A mixed methods study exploring whether referral to the Internal Inclusion Unit results in change to pupil behaviour and exploring the student’s perceptions of the facility.

Reynolds, Aaron E L (2021) A mixed methods study exploring whether referral to the Internal Inclusion Unit results in change to pupil behaviour and exploring the student’s perceptions of the facility. Professional Doctorate thesis, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust / University of Essex. Full text available

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Abstract

‘Internal Inclusion Units (IIUs)’ are facilities within or associated with schools, with the predominantly espoused purpose of reducing school exclusions and managing pupil behaviour. IIUs have become a highly prevalent facility across English schools, research indicated they exist in over half of secondary schools (IFF Research Ltd et al., 2018), despite minimal research or guidance regarding their use existing. With the Government's Behaviour Tsar, advising the government to expand the number of IIUs (Bennett, 2017), the Department for Education backing this with an allocation of £10 million (DfE, 2019d), and the Covid-19 lockdowns believed to have amplified behavioural issues in schools (DfE, 2020c), their numbers are only set to increase. Consequently, this research explored the use of one London-based IIU: identifying whether referral to the IIU resulted in any statistical change in pupil behaviour and what IIU attendees perceived about IIU use. A mixed-methods study was conducted, with the quantitative phase analysing 20 attendees’ behaviour over a twelve-week period, whilst the qualitative phase explored 6 attendees' perceptions of IIU use through interviews. The quantitative findings indicated that IIU referral likely resulted in a decrease in attendees’ misbehaviour. However, the qualitative findings indicate there were also a series of negative and ethically questionable implications of IIU use on attendees. The findings suggest attendees engaged in considerable meaning making around IIU use, resulting in perceptions/fears of ‘rejection and neglect’ by school staff and ‘unfairness and injustice’ of the system; which in turn appeared to result in a considerable emotional toll from IIU use, which attendees employed a series of coping mechanisms to manage. Nonetheless, most attendees believed the IIU improved their behaviour, was a necessary facility in schools and highlighted several ways the IIU resulted in their behavioural improvement. Therefore, this research raises numerous implications for practice and areas for future study.

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 > Groups/Institutions/Organisations
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/2494

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