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Title: An inquiry into the perceptions and experiences of primary trainee teachers of looked after children, and the implications for training and continuing professional development
Author: Alix, Sarah
ISNI:       0000 0004 5367 8878
Awarding Body: Brunel University
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis examines the perspectives and experiences of primary Initial Teacher Education (ITE) trainee teachers, of working with Looked After Children (LAC), and the implications for training and Continuing Professional Development (CPD). The thesis is within the interpretivist paradigm, using a Grounded Theory Methodological approach. The research was carried out in one post-1992 English university, with trainee teachers on a three year undergraduate BA (Honours) Education teacher training route, and a one-year Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) route. Feedback was sought from wider organisations and professionals working directly with LAC. LAC continue to underperform academically in comparison to their peers, and for decades have been let down by systems and support, with many entering the criminal justice system at an early age. This study examines trainee teachers’ perspectives to conclude how specific training can support teachers and in turn impact on LAC. The thesis draws out four main themes from the trainees: the negative impact of previous experience on trainee values and beliefs towards LAC as they enter ITE; the positive and negative perceptions and experiences of trainees in relation to collaborative working; the negative perceptions and experiences of trainees in relation to the behaviour and learning needs of LAC; and trainees’ and mentors’ lack of knowledge in relation to LAC. The study concludes that trainees and mentors have a lack of knowledge and skills on how to support LAC in five key areas; policy and legislation, challenging negative perceptions, emotional well-being and supportive strategies, administrative knowledge, and collaborative working. A training model to support ITE and CPD is developed, gaining feedback from key organisations and professionals working with LAC.
Supervisor: Watts, M. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Looked after children ; Children in care ; Education ; Trainee teachers