivers (e.g. planning, funding, targets, inspection and initiatives) that may have partial or even perverse effects on the groups of marginalized learners we are studying.
Descriptors: Program Effectiveness, Foreign Countries, Educational Policy, Public Agencies, Agency Role, Interviews, Skill Development, Partnerships in Education, Educational Change, Adult Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)