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Does an inclusive ethos enhance the sense of school belonging and encourage the social relations of young adolescents identified as having social, emotional and mental health difficulties (SEMH) and moderate learning difficulties (MLD)?

Dimitrellou, Eleni; (2017) Does an inclusive ethos enhance the sense of school belonging and encourage the social relations of young adolescents identified as having social, emotional and mental health difficulties (SEMH) and moderate learning difficulties (MLD)? Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Empirical evidence has shown that the inclusion of pupils identified as having social, emotional and mental health difficulties (SEMH) and moderate learning difficulties (MLD) can be challenging. There is limited research investigating the relationship between the inclusivity of a school and the reported schooling experiences of pupils with SEMH and MLD. This study addresses the question as to whether a school with an inclusive ethos enhances the sense of belonging and encourages the social relations of these groups of SEN. METHOD: Three secondary mainstream schools from a metropolitan area participated in the study. Data collection employed a mixed methods approach utilising semi-structured interviews and self-completed questionnaires from pupils (SEMH, MLD, typical) and educational staff. RESULTS: The inclusive ethos of a school was found to be positively associated with the perceived sense of school belonging as well as the social relations of pupils identified as having SEN. Comparison of the schooling experiences between groups revealed that pupils identified as having SEMH reported having different needs and were found to have less of a sense of belonging and more negative social relations than those identified as having MLD. CONCLUSIONS: A school with an inclusive ethos appears to promote feelings of belonging and positive social relations of pupils identified as having SEMH and MLD. It is proposed that differentiation of inclusive practices within mainstream settings is important for the successful inclusion of pupils identified as having SEMH and MLD, as the different SEN groups are not homogenous. It is also proposed that active participation of pupils with SEN in school decision making and listening to pupils’ voices can be a powerful tool in informing differentiation and engendering an inclusive ethos.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Does an inclusive ethos enhance the sense of school belonging and encourage the social relations of young adolescents identified as having social, emotional and mental health difficulties (SEMH) and moderate learning difficulties (MLD)?
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Psychology and Human Development
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1553368
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