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

‘Modernisation’ and the role of policy levers in the learning and skills sector

Steer, Richard, Spours, Ken, Hodgson, Ann, Finlay, Ian, Coffield, Frank, Edward, Sheila and Gregson, Margaret (2008) ‘Modernisation’ and the role of policy levers in the learning and skills sector. Journal of Vocational Education & Training, 59 (2). pp. 175-192. ISSN 1363-6820

Item Type: Article


This paper examines the changing use of policy levers in the English postcompulsory education and training system, often referred to as the learning and skills sector (LSS). Policy steering by governments has increased significantly in recent years, bringing with it the development of new forms of arms‐length regulation. In the English context, these changes were expressed during the 1980s and 1990s through neoliberal New Public Management and, since 1997, have been extended through the New Labour government’s project to further ‘modernise’ public services. We look here at the changing use of policy levers (focussing in particular on the role of targets, funding, inspection, planning and initiatives) over three historical phases, paying particular attention to developments since the formation of the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) in 2001. We conclude by considering the range of responses adopted by education professionals in this era of ‘modernisation’.

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Depositing User: Leah Maughan


Item ID: 12370
Identification Number:
ISSN: 1363-6820
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Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Margaret Gregson: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2020 15:25
Last Modified: 30 Jul 2020 15:25


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

University Divisions

Faculty of Education and Society > School of Education

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