Management of change in further education : some perceptions of college principals
The illuminative research gives an account of the reactions and opinions of college principals to changes in the English further education system effected through two major pieces of legislation: the 1988 Education Reform Act and the 1992 Further and Higher Education Act. The methodology included a postal questionnaire to 34 principals followed by intensive interviews with 15 principals in East Midlands colleges, in-depth interviews with 3 further principals of national standing outside the East Midlands and an examination of principals' meetings and literature relevant to the period. The research explored a number of areas including student recruitment; staffing; competition to colleges; administration, management and finance; issues arising from the 1988 and 1992 Education Acts; and other general areas affecting college principals. It charted the progress of five years of significant development of the English further education system and exposed considerable concern about the imposed speed of change, degree of turbulence and the paucity of training, help and guidance given to colleges during this period. It also revealed details of principals' successes, failures and personal costs, as well as identifying considerable losses of staff and concomitant disquiet and unrest during the major attitudinal changes and management reconstructions which were taking place throughout a decade of significant development.