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The perceived benefits and difficulties in introducing and maintaining supervision groups in a SEMH special school

Willis, J; Baines, E; (2017) The perceived benefits and difficulties in introducing and maintaining supervision groups in a SEMH special school. Educational Review 10.1080/00131911.2017.1311303. (In press).

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Abstract

Supervision groups are often used in professional settings and are introduced to address and provide support in relation to the challenges that arise in everyday practice. Although group supervision is common amongst a range of helping professions, its use in schools is rare. Little research exists as to the merits and challenges of providing school staff with a confidential space in which to discuss and reflect upon their practice alongside colleagues. This research took place in a social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) special school, a highly pressured context, where staff work with pupils with SEMH special needs, and the challenging behaviours they display. This study involved 12 school staff and examined the perceived benefits and difficulties of introducing and maintaining effective group supervision. Data were gathered through semi-structured, one-to-one interviews. Transcripts were subsequently analysed thematically using qualitative data analysis software. Findings indicated that attending group supervision provided participants with the opportunity to foster a greater sense of camaraderie with their colleagues, and address the issue of stress through the offloading, sharing and validating of emotions and experiences. Although few difficulties were reported, important factors to consider are the need to ensure sessions are chaired by an effective, independent supervisor. Ensuring all supervisees are given a voice within a group appears to be an essential part of the supervisor’s role. Establishing a method of evaluating group supervision as a means of maintaining its effectiveness is also explored.

Type: Article
Title: The perceived benefits and difficulties in introducing and maintaining supervision groups in a SEMH special school
DOI: 10.1080/00131911.2017.1311303
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1080/00131911.2017.1311303
Language: English
Keywords: Group supervision, pressures of teaching SEMH pupils, relieving teacher stress, staff camaraderie, reflective practice, shared experiences
UCL classification: UCL > School of Education
UCL > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Psychology & Human Development
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1556402
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