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Title: Parents' concerns about the inclusion of children with physical disabilities into mainstream schools
Author: Fox, Mark
ISNI:       0000 0004 2697 2617
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 1998
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This research explores the concerns that parents, of children with physical disabilities, have about their inclusion in mainstream school. The research was undertaken in a climate where inclusion of children with special needs was being actively promoted by the DFEE. Previous research has shown that parents have a range of concerns about bringing up a child with a physical disability (Noojin and Wallander 1996) and they do not believe that professionals understand these difficulties (Beresford 1994). Research has also shown that children with physical disabilities are not automatically academically or socially successful in mainstream school (Center and Ward 1984). A questionnaire, which contained both open and closed questions, was sent to all the parents of children with physical disabilities in one large county authority. A similar questionnaire was sent to all the parents of pre-school children in the same authority. The same two questionnaires were also sent to parents from all over England who had sought support from Scope's Advisory Assessment Service. Grounded theory was used to generate coding schemes that made sense of the mainstream and special school parents' concerns and their views on their children's education. The research showed that mainstream parents were significantly more concerned (than special school parents) with relationships and the actual school. Special school parents were significantly more concerned about their children's physical, communicative and general development. Difficulties with interagency working were a particular issue for many of the parents. The research showed that these views developed at a pre-school age. Parents were informally planning for their child's education outside the formal Statementing system. Family and community factors influence parents' views on education - not professionals. The above results were discussed in relationship to mainstream parents using a social model of disability whereas the special school parents were using a medical model.The research highlights the importance of professionals understanding parents' perceptions and working with them at a much earlier age if they are to develop the opportunity structures required to support the inclusion of children with physical disabilities into mainstream school
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available