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Title: 'Time to talk' : using the Research and Development in Organisations framework to implement and evaluate an educational psychology drop-in service for pupils over 16 years of age
Author: Peters, Einir Wyn
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2012
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It is estimated that as many as 20% of children and young people experience psychological problems at any one time (The Mental Health Foundation, 1999), and research suggests that young people have many concerns that may go unnoticed by the adults around them (Cheminais, 2008). Pupils’ interest in direct access to psychological services in the form of ‘drop-in’ opportunities has previously been highlighted (Nichtern, 1978; Woolfson and Harker, 2002; Woolfson et al., 2008; Weerasinghe, 2009). Wider evidence suggests that ‘drop-in’ services may be an age-appropriate method for older adolescents to seek emotional health support. There is some research evidence to support the use of Educational Psychology ‘drop-in’ services for parents, however, there is little evidence to date regarding the use of such services with pupils, and no evidence to support the use of Educational Psychology drop-in services for a post-16 population. This thesis describes an Action Research project that was run in one secondary school in North Wales. A Trainee Educational Psychologist worked alongside a stakeholder group of school staff and other agencies in an effort to make Educational Psychologists (EPs) more accessible to post-16 pupils. The Research and Development in Organisations (RADIO) framework was applied to support the joint design and implementation of a psychological drop-in service for Year 12 and 13 pupils. Data was collected through focus groups, on-going discussion with stakeholders, and the maintenance of a research diary, each audio recorded. Data was analysed qualitatively using thematic analysis, with the key themes being fed back to the stakeholder group at pertinent stages of the RADIO model to help guide the direction of the action research project. The project did not take the anticipated course, as no pupils made use of the drop-in service during the pilot period. However, the critical realism stance adopted allowed for consideration of the underlying generative mechanisms that gave way to the outcomes achieved. Pupil’s perceptions of stigma and their negative constructions regarding the role of EPs were identified as particular barriers to direct access and participation with the service offered. The findings are discussed in relation to existing literature and the potential implications for secondary school pastoral care staff and Educational Psychology Services.
Supervisor: Woods, Kevin; Bond, Caroline Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.Chi.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Pupil Views of Educational Psychologists ; Drop-in service ; Post-16 pupils ; RADIO