Deliberative policy analysis: adult literacy assessment and the politics of change

M. Hamiliton, Yvonne Hillier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Approximately 85,000 part-time teaching staff working in further education (FE) and adult and community learning (ACL) are often seen as 'a problem'. The intrinsic 'part-timeness' of these staff tends to marginalise them, and often they remain under-recognised and largely unsupported. Yet this picture is over-simplified. This article examines how part-time staff make creative use of professional autonomy and agency to mitigate problematic 'casual employment' conditions, reporting on results from Learning and Skills Development Agency-sponsored research (2002-2006) with 700 part-time staff in the learning and skills sector. The question of agency was reported as a key factor in part-time employment. Change is necessary for the professional agency of part-timers to be harnessed as the sector responds to ambitious sectoral 'improvement' agendas following the Foster Report and FE White Paper. Enhanced professionalisation for part-time staff needs greater recognition and inclusion in change agendas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)573-594
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Education Policy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2007


  • professionalism
  • part-time staff employment
  • professional autonomy and agency
  • FE and adult community learning
  • learning and skills sector
  • part-timeness


Dive into the research topics of 'Deliberative policy analysis: adult literacy assessment and the politics of change'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this