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Title: Enabling a secondary school to develop its practice in relation to children in care (CiC) through use of the Research and Development in Organisations (RADIO) approach
Author: Blacklidge, Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 2693 1989
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2010
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Educational outcomes and long term outcomes for children in care (CiC) are a continuing cause for concern; research shows that care leavers as a group are likely to be among the most socially excluded young people in society (Stein, 2006). In the United Kingdom, concerns about the educational underachievement of CiC have prompted a number of major Government initiatives over the past decade (Jacklin, Robinson and Torrance, 2006). Promoting positive school experiences for CiC and developing the practice of staff in supporting this group of children is an issue of particular importance within the local authority (LA) within which I practice, as it has above average levels of CiC compared to its statistical neighbours. The team manager for CiC within the LA identified a role for research related to the experiences of CiC at secondary school level, as she recognised that there was a role for Educational Psychologists (EPs) in helping schools to develop their practice at a whole-school level in order to support these pupils’ needs. With this in mind, the purpose of my research was to carry out collaborative action research with key staff at a secondary school in order to enable the school to develop its practice in relation to CiC. The Research and Development in Organisations (RADIO) approach (Timmins, Shepherd and Kelly, 2003), was the framework chosen for the action research. The application of the approach within the school will be described as well as the findings. The concept of resilience is important to this research. This was the preferred approach of the secondary school and it appeals as a framework to supporting the school experiences for CiC because resiliency approaches are broad, they can be easily individualised and are flexible. This flexibility is important; a resiliency approach allows for the central focus to be on supporting a CiC of secondary school age move through adolescence towards adulthood. Another appeal of a resiliency approach is that it acknowledges strengths and promotes a sense of hope in individuals. Further, school has been identified as a source of resilience for vulnerable children (Gilligan, 1998; 2000). The research will focus on four key aspects of resilience, which have been highlighted by researchers (for example, Daniel, Wassell and Gilligan, 1999) as of value in supporting CiC to succeed at school. The research will end with reflection on how the RADIO approach might contribute to the work of EPs at LA and whole school levels.
Supervisor: Woods, Kevin Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.Chi.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available