The integration of pupils with special educational needs from special school into mainstream school
This research was conducted in order to find out what takes place in the process of integration of pupils with special educational needs from special schools into mainstream schools. A design was chosen that allowed the study of the various stages of transfer from a special school into a mainstream school. The design chosen was an "overlapping longitudinal" design i.e. pupils going through the different phases of the transfer process were studied in parallel. Three phases were identified: the pre transition phase. the transition phase and the post transition phase. Three groups of pupils were studied representing each phase of the transfer. In total twenty pupils were studied their ages ranging from six to nine with a range of Special Educational Needs. The first group the Pre transition group comprised pupils for whom a decision was not made yet to transfer them to mainstream school. The second group the Transition group comprised pupils for whom a decision had been made to transfer them to a mainstream school. The third group the Post transition group comprised pupils who had already transferred into a mainstream school during the previous academic year. The case study approach was chosen in order to study the three groups and the methods of data collection were interviews, observation and consultation of documents. Interviews were held with parents, special school staff, educational psychologists, mainstream school stff and staff at the Local Educational Authorities' Support Services. Two schedules of observation were devised, one of them aimed to capture the general occurrences in the classroom "Classroom Observation Schedule" and the other aimed at capturing the pupils' interactions in detail, "Classroom Interaction Schedule". Tests of reliability were carried out to ensure the reliability of both schedules. A research diary was kept to compliment the observation gathered from both schedules. As for the documents that were consulted, these were pupils' statements, schools' SEN policies, LEA SEN policies and some examples of pupils' work. The analysis of the data gathered through the different sources were discussed for each group individually and emerging themes from the three groups were discussed in the final chapter.