FE and Skills across the four countries of the UK: New opportunities for policy learning

Tracy Irwin, Ann Hodgson, Ken Spours, Martin Waring, Jim Gallacher, David James

Research output: Other contribution

Abstract

FOREWORD

International comparison is a hugely powerful
tool in policy making when it is used in the right
way – learning from and contextualising effective
elements rather than seeking to simply transplant
programmes from one setting to another.
When visitors from overseas come to look at the ‘UK education system’ one
of the first things we have to say is that there is no single system. Education,
FE and skills are areas of devolved responsibility and have developed
very differently in each of the four nations. That can present challenges of
coherence, for instance where an employer seeks to train apprentices in more
than one nation within the UK, or a training provider wants to operate across
boundaries.
It also presents a unique opportunity. As with federal nations such as the US
and Australia, it provides us with a potential laboratory to test and improve our
education policies. Four nations share many characteristics of labour market,
organisation and culture and yet are pursuing sometimes very different
approaches, with a variety of outcomes.
With such a fascinating range of policies and lessons on our doorsteps, we
felt that it was essential that we took the time to understand the FE and skills
systems across the UK – to compare, contrast and draw out emerging practice.
We are very grateful to the team at UCL’s Institute of Education and the country
experts for organising a fascinating series of seminars culminating in this
report.
However, we don’t want this to be the end of the story. We want it to be a
step towards closer ongoing collaboration and practice sharing between the
nations so that we can continue to develop the most effective and suitable
policies for each of our contexts. We look forward to working with colleagues
across the UK to achieve this.
LanguageEnglish
TypeSpecial report
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2018

Fingerprint

learning
market organization
apprentice
overseas
education system
education
employer
labor market
responsibility
time

Keywords

  • Further education
  • Policy
  • UK regional study

Cite this

Irwin, T., Hodgson, A., Spours, K., Waring, M., Gallacher, J., & James, D. (2018, Aug 31). FE and Skills across the four countries of the UK: New opportunities for policy learning.
Irwin, Tracy ; Hodgson, Ann ; Spours, Ken ; Waring, Martin ; Gallacher, Jim ; James, David. / FE and Skills across the four countries of the UK : New opportunities for policy learning. 2018.
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Irwin, T, Hodgson, A, Spours, K, Waring, M, Gallacher, J & James, D 2018, FE and Skills across the four countries of the UK: New opportunities for policy learning..

FE and Skills across the four countries of the UK : New opportunities for policy learning. / Irwin, Tracy; Hodgson, Ann; Spours, Ken; Waring, Martin; Gallacher, Jim ; James, David.

2018, Special report.

Research output: Other contribution

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AU - Hodgson, Ann

AU - Spours, Ken

AU - Waring, Martin

AU - Gallacher, Jim

AU - James, David

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N2 - FOREWORDInternational comparison is a hugely powerfultool in policy making when it is used in the rightway – learning from and contextualising effectiveelements rather than seeking to simply transplantprogrammes from one setting to another.When visitors from overseas come to look at the ‘UK education system’ oneof the first things we have to say is that there is no single system. Education,FE and skills are areas of devolved responsibility and have developedvery differently in each of the four nations. That can present challenges ofcoherence, for instance where an employer seeks to train apprentices in morethan one nation within the UK, or a training provider wants to operate acrossboundaries.It also presents a unique opportunity. As with federal nations such as the USand Australia, it provides us with a potential laboratory to test and improve oureducation policies. Four nations share many characteristics of labour market,organisation and culture and yet are pursuing sometimes very differentapproaches, with a variety of outcomes.With such a fascinating range of policies and lessons on our doorsteps, wefelt that it was essential that we took the time to understand the FE and skillssystems across the UK – to compare, contrast and draw out emerging practice.We are very grateful to the team at UCL’s Institute of Education and the countryexperts for organising a fascinating series of seminars culminating in thisreport.However, we don’t want this to be the end of the story. We want it to be astep towards closer ongoing collaboration and practice sharing between thenations so that we can continue to develop the most effective and suitablepolicies for each of our contexts. We look forward to working with colleaguesacross the UK to achieve this.

AB - FOREWORDInternational comparison is a hugely powerfultool in policy making when it is used in the rightway – learning from and contextualising effectiveelements rather than seeking to simply transplantprogrammes from one setting to another.When visitors from overseas come to look at the ‘UK education system’ oneof the first things we have to say is that there is no single system. Education,FE and skills are areas of devolved responsibility and have developedvery differently in each of the four nations. That can present challenges ofcoherence, for instance where an employer seeks to train apprentices in morethan one nation within the UK, or a training provider wants to operate acrossboundaries.It also presents a unique opportunity. As with federal nations such as the USand Australia, it provides us with a potential laboratory to test and improve oureducation policies. Four nations share many characteristics of labour market,organisation and culture and yet are pursuing sometimes very differentapproaches, with a variety of outcomes.With such a fascinating range of policies and lessons on our doorsteps, wefelt that it was essential that we took the time to understand the FE and skillssystems across the UK – to compare, contrast and draw out emerging practice.We are very grateful to the team at UCL’s Institute of Education and the countryexperts for organising a fascinating series of seminars culminating in thisreport.However, we don’t want this to be the end of the story. We want it to be astep towards closer ongoing collaboration and practice sharing between thenations so that we can continue to develop the most effective and suitablepolicies for each of our contexts. We look forward to working with colleaguesacross the UK to achieve this.

KW - Further education

KW - Policy

KW - UK regional study

M3 - Other contribution

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