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Title: Full participation in education and training to age 18 in England: perspectives from policy and life-worlds of young people
Authors: Offer, Frank Stanley
Advisors: Crook, D
Wainwright, E
Toplis, R
Taylor, A
Keywords: NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training);Raising participation age;Youth unemployment;Phenomenology;Triple tripod
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Brunel University School of Sport and Education PhD Theses
Abstract: This thesis draws on the voices of the young people who will be affected by the government’s proposal to increase the age of participation in education and training to 18 by 2015, voices which are otherwise overlooked in policy formulation and much research. The young people most affected are those who currently do not participate in education or training after the age of 16. The thesis takes a phenomenological approach, building understanding from the young people’s perspectives of their life-worlds and their reasons for not participating and exploring their response to their particular circumstances as perceived by them. The thesis explores their understanding through focus groups held in one local authority in South East England, comprising urban and rural settings. The thesis highlights factors that impede young people’s participation from their own perspectives, which fall into three categories: physical factors; social factors; and emotional factors. Nationally, the government has confirmed its commitment to raising the participation age by 2015, yet many of the government’s policies are exacerbating the challenges that young people face. This study concludes that the barriers highlighted by young people in relation to physical factors; social factors; and emotional factors are neglected in the current policy drive to full participation to age 18 and this needs urgent attention if the policy is to succeed. The thesis proposes a model which is offered for future policy and practice development to give greater weight to the perspectives of young people in relation to participation as expressed in this research. There is a risk if their concerns are not addressed that young people who have experienced a failure by the system and associated damaged self esteem, are now further pathologised, and potentially criminalised, for failing to fulfil their duty to participate. Yet, a more holistic approach that addresses the broader issues highlighted by this research, could realise pathways into further education and training that redress some of the previous negative experience and restore their confidence for the future.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Education and awarded by Brunel University.
Appears in Collections:Brunel University Theses
Dept of Education Theses

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