Research is its own reward

25th September 2009 at 01:00

While I agree with Brian May that it is heartening to see Lifelong Learning UK and the Institute for Learning offering bursaries for would-be researchers among teachers in further education ("Research should be at the heart of learning", September 11), I have to disagree that anyone in the FE sector lacks incentive, time, money and imagination.

I am both a manager and practitioner within work-based training, and I conduct research within my and similar organisations for the benefit of the sector. Research is "at the beating heart" of our organisation and good practice is shared with partner institutions. It is not on a large scale nor is it widely published, but it is significant and internally validated, which informs practice as a result.

Having studied for the past 22 years I am three years into a Doctor of Education qualification. I also work full-time, have a young child, self- fund and conduct research in my own time. I recognise that time is a factor but feel that with planning it is not an insurmountable problem.

I, too, am of the opinion that as managers we are occupied by targets, and that research is challenging in the political arena of compliance, where sustainability of organisations are measured by outputs.

But I certainly do not lack incentive or imagination, and the enticement of a bursary personally is not a motivating factor. What motivates is a passion for educational excellence that is underpinned by a robust, systematic approach to research that benefits practitioners and learners alike.

Claire Indans, Quality manager, Nottingham Hairdressing Training Agency.

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