Supporting pupils exhibiting emotionally based school refusal to attend school more regularly: an interpretative phenomenological analysis exploring the experiences of secondary school staff

Pritchard, Phyllida (2019) Supporting pupils exhibiting emotionally based school refusal to attend school more regularly: an interpretative phenomenological analysis exploring the experiences of secondary school staff. DAppEdPsy thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Abstract

The majority of research exploring emotionally based school refusal (EBSR) has focussed primarily on risk factors for this behaviour and the negative trajectory for these pupils (Flakierska-praquin, Lindstrsm, & Gillberg, 1997; Van Eck, Johnson, Bettencourt, & Lindstrom-Johnson, 2017). An emerging base of literature has begun to explore school-based strategies to support pupils exhibiting EBSR to attend school more regularly, however, this base of research is currently limited and there is a lack of research focussing on ‘success stories’ of pupils exhibiting EBSR feeling able to attend school more regularly.

This study uses Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) to explore how eight secondary school staff made sense of their experience of successfully supporting three pupils exhibiting EBSR to attend school more regularly. This was done in order to elicit their perspectives on what worked well when supporting these pupils, in the hope that this may inform future practice. The focus was placed on secondary schools in line with the majority of research in this domain and the interests of the author’s host local authority (LA). Semi-structured interviews were undertaken and data analysed following the principles of IPA.

Seven master themes were identified; the presence of key adult support for these pupils, working in partnership with the pupils and their parents/carers, providing the pupils with a base away from the main school, working in partnership with school staff, the pupils’ access to peer support, the emotional impact of supporting a pupil exhibiting EBSR and making amendments to the school day in light of the pupils’ individual needs.

This research has implications for LAs, Educational Psychologists and secondary schools around potential strategies to be implemented in the future to support pupils exhibiting EBSR, the importance of developing teams of staff to work with these pupils and the importance of supporting the wellbeing of staff engaging in this work . Potential areas for future research are also illuminated.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (DAppEdPsy)
Supervisors: Lambert, Nathan
Keywords: emotionally based school refusal, EBSR, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1050 Educational psychology
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1603 Secondary education. High schools
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Science > School of Psychology
Item ID: 59081
Depositing User: Pritchard, Phyllida
Date Deposited: 20 May 2021 09:34
Last Modified: 20 May 2021 09:35
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/59081

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