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Understanding the decision-making processes of young people in a pupil referral unit regarding post-16 education and training

Rossello, AF; (2016) Understanding the decision-making processes of young people in a pupil referral unit regarding post-16 education and training. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

For various reasons, young people in Years 10 and 11 often remain in a pupil referral unit (PRU) at a time when they are completing pivotal exams in their educational career. If these do not go well, chances are increased of becoming not in education, employment or training (NEET), impacting on the individual and society as a whole. Research has established that achievement in, and destinations from, PRUs are poor, and vulnerable young people often receive inadequate careers advice. Where young people are not supported to make realistic choices the evidence suggests that they often disengage with, and drop out of, further education (FE), leading once again to becoming NEET. This study explored how young people in key stage 4 education at a PRU made decisions about post-16 education and training, and how they were supported to make these decisions. A qualitative research design was adopted with the use of semi-structured interviews at three points in time over three terms to capture the decision-making process over a period of time among seven student participants. Two adult staff participants also took part. Thematic analysis was conducted in order to identify themes that captured the process. The longitudinal nature of the present research allowed for the iterative process of decision-making to be captured, and highlighted the importance of young people in a PRU setting receiving support with their decision-making from a familiar adult who is available regularly and with whom the young people have a positive, trusting and comfortable relationship. This support was shown to help young people with the challenges faced throughout the decision-making process such as changing their minds, often through a lack of self-confidence. Implications for educational professionals and educational psychology in practice are considered and directions for future research are discussed.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Understanding the decision-making processes of young people in a pupil referral unit regarding post-16 education and training
Event: UCL
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Keywords: Decision-making, pupil referral unit, PRU, post-16, thematic analysis, qualitative, young people, educational psychology, longitudinal, case study, semi-structured interviews
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/1519852
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