A Qualitative Exploration of Persistent Non-Attendance in a South West Local Authority Area.
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
This research qualitatively explores persistent non-attendance (PN) in a southwest local authority area. Part 1 explores professionals’ conceptualisations of PN, language use and approaches to support. Part 2 explores the lived experience of non-attendance for children and families; how they make sense of the issue, the support they received and the characteristics of support that they found effective. Part 1 findings suggested no one explanation was used to make sense of PN, instead an individualistic approach was used to make sense of cases, using an ecological/systemic framework. This approach therefore influenced the support that was provided by schools. There was consistency in the language used by professionals, influenced by governmental policy and recommendations, with ‘persistent absence’ being the most prevalent term used. Part 2 findings exploration of the lived experiences of families found that PN had had an impacted on all families, in a variety of ways. In line with part 1, no one explanation was put forward for why the PN had occurred, however themes of anxiety and ASD were prevalent. Part 1’s recommendations for practice focus the use of individualised approaches to understanding and support, using an ecological/systemic model. Part 2’s recommendations related to the importance of communication between school and home, and responding to the families individual needs.
Doctor of Educational Psychology in Educational Child and Community Psychology