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A policy trajectory analysis of the Advanced Level Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification.

Jones, Sara 2018. A policy trajectory analysis of the Advanced Level Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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It has been well documented that the success of any public policy is closely linked to its development and implementation. Less research has considered how devolved nations tackle the complex and unstable nature of public policy making and address the challenges of implementing national policy. This thesis aims to provide an historical account of the development of one specific welsh education policy, created just after devolution. This thesis follows a single policy from its conception to worked reality. In particular, this thesis aims to uncover how one specific case created during this unique time period, post devolution, was developed and implemented, The Advanced Level Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification (WBQ). The WBQ education policy is of great significance to Wales’ reform agenda and has undergone radical revision, since devolution, making this research particularly timely. This thesis shows how the WBQ can be viewed as a flexible policy that can be adapted at the micro level, to create an education package best suited to the unique needs of the individuals and wider economic realities found across Wales. The WBQ aimed to tackle some of the most challenging educational issues, such as the academic vs. vocational education, specialisation vs. generalism and dealing with disaffection. The thesis draws on interviews with key stakeholders representing the macro, miso and micro, in 2012. The findings highlight the challenges of public policy making in devolved Wales and address how policy is made and who is actually developing policy. The findings of this thesis have suggested that key individuals at the macro level were crucial in shaping and developing the WBQ. The research offers new insights into the importance of considering implementation in the development of public policy. This thesis highlights how organisations and individuals involved in the implementation of public policy actually shape its finalised form in both subtle and more extensive ways during their translation and adaptation of policy. The degree of mutation that arises during translation impacts on the policies success in eventually becoming institutionalised. Variation itself is not unexpected given the flexibility but the findings demonstrate that this flexibility is causing a huge variation in quality and incomparable delivery and structure across institutions. The success of the policy is linked to its original aims and the issues within the Welsh education system it aims to tackle. The WBQ has been successful in achieving some of its original aims whilst others have remained unchanged.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Submission
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 12 November 2018
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2021 15:23

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