The Experiences of a Shared Placement for Pupils Identified as Having Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties and Staff
Cockerill, Timothy Paul
Date: 29 May 2013
University of Exeter
DEdPsy in Educational, Child and Community Psychology
The following research project is split into two phases and concludes with a synthesis of both phases. The overarching aim of the research project is to explore how mainstream schools can best work with alternative providers to make collective provision for those identified as having Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties. In ...
The following research project is split into two phases and concludes with a synthesis of both phases. The overarching aim of the research project is to explore how mainstream schools can best work with alternative providers to make collective provision for those identified as having Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties. In the first phase, a realistic evaluation methodology (Pawson & Tilley, 1997) is adopted and semi structured interviews are used to explore the experiences of staff in relation to pupils on a shared placement. A provisional theory is then developed to explain the outcomes of the shared placement arrangement. The second phase of the research involves gathering the views and perceptions of the pupils and also utilises the realistic evaluation approach. The aim of this phase is to refine and update the provisional theory developed in Phase 1. This study adopts a mixed methods approach, utilising semi-structured interviews with the pupils. A quantitative element is introduced through a closer examination of the relationship between pupils’ sense of school belonging and the success, or otherwise of the shared placement. Throughout both phases of the research, there is a focus on discovering how a shared placement affects the pupil and what the outcomes of this arrangement are. The project is also heavily focused on identifying the contextual conditions that either facilitate or inhibit positive outcomes occurring. The findings of the research indicate that shared placements can lead to a variety of outcomes for pupils. When it works well, pupils become more engaged with their education and this has a positive impact on their behaviour and emotional development. However, it is also clear that shared placements can result in undesirable outcomes including further disengagement from the mainstream school. When outcomes were positive, the shared placement increased pupils’ self-efficacy, aspirations and facilitated achievement. These factors were supported by valuing pupil voice, excellent partnership working between settings and the schools willingness to include children with complex needs. This research also highlights that a greater sense of belonging to the mainstream school is associated with an increased likelihood of positive outcomes occurring. This project has explored an area which has been largely neglected in previous research. The theories developed have a variety of implications for Educational Psychologists as well as wider implications, and these are discussed in the final section. Figure 1 presents a visual overview of the research project.
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