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Bewitched, bothered and bewildered: a policy analysis of the GNVQ assessment regime 1992-2000

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Kathryn Ecclestone


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The assessment regime for General National Vocational Qualifications (GNVQs) has been radical, influential and controversial. Its numerous changes, and the debates, which have accompanied them, illuminate the political and organizational struggles that characterize assessment policy in the United Kingdom. The paper draws on interviews with representatives from diverse constituencies involved in developing GNVQ assessment policy. It argues that GNVQs presented mainstream policy processes with profound epistemological and ideological challenges. A combination of unprecedented political scrutiny, ad hoc development and extreme organizational rivalry undermined these challenges. The fate of the GNVQ assessment regime has important implications for future attempts to create distinctive vocational education and assessment.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ecclestone K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Education Policy

Year: 2000

Volume: 15

Issue: 5

Pages: 539-558

ISSN (print): 0268-0939

ISSN (electronic): 1464-5106

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/026809300750001685


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