Preparing student teachers to teach inclusively: a case study of a higher education PGCE course in Wales

Palfrey, Emma (2019). Preparing student teachers to teach inclusively: a case study of a higher education PGCE course in Wales. University of Birmingham. Ed.D.

Text - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (2MB) | Preview


The 1978 Warnock Report, and the 1994 Salmanca Statement have been instrumental in shaping inclusive education in the UK. Within Wales, these two key drivers have promoted the development of greater inclusive policies and practice, calling for inclusion to be the norm and recommending that all children should be educated in a mainstream setting, where possible. To support these developments, it is important that initial teacher training (ITT) courses and providers are able to ensure that newly qualified teachers (NQTs) have both the skills and knowledge to be effective, inclusive practitioners.

The catalyst for this research was the Welsh Government’s 2012 consultation document “Forward in Partnership for Children and Young People with Additional Needs”, which outlined its intention to introduce new legislation relating to special educational needs (SEN) and additional learning needs (ALN), bringing extensive reforms to the system. This was ongoing throughout much of the empirical research, with the new Bill gaining Royal Assent in January 2018. The implementation of the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act will commence in September 2020, with the implementation period anticipated to span three years. During this time, the existing SEN legislation applies.
The purpose of this study was to investigate how well one higher education institution in Wales, and within that institution, one post graduate certificate of education (PGCE) course, prepared its ITT students to be inclusive practitioners.

The empirical research was designed to answer three research questions, which focused on self-efficacy, coaching and mentoring, and reflection. The research consisted of an 18-month longitudinal case study, involving seven student teachers. The case study investigated the training the participants received during their one-year PGCE and how their self-reported self-efficacy changed throughout the year. The views of four participants, following their first term of teaching as NQTs, are also reported.

The findings of the study indicate that mentoring played a fundamental role in developing the participants’ self-efficacy, as did the practical, hands-on experience they gained throughout the year. This study provides a timely summary of the current situation in Wales, and by drawing on the findings of the research, recommendations to develop and improve future practice are offered.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ed.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ed.D.
Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
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 > LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
L Education > LC Special aspects of education


Request a Correction Request a Correction
View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year