Transitions: Challenges, Threats & Opportunities across the Post-compulsory Sectors

The UK Government continues to reorganise and transform post-compulsory education to support the growth of a marketised and consumer-driven provision. There is a clear trend towards increasing competition, through the fragmentation and differentiation of provision, alongside increasing levels of bureaucracy, surveillance and practitioner accountability. As these neoliberalising tendencies increase and intensify, inequality and stratification associated with student cohorts, as well within and across the post-compulsory education sectors are further increasing. Those of us engaged in post-compulsory education have to meet and navigate the challenges posed by the transitions, developments and consequences of these changes.

This event is for all interested in post compulsory education and higher education including: Higher Education academics; College-based HE academics; Adult Education practitioners, Students and Community Education practitioners

call for abstracts

Academics and practitioners are invited to explore, question and discuss some of the difficulties and obstacles posed by this reshaping of education

Submissions can address any of the following aspects, although other topics will also be considered:

  • Is there still space for innovative and empowering practice?
  • What is the impact of the market in relation to social class, access and educational opportunity?
  • What are the challenges facing diversity and inclusion as part of increasingly selective and competitive systems?
  • What is the impact on student emotion, feeling, and desire in relation to knowledge and learning? 
  • What shape might/could the future of post compulsory education take?

Each proposal should provide:

  • title, up to 25 words
  • 250 word abstract [excl. references]
  • 100 word biography

Please send your abstracts to Dr Craig Hammond ( at the earliest opportunity but no later than Thursday 25 October 2018.

Draft programme

09:30 Registration and refreshments
10.00 Introduction & welcome
Craig Hammond; Samantha Jones
10.15 We do not have the luxury of being hopeless’: the optics and ontics of concrete utopia in education
Sarah Amsler, Nottingham University
11.00 Q&A
11.15 Refreshments break

Panel discussion and Q&A

  • Joel Petrie, Association for Research in Post-compulsory Education (ARPCE)
  • Colette Mawdsley, Hugh Baird College
  • Paul Reynolds, Edge Hill University
  • Alex Dunedin, The Ragged University
  • Sarah Amsler, Nottingham University
13.00 Lunch
14.00 Parallel papers
15.30 Summary & concluding comments
15.55 Completion of evaluation forms
16.00 Close of event


The BERA Early Career Researcher Network offers a limited amount of bursaries to the value of £75 towards travel for BERA Student Members only.

To apply for one of these bursaries, please email with a 250 word statement on why you want to attend this event and why you need the financial assistance. Bursaries are offered on a first come, first served basis. Travel expenses will be reimbursed after the event in accordance with our travel policies. You must not have previously received bursary funding from BERA.

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