Designated teachers’ experiences of supporting previously looked after children in primary school settings: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) study

Harris, Jade K (2021) Designated teachers’ experiences of supporting previously looked after children in primary school settings: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) study. Professional Doctorate thesis, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust / University of Essex. Full text available

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Abstract

The aim of this research was to explore Designated Teachers’ (DTs) experiences of supporting Previously Looked After Children. The purpose of this research was to gain insight into how DTs experience their evolving role in order to better understand how the role can be supported and developed at the individual, school and Local Authority (LA) level to improve outcomes for Previously Looked After Children. The role of the Designated Teacher was established in 2009 to promote the educational achievement of Looked After Children, in maintained schools in England and Wales. In 2018 this statutory requirement was extended to include Previously Looked After Children, who after leaving local authority care, have been adopted, made subject to a Special Guardianship Order, or made subject to a Child Arrangement Order. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with three Designated Teachers working within primary schools. The participants were selected purposefully, ensuring that participants met specific sampling criteria which would allow them to reflect upon their experiences of supporting Previously Looked After Children. Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was adopted as the methodological approach and four superordinate themes emerged from the analysis. The DTs explored the idea of working in ‘the overlooked role’ in relation to their working relationships with others. Further to this, the DTs highlighted their role in ‘focusing on the child’, stressing the importance of developing a holistic picture of the child, their needs and required support. In addition, the DTs highlighted the importance of ‘increasing capacity’, detailing the importance of personal and staff development. Finally, the DTs explored the importance of ‘working collaboratively’, indicating the significance of working in partnership with parents and carers. The findings were discussed in relation to the relevant existing literature and practice, with conclusions, limitations and recommendations also presented. The conclusions will be presented to Local Authority staff, including the Educational Psychology Service to offer more nuanced support and guidance to Designated Teachers and the Virtual School.

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: Children, Young People and Developmental Pyschology > Child Care Services
Learning & Education > Educational Psychology
Learning & Education > Learning & Education in Psychology
Research, Tests, Assessments > Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services
Research
URI: http://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/2551

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