“It depends on the individual”: A psycho-social exploration of designated teachers’ and virtual school advisory teachers’ experiences of supporting looked after children in education

Waterman, Vari (2020) “It depends on the individual”: A psycho-social exploration of designated teachers’ and virtual school advisory teachers’ experiences of supporting looked after children in education. Professional Doctorate thesis, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust / University of Essex. Full text available

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Abstract

In 2019, there were 78,150 (DfE, 2019) looked after children (LAC) in the United Kingdom. According to national statistics they are underachieving by at least 28% (DfE, 2017), across all key stages of education in comparison to the general population. LAC pupils are four times more likely to have a special educational need or an education, health and care plan (EHCP). Within education there are two key organisations, schools and the virtual school, whose legal responsibility it is to coordinate and monitor the education of LAC pupils. This study is a psycho-social exploration of VSAT and DT’s experiences of supporting LAC pupils within education, both academically and emotionally. Eight interviews were conducted, four with VSATs and four with their link DTs in primary and secondary schools. Unstructured interviews were conducted applying a Free Associative Narrative Method (FANI) and each participant was interviewed once. An Activity Theory Diagram was included in the interview as an initial task, providing a conceptual map of the participants construction of the systems surrounding LAC children. Interviews were analysed using a reflexive inductive thematic analysis approach, with an additional psycho-analytic lens to explore participants unconscious emotional responses to supporting LAC pupils. Three main themes were identified: the ‘emotional labour’ of supporting LAC pupils, systemic issues within the network and the participants perspectives on LAC pupils achievement. The findings highlight the challenges for educational professionals providing educational and emotional support and implications for Educational Psychologists are discussed.

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: Groups & Organisations > Occupational Groups
Learning & Education > Educational Psychology
Learning & Education > Learning & Education in Psychology
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services
Research
URI: http://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/2400

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