An exploration of Educational Psychologists’ perceptions of enabling and restricting factors affecting children’s involvement in statutory assessment processes and outcomes.

Howells, Hester (2021) An exploration of Educational Psychologists’ perceptions of enabling and restricting factors affecting children’s involvement in statutory assessment processes and outcomes. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

Educational psychologists have a duty to work in a person-centred manner when completing statutory assessments with children (Special Educational Needs & Disabilities Code of Practice (2014), Children & Family Act (2014). Over recent years, securing meaningful child involvement appears to have become more important in educational psychologists’ practice (Kay, 2019), with studies beginning to explore the methods and tools used to facilitate child involvement (Harding & Atkinson, 2009 Newton & Smillie, 2020). Yet there appears a paucity of research examining what factors educational psychologists identify as enabling or restricting in child involvement.

The current study addresses 3 questions: How educational psychologists in one local authority involve children in statutory assessments, educational psychologists’ perceptions of enabling and restricting factors in fully involving children, and how the process might be different to promote children’s involvement. A mixed methodology (predominantly qualitative) was utilised, comprising a survey questionnaire and semi-structured interviews with a sample of 6 educational psychologists. Data from two survey questions explored practice in involving children, by age group, quantatively. Data was analysed qualitatively using thematic analysis (Braun and Clarke, 2006) employing latent and inductive coding.

Results reveal educational psychologists use 30 different approaches/tools with children, ranging from informal (puppets, play) to formal (standardised assessment). Four enabling factors (openness, facilitating child communication, professional skills, practicalities) and four restricting factors (statutory assessment time, powerful non-child voices, availability of information and child preparedness) were identified by participants. Perceptions of how the process might be different yielded four themes (increased time and tools available, prepare children and involve them earlier in the process, develop the process and involve children in planning). The results add to the developing literature, have implications for educational psychologists’ practice and suggest a key role for educational psychologists in developing the statutory assessment processes to minimise the restrictive factors identified.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education and Lifelong Learning
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2021 08:48
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2021 08:48
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/82289
DOI:

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