A research project to prevent the exclusion from school of ‘at risk’ primary aged pupils

Williams, Andrea (2018). A research project to prevent the exclusion from school of ‘at risk’ primary aged pupils. University of Birmingham. Ed.Psych.D.

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Significant research and policy has focused on educational inclusion. However, pupils continue to be excluded from schools. Pupils experiencing behavioural, emotional and social difficulties are most likely to form this cohort excluded from school. There is a tension, as within the context of inclusion, this cohort of pupils are often regarded as the most difficult to include. Research shows there are poor outcomes for pupils excluded from school, in both the short to medium term, and often lifelong.
The aim of this research was to prevent the exclusion of a group of primary age pupils who had been identified as ‘at risk’ of exclusion by school staff. The ‘Integrated Framework to Guide Educational Psychologist Practice’ was used to secure a holistic investigation of each pupil’s circumstances at the level of the individual pupil, school and home levels. Protective and risk factors at each level were identified, with the aim of designing interventions which strengthened protective influences and reduced risk, in order to reduce the threat of exclusion from school.
Five cases from a single school formed the research sample and a range of methods were used to establish risk and protective factors for each case including pupil interview, pupil questionnaire, other assessments judged relevant in each case, parent interview, parent questionnaire, staff interview, staff questionnaire, document analysis and consultation discussion groups.
The findings suggest that a systemic approach to assessment can produce a rich picture of risk and protective factors at individual, school and family levels. Such a rich picture can inform effective assessment, formulation and intervention. While each case study was unique with its own risk and protective factors, the research found many key themes common to the five cases, including:
misperceptions of developmental delay/learning difficulties by school staff; high pupil satisfaction with school; differences between predicted and actual levels of self-esteem; low levels of hope; external loci of control; absence of the child’s voice in previous assessments; identifiable behavioural antecedents; complexity of home circumstances; a lack of home/school liaison; and a lack of monitoring and evaluation of the interventions used with pupils experiencing behavioural, emotional and social difficulties. These findings were harnessed to shape future school policy and practice to support greater inclusion of pupils experiencing behavioural, emotional and social difficulties who are at risk of exclusion from their mainstream school.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ed.Psych.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ed.Psych.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Education
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/8902


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