A psychosocial approach exploring the experiences of primary school Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCOs)

Plender, Abigail (2019) A psychosocial approach exploring the experiences of primary school Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCOs). Professional Doctorate thesis, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust / University of Essex. Full text available

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Abstract

Since the introduction of the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Code of Practice: 0-25 years (2015) (DfE, 2015) there has been a change in the national and local context that Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCOs) work within. This exploratory research extends the current literature by taking a psychosocial approach to understand primary school SENCOs experience of their role. A psychoanalytically informed method, Free Association Narrative Interviewing (FANI), was used to interview three participants twice. Interviews were analysed at the semantic level using thematic analysis and at the latent level using a psychoanalytically informed analysis through ‘scenic understanding’. Themes from the thematic analysis highlighted the multifaceted nature of the SENCO role and the shift to a strategic focus. SENCOs continue to have lack of time for the role and are not always on Senior Leadership Teams (SLT). The importance of positive relationships with headteachers is integral. The emotional wellbeing of SENCOs and staff is recognised. Psychoanalytically informed interpretations of the findings suggest concepts such as containment, splitting, projection and groups theory were relevant to SENCOs experiences. Implications for SENCOs and Educational Psychology practice have been explored. Limitations and implications for future research are considered.

Item Type: Thesis (Professional Doctorate)
Additional Information: Thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the Professional Doctorate in Child, Community and Educational Psychology awarded by the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust in association with the University of Essex
Uncontrolled Keywords: Professional Doctorate in Child, Community and Educational Psychology, Edpsych Updates
Subjects: Learning & Education > Educational Psychology
Learning & Education > Special Needs Education
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services
Research
URI: http://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/2072

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