From Business Education Council to Edexcel Foundation 1969-96: the short but winding road from technician education to instrumentalist technicism

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This study accounts for the formation in England of the Business Education
Council (BEC) in 1974, and its development and transitions into the Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) in 1983, and Edexcel Foundation in 1996. The article outlines the background and response to the 1969 report from the Committee on Technician Courses and Examinations (the Haslegrave Report), paying attention to its conceptualisation of the notion of ‘technician’. It is argued that this further entrenched the class-based ideological subtext that would continue to deny ‘parity of esteem’ to vocational education. The BEC/BTEC curriculum is characterised as one that, presenting a detour
through a form of progressive vocationalism, transformed pedagogic practice in further education. By 1993, however, BTEC was, in practice, constrained by the National Council for Vocational Qualifications and its innovative role in curriculum development was lost.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-255
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Education and Work
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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