Managing Further Education: Learning Enterprise

Books

Jacky Lumby

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  • Educational Management: Research and Practice

    Series Editor: Tony Bush

    Managing People in Education

    Edited by Tony Bush and David Middlewood

    Strategic Management in Schools and Colleges

    Edited by David Middlewood and Jacky Lumby

    Managing External Relations in Schools and Colleges

    Edited by Jacky Lumby and Nick Foskett

    Practitioner Research in Education: Making a Difference

    David Middlewood, Marianne Coleman and Jacky Lumby

    Managing Finance and Resources in Education

    Edited by Marianne Coleman and Lesley Anderson

    Managing Further Education: Learning Enterprise

    Jacky Lumby

    This book, Managing Further Education: Learning Enterprise, is recommended for students in post-compulsory education taking the MBA in educational management offered by the EMDU, University of Leicester.

    The modules in this course are:

    Leadership and Strategic Management in Education

    Managing Finance and External Relations

    Human Resource Management in Schools and Colleges

    Managing the Curriculum

    Research Methods in Educational Management

    For further information about the MBA in Educational Management, please contact the EMDU at emdu@le.ac.uk. For further information about the books associated with the course, contact Paul Chapman Publishing at http://www.paulchapmanpublishing.co.uk.

    Copyright

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    Series Editor's Foreword

    Further education has often been regarded as the ‘Cinderella’ service. Sandwiched between the schools, whose requirements are often politically sensitive, and the more glamorous university sector, colleges have sometimes struggled to attract sufficient attention for their particular needs. Because further education provides such a diverse range of courses and caters for many different types of clients, it has not developed a clear identity or sense of purpose. Its very responsiveness, although a vital aspect of the sector, makes it difficult to demonstrate a distinctive mission.

    The emergence of self-governing schools and colleges at the end of the twentieth century has led to major restructuring of the educational system in many countries. The incorporation of colleges in England in 1993 provides a clear example of the challenges facing managers when major structural change is imposed on educational organizations. The independence from local education authorities, and the imposition of a national funding regime, initially via the Further Education Funding Council, required major changes in management which inevitably disturbed previous arrangements.

    There is a significant body of published research on the impact of self-management on schools, in the United Kingdom and many other countries, but a paucity of writing on the effects of incorporation on colleges. Because further education in England provides a particularly stark example of the genre, the research reported by Jacky Lumby is valuable both in giving the first detailed picture of the sector since independence and in showing how major structural change effects those who have to implement it.

    The development of effective managers in education requires the support of literature which presents the major issues in clear, intelligible language while drawing on the best of theory and research. The purpose of this series is to examine the management of schools and colleges, drawing on empirical evidence. The approach is analytical rather than descriptive and generates conclusions about the most appropriate ways of managing schools and colleges on the basis of research evidence.

    The aim of this series, and of this volume, is to develop a body of literature with the following characteristics:

    • Directly relevant to school and college management.
    • Prepared by authors with national and international reputations.
    • An analytical approach based on empirical evidence but couched in intelligible language.
    • Integrating the best of theory, research and practice.

    Managing Further Education: Learning Enterprise is the sixth volume in the series and Jacky Lumby presents a fascinating account of the ways in which incorporation has changed the working lives of middle and senior managers. While the impact on management processes is faithfully documented, she also demonstrates the extent to which management styles and organizational culture have changed to accommodate externally imposed political imperatives. The book also shows how managers are not simply the prisoners of events, however powerful they may be. The educational leaders featured in this volume have responded to the external and internal pressures by developing an approach to management which recognizes that students’ learning remains their central concern even when funding issues appear to be paramount. Jacky Lumby shows how good managers can succeed even in unpromising circumstances.

    TonyBush

    University of Leicester

    May 2000

    Preface

    The period since the incorporation of colleges in England in 1993 has been one of tempestuous change. Managers in the sector have been exhorted, lambasted, directed and, much less frequently, praised for their work. What has been less in evidence is listening to their view of events and their experience of managing. Specifically, the systematic and careful exploration of their experience though research has been limited. Working in the Educational Management Development Unit at the University of Leicester with many MBA students from further education, it has been a frequent frustration that when students ask where they can find research on aspects of management in the sector, there is so little to which they can be directed. The origin of this book was a wish to make a contribution to research in the field and particularly to give a voice to managers in the sector, providing evidence and analysis which would lead to a better understanding of the pressures to which they have been subject and the ways they have chosen to respond. The managers who contributed to this book by providing interviews shared this aim. Given the years of near political invisibility within the sector, there remains a passionate commitment to furthering people's understanding of the work of colleges and, as part of a deep commitment to learning, to sharing experience with their peers. Consequently, this book was predicated on a wish, by both the writer and those providing data, to communicate what it means to manage in a further education college, and how such experience has changed and developed since incorporation.

    The decision to focus on management reflects my own central interest. It does not imply in any way that the perspective of others who work in the sector, lecturers, administrators, technicians and estates staff is of less importance or of less interest. The choice to devote a full volume to management was based on the desire to have the space to explore in depth the perspective and activity of managers.

    The first chapter sets the scene of the context in which colleges have worked since 1993 and explains the rationale and methodology for the research which underpins the book. Subsequent chapters go on to explore the major areas of management which are undertaken in colleges. Chapter 2 analyses how far the leadership of both senior and middle managers may have evolved in response to the different environment. Chapter 3 provides an overview of the management of staff and the efforts to overcome the very difficult conditions in which colleges have had to try to retain commitment and enthusiasm. Chapter 4 explores the views of finance managers on the pressures to which they have been subject and details the methods of allocating funds internally, linking this to culture change. Chapter 5 considers the different conceptions of marketing in colleges and how these have been operationalized. Chapter 6 reviews the different theoretical approaches to quality and explores how quality managers have tried to encourage all staff to contribute to improving quality. Chapter 7 describes the extent of restructuring within the sector and explores how far there is a typical structure or not. Chapter 8 analyses the difficulties colleges have in managing information and communication given their size and fragmentation, and provides examples of how managers are approaching the issues. Chapter 9 focuses on the major changes in managing teaching and learning, defining what the change to being ‘learner-centred’ may mean in reality, and exploring the internal political currents which underpin curriculum change. Chapter 10 retains a focus on teaching and learning, turning to working with employers as the centre of attention, concluding that relations between colleges and employers are not yet sufficiently good and that the resolution may lie in planning and structural issues. Chapter 11 begins the process of pulling together the themes in the book and presents an argument that the culture of further education has indeed changed, presenting frameworks for how the change might be analysed and understood. Finally, Chapter 12 describes colleges’ own view of the future and concludes that the sector justifies the epithet, which is the second part of the title of this book, ‘learning enterprise’.

    Covering such a wide range of management areas is an ambitious undertaking, and it is acknowledged that there is no way that every aspect of each area could be incorporated. Themes such as leadership, culture, human resource management, etc. merit a full volume in their own right. However, the aim was to give an overview of management activity and as such, choices have had to be made throughout to focus on particular aspects and to omit others. This has, hopefully, allowed a sufficiently broad view to support the summary in Chapters 11 and 12 dealing with culture change and the future, which assesses how far the management of the sector has developed and what its future challenges may be.

    The structure of the book is therefore sequential and cumulative, allowing the reader to work from start to finish as a logical sequence and argument. However, recognizing that many people are more likely to dip into specific chapters according to their interests, each chapter can be read in isolation. It would, however, be helpful to the reader to glance at the opening chapter first to learn how the research was undertaken and how it is presented in the book.

    Thanks are due to many people. First, this book would not have been possible had not many college managers given very generously of their time. Not only did they make time to give an interview or complete a survey questionnaire, but they were also very generous in their openness in describing their experience, not just the successes, but also the problems and failures. Their astuteness in summarizing their experience of management underpins this book. Tony Bush, Marianne Coleman and Ann Briggs gave detailed and insightful comments on drafts, and were consistently encouraging. Thanks are also due to Ann and my daughter Esther for each drawing one of the figures. I am grateful to Pip Murray and Jane Randal for administering the survey, to Rob Dixon for analysis of the latter and production of graphs and figures, to Carolyn Marriott for transcribing the interview tapes, to Christopher Bowring-Carr for producing the index and helpful comments, and to Diane Atkinson who provided administrative support. Thanks, finally, are due to my family for cheerfully putting up with my preoccupation for over a year.

    In common with the managers I interviewed, I believe that further education has a vital role to play which merits much greater recognition and support. I hope this book provides a contribution to achieving that goal.

    JackyLumby

    May 2000

    Glossary of Terms

    CMISCentral Management Information System
    DESDepartment of Education and Science
    DfEEDepartment for Education and Employment
    FEfurther education
    FEDAFurther Education Development Agency
    FEFCFurther Education Funding Council
    FEUFurther Education Unit
    GNVQGeneral National Vocational Qualification
    HEhigher education
    HRMhuman resource management
    ICTinformation and communication technology
    ISRindividualized student record
    ITinformation technology
    LEAlocal education authority
    LMIlabour market information
    MISmanagement information system
    NVQNational Vocational Qualification
    OECDOrganization for Economic Co-operation and Development
    QAquality assurance
    SMEsmall to medium-sized enterprise
    SMTsenior management team
    TECTraining and Enterprise Council
    TQMtotal quality management
    UKUnited Kingdom
    UfIUniversity for Industry
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