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Title: An investigation of Special Educational Needs (SEN) resources and practice in mainstream secondary schools in a region of Ireland
Author: Tierney, Theresa
ISNI:       0000 0004 2699 1017
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2006
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This research looked at the level of resourcing mainstream provision for pupils with Special Educational Needs (SEN) in second-level schools in a region of Ireland (the Corduff region) and explored how these schools utilise the resources given to them to accommodate pupils with SEN. This study explored the funding, organisation and structure of support systems, principals' attitudes to inclusion and pupils' experience and perceived level of happiness with the support they receive. Quantitative and qualitative data collection methods were used in this research which was divided in two phases. Phase 1 gathered 'macro' level data about schools via a questionnaire named the 'Principal Special Needs Questionnaire (PSNQ)', the Department of Education and Sciences -Ireland (DES) database and interviews with 'inclusive principals'. In Phase 2 'micro' level data was gathered on pupils via individual pupil interview and teacher meetings. Quantitative data generated from the DES database and the PSNQ was analysed using chi square and Mann-Whitney tests while the qualitative data generated from the PSNQ was analysed used content and thematic analysis. The principal interviews were anaylsed using two types of thematic analysis - the first a theory-driven approach and the second an inductive approach. The theory-driven approach used the theory of instructional leadership and was adapted from the work of Parker (1997). Pupil data was analyzed through the development of vignettes drawn from pupil interview transcripts and information from teachers. These vignettes were also subjected to thematic analysis. The DES data indicated a degree of unevenness in the distribution of resources across the region. Principals were positively orientated towards inclusion; however difficulties and concerns in developing support systems were identified. Pupils' views indicated an overall happiness with the support they received but issues which need to be addressed such as reviewing pupils' needs and discrepancies in provision. Recommendations are made in regard to funding arrangements, developing inclusive practice and future research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available