In the UK, further education is a bastion of Soviet central planning that has wholly avoided the market-based reforms that have been adopted in other parts of the state sector. In terms of total spending, further education is important, but hitherto – perhaps because of its complexity – there has been little serious policy analysis of the sector.
Professor Alison Wolf is one of the country’s leading education academics. In this study she explains the disastrous results of current policy and discusses, lucidly but rigorously, how reform of the sector should take place.
The author proposes a new model for funding that is ‘student centred’ and not ‘quango centred’, and which can lead to further and adult education once again making a major contribution to the building of a skilled workforce and educated citizenry. In developing her conclusions, the author draws on theory and evidence – including experience of reform in higher education.
This monograph is essential reading for all those involved in post-compulsory education, including academics and policymakers.