"One of ours" - an exploration of inclusion and the use of alternative provision

Brown, Zoe Louise (2018) "One of ours" - an exploration of inclusion and the use of alternative provision. DAppEdPsy thesis, University of Nottingham.

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The research presented here is an exploratory investigation of the attitudes of key decision-makers towards the placement of young people with social, emotional, mental health difficulties (SEMH) in alternative provisions. These attitudes were explored in the context of the participants’ definitions of and attitudes towards inclusion alongside further exploration of factors which both help and hinder the inclusion of young people who attend these settings. Literature surrounding inclusion, exclusion, alternative provisions and teacher attitudes towards young people with SEMH informed the development of the study, alongside literature concern the theory of attitudes.

The researcher sets the research within a social constructionist and pragmatic epistemological paradigm, utilising a qualitative methodology. Four school leadership team members, four alternative provision leads and four educational psychologists took part in semi-structured interviews based around a vignette developed in a focus group formed of participants from each of these groups. This vignette describes a fictional young person called Bert intended to be representative of young people placed in alternative provisions and discussion throughout the interviews referred back to Bert.

An inductive thematic analysis using Braun & Clarke's (2006) method was used to analyse the interview transcripts, with the research questions kept in mind throughout. This analysis presents codes, themes and subthemes in five thematic maps from which six key findings are drawn regarding the attitudes of the participants towards inclusion, alternative provision placement and the factors helping and hindering the successful inclusion of Bert. These key finds are: 1. There is a tension between the theory and practice of inclusion when considering the use of alternative provision. 2. Mainstream schools experience a variety of systemic and individual challenges and feel deskilled in supporting young people with SEMH. 3. The challenges in schools have led to the sense that Alternative Provision can do things which the mainstream cannot despite concerns around funding and quality assurance. 4. Taking ownership of young people and placing them at the centre of decisions around their provision is essential, although at times these decisions are made to meet school needs rather than young peoples’. 5. Educational Psychologists have a role in supporting the inclusion of young people like Bert and their educators. 6. Children and young people are perceived to have an impact on their own inclusion.

The implications of these findings for professional practice for school staff and educational psychologists as well as government policy are discussed and suggestions for further research are presented. Finally, the research provides some reflections following the research process.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (DAppEdPsy)
Supervisors: Atkinson, Sarah
Lambert, N.
Keywords: alternative provision education psychology inclusion exclusion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1050 Educational psychology
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Science > School of Psychology
Item ID: 55530
Depositing User: Brown, Zoe
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2019 13:40
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2019 18:17
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/55530

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