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Title: The current workplace experience of further education lecturers and managers : still restrictive after all these years?
Author: McClymont, David
ISNI:       0000 0004 8507 549X
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis uses a single-case study design to provide a qualitative, in-depth exploration of the current workforce experience of managers and lecturers within 'Redgrove', a recently merged, inner-city Further Education (FE) college. Since the incorporation of colleges in 1993 the literature has been consistent in reporting FE settings as difficult, oppressive places to work. At present, the Sector is being radically restructured via merger processes and ongoing, significant qualification reform, whilst colleges are simultaneously reporting severe financial pressures after a decade of austerity measures. The fact that these are largely 'top-down' policy initiatives indicates, as the thesis attests, that FE continues to offer neo-liberal workplace environments in which lecturers and managers struggle to shape key processes. The research organises itself around the premise that three processes are particularly influential in seeking to understand this struggle: policy, professionalism and workplace learning. These are used as three, often integrated, lenses to guide exploration of the case. The in-depth nature of the case study is supported by the 'insider' status of the researcher, documentation review and seventeen semi-structured interviews. The interviews include narrative accounts from all four of Redgrove's organisational levels: senior, middle and junior managers as well as lecturers. This allows relationships between the different points in the hierarchy to emerge and for a range of perspectives across the three research lenses to be represented. Findings confirm that the FE workplace is marked by recurring interrelated constraints which produce isolating and 'intensive' working days. The process of identifying such constraints is bolstered by application of an expansive-restrictive framework which then works to support recommendations for possible 'ways forward'. These include: removing early plateaus for expert teachers; aligning individual and organisational goals; more intelligent accountability; and opening up workplace structures to provide protected spaces in which to learn and from which to build connections across internal and external boundaries.
Supervisor: Spours, K. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available