Preparations for incorporation; the perceptions across one college of further education

Lucas, Anne (1993) Preparations for incorporation; the perceptions across one college of further education. Masters thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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This study emanated from an interest in the potential impact of Incorporation on Further Education. Would Incorporation
dramatically change the Further Education service, raising its profile and steering it along a different course, or would it remain basically the same despite being taken out of Local Education Authority control? There were many questions to ask in 1991 as colleges started to make preparations for Vesting Day (1st. April 1993). Some of those questions still cannot be answered, for a longer period of observation is required, but the preparations had an effect on staff which proved extremely interesting.
The institutional focus for the research was a large College of Further Education, in which the researcher is employed.
The early part of the work concentrated on the preparations in that college for Incorporation, but it soon became evident that it was the perceptions of the staff rather than the actualities that were worthy of further study. These perceptions led the researcher towards areas of interest and issues which need to be addressed.
Some of the findings highlight aspects of institutional life, such as communication, which would be relevant to other colleges during times of change. Others, such as ethos and management style, will be particular to this college, but can nevertheless highlight areas and issues that could usefully be considered within other institutions.
The conclusions and implications of this research suggest that perceptions of staff are vitally important, regardless of whether or not they match reality; they are reality for those staff. Areas of institutional life have been explored and issues have been raised which could assist colleges to fulfil their potential. It is hoped that this particular piece of research will be of value both to the college studied and to the body of research which will no doubt develop on Incorporation and Further Education. For the researcher it has proved a fascinating insight into the institution of which she is a part and has indicated other related areas which merit further study.

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