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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

How policy impacts on practice and how practice does not impact on policy

Coffield, Frank, Edward, Sheila, Finlay, Ian, Hodgson, Ann, Spours, Ken, Steer, Richard and Gregson, Margaret (2007) How policy impacts on practice and how practice does not impact on policy. British Educational Research Journal, 33 (5). pp. 723-741. ISSN 0141-1926

Item Type: Article


The TLRP project reported on in this article attempts to understand how the Learning and Skills sector functions. It traces how education and training policy percolates down through many levels in the English system and how these levels interact, or fail to interact. The authors first focus upon how policy impacts upon the interests of three groups of learners: unemployed people in adult and community learning centres, adult employees in work‐based learning and younger learners on Level 1 and Level 2 courses in further education. They focus next upon how professionals in these three settings struggle to cope with two sets of pressures upon them: those exerted by government and a broader set of professional, institutional and local factors. They describe in particular how managers and tutors mediate national policy and translate it (and sometimes mistranslate it) into local plans and practices. Finally, the authors criticise the new government model of public service reform for failing to harness the knowledge, good will and energy of staff working in the sector, and for ignoring what constitutes the main finding of the research: the central importance of the relationship between tutor and students.

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More Information

Depositing User: Leah Maughan


Item ID: 12367
Identification Number:
ISSN: 0141-1926
Official URL:

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Margaret Gregson: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2020 15:13
Last Modified: 30 Jul 2020 15:13


Author: Margaret Gregson ORCID iD
Author: Frank Coffield
Author: Sheila Edward
Author: Ian Finlay
Author: Ann Hodgson
Author: Ken Spours
Author: Richard Steer

University Divisions

Faculty of Education and Society > School of Education

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