This book brings together the perspectives of researchers, policy-makers and practitioners from across England, Wales and Scotland to produce a rich, up-to-date and highly textured source of evidence about this under-researched sector. The contributors analyse how each country's approach to national policy, organisation, governance and practice operates and show that by understanding this in depth, one can move beyond simplistic comparisons, policy borrowing and idealisations towards a more effective mode of government in the future. The book looks at the commonalities and differences between the UK's national systems and compares this internationally, before it maps out and summarises each nation's key system features. It gives expert opinion on the organisational arrangements and priorities in England, Scotland and Wales and shows how each operates in practice and what implications there are for the learners, educational professionals and wider stakeholders. The book concludes by imagining three possible scenarios for the future of education and training policy across the UK. This book will be of direct interest and relevance to national and international researchers and policy-makers in the broadly defined field of post-compulsory education and lifelong learning. It will also appeal to teachers, lecturers and postgraduate students on courses related to education and political science, and those who work in national and regional agencies in England, Scotland and Wales.
Professor Ann Hodgson is Faculty Director of Research, Consultancy and Knowledge Transfer and Co-Director of the Centre for Post-14 Research and Innovation at the Institute of Education, University of London. Professor Ken Spours is Head of the Department of Continuing and Professional Education and Co-Director of the Centre for Post-14 Research and Innovation at the Institute of Education, University of London. Martyn Waring is a Visiting Research Associate at the Institute of Education, University of London. Professor Jim Gallacher is Emeritus Professor of Lifelong Learning at the Centre for Research in Lifelong Learning, Glasgow Caledonian University. Dr Stuart Gardner is Head of Business Performance at the Young People's Learning Agency. Professor Vernon Gayle is Professor of Sociology in the Department of Applied Social Science at the University of Stirling. Dr Dennis Gunning is the former Director of Skills, Higher Education and Lifelong Learning in the Welsh Assembly Government's Department for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills. He retired in July 2010. Professor David James is Co-Director of the Bristol Centre for Research in Lifelong Learning and Education (BRILLE) at the University of the West of England, Bristol. Professor Ewart Keep is Deputy Director of the Economic and Social Research Council's Research Centre on Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance (SKOPE) at Cardiff University. Dr Janet Lowe is a member of the Scottish Funding Council, a board member of Skills Development Scotland and Chair of their joint Skills Committee. Professor David Raffe is Professor of Sociology of Education at Edinburgh University and a member of the University's Centre for Educational Sociology. Professor Gareth Rees is Director of the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Methods and Data and a Professor in the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University.