Deliberative policy analysis: adult literacy assessment and the politics of change
Hillier, Y and Hamiliton, M (2007) Deliberative policy analysis: adult literacy assessment and the politics of change Journal of Education Policy, 22 (5). pp. 573-594. ISSN 0268-0939 (Print); ISSN: 1464-5106 (Online)
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Approximately 85,000 part-time teaching staff working in further education (FE) and adult and community learning (ACL) are often seen as 'a problem'. The intrinsic 'part-timeness' of these staff tends to marginalise them, and often they remain under-recognised and largely unsupported. Yet this picture is over-simplified. This article examines how part-time staff make creative use of professional autonomy and agency to mitigate problematic 'casual employment' conditions, reporting on results from Learning and Skills Development Agency-sponsored research (2002-2006) with 700 part-time staff in the learning and skills sector. The question of agency was reported as a key factor in part-time employment. Change is necessary for the professional agency of part-timers to be harnessed as the sector responds to ambitious sectoral 'improvement' agendas following the Foster Report and FE White Paper. Enhanced professionalisation for part-time staff needs greater recognition and inclusion in change agendas.
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