An investigation into the effectiveness of 16- 19 education provision at one case study further education college in rural Wales.
Pugh, Rebecca E H P
University of Wales Institute, Cardiff
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The low number of UK sfudents currently progressing to post-compulsory education was the impetus for this enquiry. It identified a need for investigation into the effectiveness of 16 - 19 education provision. A case study was selected as the most appropriate research design and was used to evaluate a further education college in rural Wales. The literature review highlighted five areas of study which formed the aims and illustrated the need for both qualitative and quantative data to be collected. Participants in the research included 52 16 - 19 year old further education students, 23 teaching staff and 9 senior managers. Data collection methods included questionnaires, interviews and extant documentation. Consideration was given to the reliability of data emanating from these research techniques. Data analysis revealed the following: courses available at the college are diverse, flexible (vocational and academic can be mixed) and provide opportunity for progression; the college ethos, supported by management policies encourages parity of esteem between vocational and academic courses, funding has a very significant role in internal decision - making at the college; collaborative agreements between the college and local secondary schools are key to providing a rounded, economical education in that community; strategies applied and facilities available at the college form an outstanding student support service. A review of the methodology highlighted areas for modification. The fîndings enabled the recommendation of possible further research. These were: whether course provision positively impacts upon'inclusion', can achievement standards be maintained where inclusion does occur, what external pressures influence individual perception of vocational and academic courses; the impact funding has upon course introduction and staff recruitment; the experiences of other post - 16 providers in relation to collaborative arrangements; evening and community - based students'access to student support services; a case study investigating the same issues at a city based further education college.
MA Education Thesis
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