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Title: An interpretative phenomenological study exploring designated teachers' experiences of supporting looked after children
Author: Goodall, Danielle
ISNI:       0000 0004 5349 1595
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2014
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The purpose of this research was to explore Designated Teachers’ experiences of supporting Looked After Children. The aim of this was to increase knowledge, awareness and understanding surrounding their unique perspectives in order to gain an insight into how the role can be supported and strengthened to improve outcomes for Looked After Children. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six Designated Teachers working in both primary and secondary schools. The participants were selected purposefully, according to specific sampling criteria, to ensure they were able to reflect upon a range of current experiences. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was adopted as the methodological approach and five superordinate themes emerged from the interpretative analysis. The Designated Teachers emphasised the importance of ‘personal commitment and the need for resilience’ in order to persevere with their endeavour to support Looked After Children despite numerous barriers. They placed an emphasis on ‘recognising the child at the centre’ and ‘the importance of a holistic approach’, suggesting that supporting the educational achievement of Looked After Children is not something that they can do in isolation. The Designated Teachers appeared to be ‘working on the margins’ and feelings of isolation, apparent invisibility and a lack of control were apparent. They also experienced a significant ‘variability in role and support needs’, meaning that influential support from external professionals needed to reflect their individual needs and competence levels. The research findings are discussed in relation to existing literature and psychological theory to aid with understanding. The main conclusions are presented and lead to a number of recommendations for school staff, Local Authority professionals and future research. Underpinning these recommendations is an emphasis on the importance of listening to the views of Designated Teachers.
Supervisor: Pomerantz, Kathryn Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.C.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available