Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Fwd: SRHE Post-Compulsory and Higher Education Network

Progression and transitions - more than university and A-levels


Thursday 8th November, 2012

SRHE, 73 Collier Street, London N1 9BE



This seminar focuses on diversity and difference in young people's transitions at the end of secondary education in England. While recent media interest has focused on 'AAB' and transition to high tariff universities, for many students transitions involve a diversity of routes other than A-levels, and do not necessarily mean moving on to HE. Drawing on their extensive research, Professor Ann Hodgson and Professor Alison Fuller offer their analyses of the challenges and complexities of youth transitions at a time of policy turbulence and change in education.



14+ participation, progression and transition to higher study and employment: an ecological framework

Ann Hodgson, Professor of Education and Co-Director of the Centre for 14+ Research and Innovation, Institute of Education, University of London


This presentation will propose a possible new way of looking at the issue of school-to-work and school–to-higher education transitions through a three-dimensional ecological model, focusing in particular on 'local learning ecologies'.  I will suggest that this model can be used as a means of understanding the interaction of a range of multi-level factors that play out at the local level to either constrain or support the participation, progression and transition of young people within upper secondary education and into higher study and employment in England.


Hybrid qualifications, institutional expectations and youth transitions: a case of swimming with or against the tide

Alison Fuller, Professor of Education and Work and Director of Research Centre

Southampton Education School, University of Southampton


This presentation uses the concept of hybrid qualifications to expose the way in which the English system, with its longstanding academic and vocational divide, fails to support the transitions of young people with 'average' educational attainment. The concept of hybrid qualifications was developed during EU funded research undertaken in 2010 – 11 with project partners from Germany, Austria and Denmark. It was conceived to mean those qualifications generally achieved by young people aged 16-18 which would facilitate entry to the labour market or access to university.  In the English system we defined Level 3 qualifications such as the BTEC National suite of Diplomas, Applied A-Levels, the Advanced Diploma and the qualifications contained within the Advanced Apprenticeship as contenders for hybridity.  Compared with the clear pathways for entry to bachelor degrees that are articulated for those who have attained traditional academic qualifications (namely A-levels), the routes for those leaving school with vocational qualifications are poorly and narrowly-defined and fragile.  Using the rich, narrative data gathered from interviews and focus groups with students, tutors and key stakeholders, we illustrate how for this group transition often involves 'swimming against rather than with the tide'.



Ann Hodgson has worked as a teacher, lecturer, LEA adviser, editor and civil servant, joining the Institute of Education, University of London in 1993, where she is now a Professor of Education, Assistant Director (London) and Co-director of the Centre for Post-14 Research and Innovation. Current projects include Global Learning for Global Colleges, funded by the Department for International Development; Developing a National Qualifications Framework for Qatar; Improving professional learning for the Institute for Learning; acting as the academic partner for London Councils on 14-19 education and training; developing 14+ Progression and Transition Boards with a number of local authorities; and surveying teacher and lecturer views of 14-19 policy in partnership with NUT and UCU.  Ann has published widely in a variety of forms on topics related to post-14 education policy, vocational education and training, lifelong learning and curriculum and qualifications reform.  Recent books include: Post-compulsory education and lifelong learning across the United Kingdom: policy, organisation and governance (IOE Publications 2011), co-edited with Ken Spours, and Martyn Waring; Education for All: the future of education and training for 14-19 Year Olds (Routledge 2009), co-authored with other Nuffield Review directors and researchers; Education and Training 14-19: curriculum, qualifications and organisation (Sage 2008), co-authored with Ken Spours; and Improving Learning, Skills and Inclusion: the impact of policy on post-compulsory education (Routledge 2008), co-authored with Frank Coffield, Sheila Edward, Ian Finlay, Ken Spours and Richard Steer.


Alison Fuller is Professor of Education and Work, and Director of Research Centre in Southampton Education School, University of Southampton (www.soton.ac.uk/education). Alison has directed many research projects in the areas of education – work transitions, apprenticeship, vocational education and training, workplace learning, and widening participation including for the ESRC, EU and EHRC and has published widely. She has recently completed a project for the Gatsby Charitable Foundation on technician level roles in the healthcare sector. Her most recent book (edited with Professor Rachel Brooks and Dr Johanna Waters) Changing Spaces of Education: new perspectives on the nature of learning has recently been published by Routledge (2012).


Event booking details


To reserve a place at this seminar please register at http://www.srhe.ac.uk/events/or telephone +44 (0) 207 427 2350.   SRHE events are open to all and free to SRHE members as part of their membership package. The delegate fee for non-members is  £45 from 1 August. Non-members wishing to join the Society may do so at the time of registration and the delegate fee will be waived. Please note that places must be booked in advance and that a £45 fee for non-attendance will be charged if a place has been reserved but no notice of cancellation/non-attendance has been given in advance.




Yours sincerely



Francois Smit

SRHE Event Manager

Society for Research into Higher Education

73 Collier Street

London N1 9BE

Telephone 0207 427 2350

Fax number 0207 278 1135





David Andrew, 
Head of Academic Practice
Senior Tutor

The Learning Institute 
Queen Mary, University of London

Mile End, London E1 4NS



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