Quality issues in post-16 education and training : perceptions of the impact of quality systems on teachers
The primary emphasis of this thesis is on the potential impact of quality systems on teaching staff and post — 16 education institutions as a whole, with a particular focus on Further Education, the author's area of work. A further emphasis is on the process that attempts to measure quality and an analysis is made of quality systems and various quality models adopted by educational organisations. The variety of quality systems introduced into organisations to promote quality is examined and investigated including the OfSTED/ALI Common Inspection Framework (CIF), Investors in People (liP), the ISO 9000 series, Total Quality Management (TQM), Excellence for Quality Model (EFQM), the National Health Service Commission for Health Improvement and the Self Assessment process. There is a particular focus on the factors that can affect the quality of provision. Broad contextual issues are discussed, particularly the unique, historical background of Further Education and the associated ideological questions that arise in response to this focus. There is recognition within the research and the literature of both external and internal pressures on education and training organisations within the sector from systems that are designed to promote quality. The thesis explores the effect of different systems on individuals within a range of organisations. The research focuses on eight teachers in the post-16 sector who explore the impact of quality systems in their organisations and their perceptions of the effect on themselves and their colleagues. Issues relating to the impact of quality systems on staff are identified; the relationship between the intended and the actual effect of the systems are discussed and ways forward to improve quality in the sector are suggested and explored.