Perceptions of barriers to suitable education for children with medical needs in England and Japan

Watanabe, Airi (2014). Perceptions of barriers to suitable education for children with medical needs in England and Japan. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This study investigates the difficulties of ensuring a suitable education for children with medical needs. The aims are to identify barriers to education and to suggest possible areas for improvement. The research questions are: (1) What are the educational needs of children with medical needs? (2) How do the systems function to respond to the child’s needs? (3) What are the barriers to suitable education for children with medical needs? The study reports on two case studies undertaken in England and Japan, in which data were collected from a range of stakeholders (people who experienced hospitalisation in childhood, parents, teachers of hospital and mainstream schools) through face to face interviews and email interviews. The findings identify the children’s academic needs, their health condition and medical care related needs, as well as their social emotional needs. Hospital school, home teaching and main school maintain continuity of education in both cases. As obstacles to education, regional differences in available support were identified in both countries. Teacher’s lack of awareness of the child’s education, insufficient knowledge and skill, lack of communication, lack of information about the child’s illness, and unsupportive school leadership were identified as barriers. This study suggests 1) to improve teachers’ knowledge of teaching ill children, 2) to improve their knowledge of the available support systems, 3) to improve communication, 4) to obtain sufficient information about the child’s difficulties and illness, and 5) to improve supportive school leadership. Further developments may be needed in inadequate systems, teacher training, and social emotional support for children.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Education
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LC Special aspects of education


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