Investigating the distinct contribution of Educational Psychology to provide Children in Care with an enhanced education.
Mann, Fiona Jane
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Paper 1 Abstract This study focused on personal education plans for children in care and the related research around individual education plans. Children in care have been identified by the government and local authorities as a vulnerable group, at risk of failing to fully access education (DCSF, 2010). This paper examines the role of the educational psychologist in supporting children in care. There are three aims; 1. to explore the current role and work of educational psychologists in supporting children in care across local authorities, and within one local authority, 2. to generate, a more in-depth understanding of educational psychologists’ practice regarding children in care. 3. to use the analysis to formulate a framework that will inform an intervention to enhance the personal education plan process. Mixed methods were used to investigate the current role and view of educational psychologists and those involved in the personal education plan (PEP) process. The methods included online surveys, hardcopy questionnaires and semi structured interviews, which produced both qualitative and quantitative data. The findings of this research suggest that EPs most often work with Children in Care in school, and this seems to involve consultations, planning and reviewing meetings at a multiagency level. This study reports that EPs are not often involved in the PEP process but that most EPs have an understanding of the purpose of PEPs. A summary of the distinct contribution EPs believe they have to offer children in care has been presented, and the findings could provide EPs with improved role clarity in the future. A number of themes were also identified that would support the PEP process and a framework has been created that has the potential to enhance the process. Paper 2 - Collaborative Consultation Abstract Background: Children in care (CiC) have consistently underperformed educationally, compared to other children. Personal Education Plans (PEP) were introduced to address this issue. This study aims to implement a PEP intervention (based on a framework from Paper 1) to enhance the educational experience of the child and explore the distinct contribution of the educational psychologist (EP). Method: Action Research was used to structure an intervention and gather the pre and post evaluation data in four case studies. The intervention consisted of an assessment of the child; there were three collaborative consultations with those involved in the PEP and attending the PEP meeting. Data collected include child assessments, notes from consultations, pre and post questionnaires and post semi-structured interviews with the professional. Results: The findings suggest the intervention had a positive impact on the PEP process and how those completing the PEP felt about the process. Changes to the child’s independent functioning could not be attributed to the intervention. The analysis developed and supports the finding in the framework from Paper 1. Conclusion: The revised framework offers a guideline to produce a consistent PEP process across all Local Authorities. Recommendations about the use of assessment and introducing psychological theories through consultation prior to the PEP are provided.
Doctor of Educational Psychology in Educational, Child & Community Psychology