Invisible Students, Impossible Dreams: Experiencing vocational education 14-19

Liz Atkins

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


This book explores the aspirations and experiences of the young people who are the real focus of the 14-19 agenda - the 'disaffected', 'disengaged' and low-achieving. Perceived not to have succeeded in traditional academic subjects, they move into low-level vocational education programmes post-16, often failing to pursue or complete 'opportunities' for progression. Based on original research carried out in two large FE Colleges in England's Midlands, the book presents rich qualitative data about the lives and educational experiences of these young people. It contests common assumptions that their aspirations are low, and illuminates the complexities of their lives as they try to make the transition from school to work. The data is presented in narrative form so the voices of the young people are clearly heard as they discuss their lives, hopes and aspirations. The book sets out the implications of the findings for policy and practice, so will be essential reading for trainee teachers who hope to work with 14-19 students and for professionals already involved in the implementation of the 14-19 agenda, whether as teacher practitioners, managers or policy makers.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationStoke on Trent
PublisherTrentham Books
Number of pages180
ISBN (Print)9781858564517
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2009


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