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Autonomy and powerlessness: the gap between policy and practice in English Further Education colleges

Orr, Kevin (2009) Autonomy and powerlessness: the gap between policy and practice in English Further Education colleges. In: DPR8: Power and the Academy: The 8th Conference of the Discourse, Power, Resistance Series, 6-8 April 2009, Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)

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    Abstract

    The New Labour government placed Further Education (FE) at the centre of delivering its policies on social justice through widening participation in education and on enhancing the vocational skills of the workforce. This has led to increasing scrutiny and control of FE, and consequently a torrent of initiatives that prescribe teachers’ training and practice. Although these initiatives appear to reduce academic autonomy, they may not bring about as much change as the government would like, or there may not be the need for so many initiatives. This paper considers one such, the statutory obligation since September 2007 for teachers in FE colleges to undertake and record thirty hours of CPD each year, and argues that it is based upon impoverished and restricted notions of professionalism. However, research evidence suggests that this policy has had little impact on FE teachers’ practice, although in an act of performativity the thirty hours may be seen to be carried out in full.

    Using the CPD initiative as an example, this paper analyses the gap between policy and practice in FE to analyse the restrictions on teachers’ professional and academic freedom. It also questions the government’s ability to affect meaningful change in FE when policy often reaches teachers stripped of any justification and reduced to its financial implication.

    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
    Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
    L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
    Schools: School of Education and Professional Development
    School of Education and Professional Development > Centre of Lifelong Learning and Social Justice
    School of Education and Professional Development > Centre of Lifelong Learning and Social Justice > Teaching, Public Pedagogies and Professionalism Research Group
    Related URLs:
    Depositing User: Sara Taylor
    Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2010 16:21
    Last Modified: 06 Aug 2013 11:38
    URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/8503

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