The effectiveness of scrutiny for improving education practice: the case of Modern Apprenticeships

Beach, Ian (2019) The effectiveness of scrutiny for improving education practice: the case of Modern Apprenticeships. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Many governments fund inspection agencies to scrutinise the effectiveness of their education policy. These inspection agencies monitor education standards and provide feedback to policy makers on how well their policies are being implemented. This dissertation focuses on further education and training policy in Scotland, exploring the effectiveness of scrutiny for improving education practice and learner attainment.

Using a policy evaluation approach, the study develops a set of research questions that are addressed through a case study in a vocational training centre. The centre received a poor inspection report from Her Majesty’s Inspectors for its Modern Apprenticeship programme, as a result it was re-inspected 18 months later. This provided a unique opportunity to examine how effective the first inspection was in improving both education practice and the attainment levels of apprentices.

The evaluation of data from the two inspection reports produced noteworthy results and provided a foundation for the field work, which examines the research themes through focus group interviews in the case study centre. The findings from this study have been quite remarkable, revealing that education practice and apprentice attainment improved substantially between the two inspections.

This research concludes that for the case study centre, the inspection process acted as a catalyst for substantial and sustainable improvements in all aspects of the Modern Apprenticeship programme. In addition to these tangible improvements, the first inspection also initiated a sequence of distributed improvement effects and organisational learning within this institution.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: inspection agencies, effectiveness of education policy, education standards, policy makers, further education and training policy in Scotland, effectiveness of scrutiny, improving education practice and learner attainment, policy evaluation, vocational training, Her Majesty’s Inspectors, Modern Apprenticeships, substantial and sustainable improvement, distributed improvement effect, organisational learning.
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LC Special aspects of education > LC5201 Education extension. Adult education. Continuing education
L Education > LF Individual institutions (Europe)
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Supervisor's Name: Hermannsson, Dr. Kristinn
Date of Award: 2019
Depositing User: Mr Ian Beach
Unique ID: glathesis:2019-74420
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2019 15:17
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2019 11:07
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.74420

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