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The impact of a literacy/mentoring intervention on the outcomes of looked after children

Murphy, M; (2017) The impact of a literacy/mentoring intervention on the outcomes of looked after children. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Looked after children (LAC) are among the most disadvantaged groups of children with social, health, educational and economic outcomes that have long been a concern. Previous research has emphasised the importance of literacy skills, resilience, relationships and a sense of belongingness for improving outcomes for LAC, however, there is a lack of research to guide which interventions are most effective in promoting these domains. Aim: To investigate the impact of a literacy/mentoring programme of 12 weeks duration on the literacy attainment, resiliency and sense of school belonging of LAC. Sample: Fifteen LAC in year 4, 5 and 6 and 13 school-based mentors. Methods: The study utilises a convergent, parallel mixed methods design. Participants completed measures of literacy, resiliency and sense of school belonging at baseline and post-intervention. Paired t-tests and The Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test were used to compare pre and post means. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants post-intervention to explore perceptions of the intervention including the factors that promoted the successful implementation of the intervention. Interviews were analysed using thematic analysis, guided by the work of Braun & Clarke (2006). Quantitative findings: The results indicated that the intervention had a significant effect on reading comprehension, sense of school belonging and some aspects of resiliency, but not on other aspects of resiliency or on reading fluency or reading accuracy. Qualitative findings: Two overarching themes were identified including ‘making a difference’ and ‘making the intervention work’. ‘Making a difference’ consists of two main themes ‘academic outcomes’ and ‘relationships’ and five subthemes. ‘Making the intervention work’ consists of four main themes ‘resource money matters’, ‘individualising the intervention’, ‘engaging the mentor’ and ‘making it better’. Conclusion: Literacy/mentoring interventions have the potential to make a significant difference to LAC and warrant further robust research on a larger scale and wider implementation in schools.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: The impact of a literacy/mentoring intervention on the outcomes of looked after children
Event: UCL Institute of Education
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/1575478
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