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Exploring perceptions of enablers and barriers to positive outcomes in a primary Pupil Referral Unit: The perspectives of pupils, primary caregivers and staff

Taylor, Eleanor; (2019) Exploring perceptions of enablers and barriers to positive outcomes in a primary Pupil Referral Unit: The perspectives of pupils, primary caregivers and staff. Doctoral thesis (D.Ed.Psy), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Permanent school exclusions in the UK are increasing, particularly for primary-aged pupils who now represent 15% of the total exclusion population. Pupils who experience permanent exclusion and attend alternative provision, of which pupil referral units (PRUs) are the most common form, are likely to experience negative long-term academic and social outcomes. Despite this, there is a paucity of research which explores the perceptions of the pupils, primary caregivers, and staff who experience attendance in a PRU. These perceptions would provide a more rich picture of the phenomenon and influence policy and practice regarding the support of these pupils. Of the existing research that does explore these perceptions, it is often the views of professionals in these settings that are taken into account, rather than of the pupils and primary caregivers. The current study aims to build on the existing limited knowledge of pupil perceptions in primary PRUs, alongside the views of their primary caregivers and the staff who support them. This research adopts a case study approach to explore these perceptions in one primary PRU. Participants consisted of four pupils (Year 3-5), four primary caregivers and five staff members. Participants’ views regarding what they perceived to be positive outcomes of pupil attendance, alongside the enablers and barriers to these outcomes were captured through interviews. A range of ‘task-centred’ tools and techniques were used in the pupil interviews to facilitate discussion. Thematic analysis was carried out, which resulted in the construction of a number of themes and subthemes. Seven themes were drawn from the data that related to school belonging, social and emotional skill development, successful reintegration, staff skills, relationships, the learning environment, and priorities of the senior leadership team. These findings are discussed in light of the existing literature and in relation to the research questions, with the study’s strengths and limitations considered. To conclude, further research directions and implications for practice are reflected on.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: D.Ed.Psy
Title: Exploring perceptions of enablers and barriers to positive outcomes in a primary Pupil Referral Unit: The perspectives of pupils, primary caregivers and staff
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2019. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
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: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10080094
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