From Pupil Referral Units (PRUs) to mainstream education: a Q methodological study exploring the perceptions of PRU and mainstream secondary school professionals on reintegration

Armstrong, Hayley (2017) From Pupil Referral Units (PRUs) to mainstream education: a Q methodological study exploring the perceptions of PRU and mainstream secondary school professionals on reintegration. DAppEdPsy thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Abstract

Recent figures show that the number of permanent exclusions from Mainstream Secondary Schools (MSS) has increased to its highest rate in recent years (DfE, 2016c), and research suggests that reintegration back into mainstream education for young people can be problematic (Wilkin et al, 2005). Outcomes for students excluded from school and placed in alternative provision, such as Pupil Referral Units (PRUs), include social isolation, unemployment, crime, and mental health problems (Hall-Lande et al, 2007; Ofsted, 2004). However, research has suggested that effective reintegration from PRUs back into mainstream education is able to help students to reconceptualise their behaviour and break the cycle of learned helplessness (Armstrong, 1999). As research has shown that permanent exclusions often follow numerous unsuccessful transitions throughout school (Trotman et al, 2015), the importance of ensuring an effective reintegration process back into mainstream school for these students is paramount.

This research utilises Q methodology to explore the perspectives of 47 PRU and MSS professionals on effective reintegration. The data were analysed using inverted factor analysis (Stephenson, 1936), which produced three distinct viewpoints across both PRU and MSS professionals:

1. Collaborative Working and the Role of the PRU

2. Inclusive Practice, Availability of Resources and Support

3. Individualised Approaches and the Role of the School

A thematic analysis was also undertaken on qualitative data, obtained through participants’ responses to post-sorting questionnaires, to identify perceived barriers to reintegration within the focus Local Authority. These were characterised as consistency; engagement and support; availability; attitudes and expectations; understanding; and communication.

Consideration of both promotive factors and barriers to reintegration assisted with identifying implications for professional practice, relevant for both key stakeholders within the research and Educational Psychologists. This was undertaken with the view of enhancing reintegration processes within the focus Local Authority, and promoting the inclusion of students within mainstream schools.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (DAppEdPsy)
Supervisors: Atkinson, Sarah
Durbin, N.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Science > School of Psychology
Item ID: 45128
Depositing User: Armstrong, Hayley
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2017 04:40
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2017 17:15
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/45128

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