ABSTRACT

The previous two chapters have set the scene - historically and theoretically - for a detailed consideration of the development and impact of the equal opportunities policy which was included as a funding criterion of the Technical and Vocational Education Initiative. This chapter starts by briefly outlining the origins of TVEI, which emerged from the convergence of three strands of influence during the mid-1970s and early 1980s: the legacy of the ‘Great Debate’ on the aims of education, the impact of rising youth unemployment and increasing employer dissatisfaction with school leavers, and the ascendancy of the Manpower Services Commission. Turning specifically to TVEI’s equal opportunities commitment, this chapter will then problematise its inclusion and question the intentions of TVEI’s architects by considering a range of official justifications for its equal opportunities policy, alongside a range of alternative explanations for its inclusion. The chapter ends with a brief overview of the mode of equal opportunities work which developed at the national level.