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Valuable research wasted, says academic

Huge banks of vital research evidence to improve education and training in work and at college are thrown away because the Government and funding councils lack any strategy for using them, ministers have been warned.

Baroness Blackstone, minister for further and higher education, promised a key role for research in post-16 policy and decision-making in a recent speech to the Learning and Skills Development Agency.

But Kathryn Ecclestone, visiting research fellow at City and Guilds, says it will fal if left to the whims of universities - where post-16 research is too "fragmented" and lacks status.

College-based research depends largely on the commitment of individual principals and teachers on casual contracts working many hours.

However, in a viewpoint today on the web (www.tesfefocus.co.uk), Dr Ecclestone says hundreds of teachers, trainers and managers carry-out excellent research that is never used. She calls for a clear research strategy from the Learning and Skills Council.

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