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Title: Subcontracted Further Education in England : a case study of a private provider
Author: Bourne, Darren
ISNI:       0000 0004 7959 9262
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2019
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Further Education (FE) is under-researched and not well understood, but subcontracted FE is virtually invisible, despite being a significant part of the sector: subcontracting accounted for around £800m, or 8% of the national FE spend, in 2016/17. This study gives voice to managers inside a subcontracted private provider, a near-silent part of the turbulent FE sector. In the early 1990's, Kirsten established Midvotech, a private Further Education provider subcontracted to a local college. Years later, Midvotech was part of a thriving group of businesses; Kirsten was MD and I was leading the education provision and was generously allowed privileged access to my workplace as a research site. This is the account of the revelatory case study of Midvotech, inflected by my somewhat contradictory leader-insider-researcher status. Data was collected between 2013 and 2017 and managers cast Midvotech as a highly contradictory, agile, and fast-paced organisation. Midvotech had high expectations of them, but they were permitted high levels of agency as managers. Both organisational agility and individuals' agency were positive manifestations of the "terrors" of neoliberal performativity, a term used by an educational theorist who exemplified a policy view of the educational landscape and was highly critical of privatisation in education, Stephen Ball. Challenging the dominant policy view of FE, the philosophy of Alain Badiou is employed to re-explore Midvotech. Rooted in an intuition early in the research, the lens of Badiou provokes new ways of thinking Midvotech's contradictions. Governance and power relationships are illuminated by re-casting Kirsten and those around her as Badiouian subjects. Although Midvotech is an outlier, its inclusion in FE enriches a sector best defined by the difference it incorporates. Following this argument, the contribution of the Midvotech study serves to inform a more positive potential future for FE.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LC5201 Education extension. Adult education. Continuing education