Tett et al. (2003, p38) state that ‘themes of collaboration and partnership …are at the centre of New Labour’s vision of a modernised welfare state’.Concomitant with this government focus, the quantity of research on partnership and collaboration has expanded rapidly. However, there have been few studies of these types of relationships in the field of PE, school and community sport. In order to begin to address this gap, this study examined partnership and collaboration in the context of the New Opportunities of PE and Sport (NOPES) programme. The study was underpinned by a variety of theoretical concepts included those, such as policy networks, that may be specifically related to partnerships and collaboration as well as others, such as governmentality, that are more generic. Within three case studies of specific local authority areas, interview data from stakeholders in the NOPES programme was combined with documentary evidence where available. Cross-case analysis identified a variety of complex forms of partnership and collaboration both within the NOPES programme itself and its wider context. These different partnerships and collaborations all had an effect on the NOPES policy process in the respective case studies but in varied ways according to their different forms and the agencies involved. As a result of these findings, a number of implications for future policy related to partnership and collaboration were identified. In particular, it was suggested that a more nuanced policy approach based on an understanding of the complexities of partnerships and collaboration should be adopted. The findings also stimulated suggestions for theoretical development, especially of the policy networks concept, and for future research both in the context of sport and other policy areas.
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Reference : Lindsey, I.A. (2008).Partnership and collaboration in sport: a study in the context of the New Opportunities for PE and Sport programme in three English cities: PhD Thesis. Loughborough: Loughborough University. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/2134/4645
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