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Lifelong learning as a lever on structural change? Evaluation of white paper: Learning to succeed: a new framework for post-16 learning

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Frank Coffield


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The government's White Paper, Learning to Succeed: a new framework for post-16 learning, is here evaluated. The considerable strengths of the proposals - replacement of the TECs with Learning and Skills Councils, the adoption of social partnership in the membership of the new Councils, the substantial increase in resource and a large number of specific measures - are briefly welcomed. A number of serious reservations are then discussed in detail - for example, the absence of a model of change, the over-riding concern to meet the skill needs of business, the over-reliance on human capital theory and the continued dependence on exhortation as a means of increasing employers' investment in training. Findings from The Learning Society Programme are then used to question some of the central assumptions underlying the official model of progress, it is argued that endless technocratic reforms are more likely to foster conformity, compliance and control rather than emancipation, empowerment and the enhancement of learning. Finally, it is concluded that the government is rightly pursuing radical, structural reform but is failing to recognize the potential of lifelong learning as a major lever on such change.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Coffield F

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Education Policy

Year: 2000

Volume: 15

Issue: 2

Pages: 237-246

ISSN (print): 0268-0939

ISSN (electronic): 1464-5106

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/026809300285926


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