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Title: The viewpoints of professionals working in special educational needs/disability services about children and young people's participation
Author: Riddick , Paul
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2012
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Following the UK's ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1991 , the promotion of children's participation in various aspects of decision making that relate to them has been a common feature of national policy and service organisation. However, despite broad support and considerable activity, progress in establishing meaningful participation has been patchy and poorly evaluated. A number of barriers have been identified in the literature including attiJudes and preconceptions held by professionals with regards to the limits on young people's participation. The aim of this study was to better understand the viewpoints of professionals on young people's participation and the implications that these would have for developing professional practice. A Q-study was undertaken to investigate the viewpoints of 57 Special Educational Needs and Disability support service professionals on young people's participation. Focus groups were used to investigate the implications of these viewpoints for developing professional practice. A thematic analysis was used to identify themes from the focus group discussions. The results of the Q-study demonstrated that there was a broad based support for young people's participation represented by a majority viewpoint based on human rights issues and value and respect for the individual. Two further minority viewpoints were also identified which were supportive of participation but to a lesser degree reflecting more nuanced views around the tensions between adult responsibilities and children's rights. Detailed descriptions of these viewpoints are provided. The thematic analysis identified a number of implications for developing professional practice including training/awareness raising; development of organisational culture and structures; identification and rejection of tokenism; development of a better understanding of participation within different cultural contexts; discussion and debate about some of the fundamental issues to do - 11 - 'I 1 :1 with participation; a better understanding of how participative decision making works; and better dissemination of its benefits for young peoples, services and communities. Acknowledgement I wish to thank Dr Nathan Lambert for his patient and skilled supervision; Dr John Bradley for providing expert input at key points in undertaking my Qstudy; my colleagues Rob Beadel, Mel Shirley, Neil Ryrie and Lindsey Share for their support and encouragement; and finally, I would like to thank all my colleagues who gave their time to participate in this study. -
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available