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The Pioneers of the Hybridised World of Vocational Education and GCSE retake

Lloyd, K. (2021) The Pioneers of the Hybridised World of Vocational Education and GCSE retake. EdD thesis, University of Reading

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To link to this item DOI: 10.48683/1926.00100749


Since 2015, educational policy has required post-sixteen learners in England to resit GCSE English if they had marginally failed to gain Grade 4 (C). Nationally, results for post-sixteen GCSE resits have been poor, with less than a quarter of learners reaching the required standard at GCSE English each year, and vocational education (VE) learners have had the poorest results. The aim of this research was to examine the experience of VE learners subject to this policy. Dominant policy and institutional discourses have positioned GCSE as a benchmark of attainment, a determiner for future success and a lever for economic productivity. However, the findings did not uncover morose participants, disenfranchised because of their failure to pass GCSE. Using the construct of Figured Worlds, analysis revealed that the confluence of VE and GCSE retake created a hybridised learning experience. Using the theoretical framework of Figured Worlds, the findings reveal that this hybridised experience created agentic learner identities through learner discourses that positioned the GCSE as meaningless assessment compared with the experience of tangible, relevant and progressive learning in VE. The findings suggest that the experience of VE and GCSE retake has accidentally created the conditions for a positive learner identity and indicates implications of this finding for future practice and policy in VE.

Item Type:Thesis (EdD)
Thesis Supervisor:Flynn, N. and Joseph, H.
Thesis/Report Department:Institute of Education
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Institute of Education > Improving Equity and Inclusion through Education
ID Code:100749


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