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Title: The educational experiences of young people in public care within Northern Ireland
Author: Milligan, Victoria Elizabeth
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2014
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Abstract:
Overall, analysis of the literature indicates that the educational experiences of looked after young people (LAC) often lead them to underachieve. The literature demonstrates that young people tend to have experienced many traumas and disturbances and it is very unlikely that they will experience a consistent and nurturing educational career because of this. As a consequence the educational achievement of looked after young people as a group remains unacceptably low. The study includes five looked after young people attending a voluntary organisation for young people not in education, employment or training. Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted with the young people. Interpretation was informed by Narrative Analysis (e.g. Crossley, 2007; Mishler, 1986; Murray, 2003) to allow case-by-case presentations of the lived experience of each young person. Analysis on a case-by-case basis suggests that there continue to be multiple influences at play for each young person in terms of their experiences of primary and post primary education. Analysis on a cross-case basis suggests that there is a needs narrative structure emerging. The individual stories of each of the young people coalesced with the literature and emphasized the ecological perspective outlined; that looked after young people must be viewed in the context of their developing under an interplay of multiple factors, leading to adverse educational experiences and poor academic attainment when compared to their peers. The young people's time lines illustrate that there were varied experiences across the number of primary schools and post primary schools attended; yet each young person's story describes a negative experience of school and education. The results indicate that, for looked after young people, it is not the number of primary or secondary schools they attend acting as a barrier to education, but the experience they have of their individual needs being met, or not met, within the school itself. Reflections on the strengths and limitations of the research, including researcher bias, are presented.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (DECAP) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.675452  DOI: Not available
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