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After decades of uncertainty about the future of education and work, the global pandemic has further undermined old ideas about post-compulsory education as a route to well-defined occupations and identities. The profound disruption of economic and social life before and during the COVID crisis has summoned up new aspirations for individuals and the world they inhabit; yet it also provides little clarity about educational routes to achieve them.

Post-16 education, which had already begun to shake off its relative obscurity in several countries, has been further propelled towards the top of policy agendas by the recent crisis. Yet it remains unclear whether in the post-COVID world it will be the enabler of a new flourishing of meaningful work and lives in a more sustainable world; or a tool for the imposition of new constraints on such aspirations, with a further narrowing of programmes and practices preparing students and educators alike for unequal, routinised or workless futures.

This session brings together several papers submitted to the BERA Conference in the Post-Compulsory and Lifelong Learning SIG on the eve of the pandemic. The research they report remains strikingly relevant, as important indications of the dilemmas and challenges now facing this educational sphere. They range from the economic context of technologised work(lessness), through the heightening of social inequalities, to the living concerns of both educators and students in this field. 

Speakers

James Avis

Emeritus Professor at University of Huddersfield

James Avis in an Emeritus Professor of the university of Huddersfield & Prof of post-compulsory education at the university of Derby.  His research interests lie in post-compulsory/post-secondary education and life-long learning. He has written...

John Preston

Professor of Sociology at University of Essex

John Preston is Professor of Sociology at the University of Essex and an ESRC leadership fellow in Crime, Conflict and Security Research.  John’s research is on disasters and existential threat with relation to social inequalities,...

Charlotte Chadderton, Professor

Researcher

Charlotte’s research is in the field of social justice in education with a particular focus on race (in)equality and on the way in which different kinds of inequalities are produced and reproduced in educational spaces and by educational...

Martell Baines

Manager at Leeds Arts University

Martell Baines role is the Progression Widening Participation (WP) Manager at Leeds Arts University and a practitioner researcher. She is the current (2020 21) Chair of the Access and Participation Strategy Group for the Office for Students...

Lynne Taylerson

Real Time Education

Lynne Taylerson is a further education lecturer, teacher educator, mentor and director of Real Time Education, an independent training provider. Her doctoral research uses a netnographic approach to investigate FE practitioners’ use of social...

Christina Donovan, Dr

Lecturer and Researcher at Manchester Metropolitan University

Dr Christina Donovan is a Lecturer and Researcher in the Faculty of Education at Manchester Metropolitan University, having previously worked in the Further Education sector. Her doctoral studies explored the nature of trust and distrust and its...

Sarah Bates Evoy

Lecturer and Researcher at Waterford Institute of Technology (Ireland)

Sarah Bates Evoy (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Sarah_Bates_Evoy) is a lecturer and researcher in the School of Education and Lifelong Learning in Waterford Institute of Technology (Ireland) and a further education tutor in the Waterford...

Frances Ann Norton

Leeds Art University

Frances Ann Norton’s current research investigates strategies to develop student critical thinking, using Community of Inquiry (CoI) as a methodology with non-traditional and lifelong learners. A conceptual framework built on the ideas of...

Samantha Broadhead, Professor

Head of Research at Leeds Arts University

Professor Samantha Broadhead is the Head of Research at Leeds Arts University. Her research interests are related to widening participation, in particular the Access to HE education  and the experiences of mature students. She is also interested...

Chairs

Mike Seal, Professor

Professor of Education and Social Mobility at University of Suffolk

Mike is Professor of Education and Social Mobility at the University of Suffolk.  He leads on research on learning and teaching and widening participation. He was previously Reader in Critical Pedagogy, chair of the Romero Freire Institute and...

Bill Esmond, Dr

Associate Professor at University of Derby

Bill Esmond's research in technical and vocational education and training has addressed the inequalities opening up in the experiences of both vocational educators https://rdcu.be/b7pxd and their students https://bit.ly/2ZNsq62, A monograph...