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Title: 'Every child doesn't matter?' : do parents feel empowered by Essex Parent Partnership support and what are the outcomes for the children?
Author: Norton, Christopher
ISNI:       0000 0004 2701 1244
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2009
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This research used a mixed method sequential design to investigate the experiences of parents of children on Essex school action and school action plus of the Special Educational Needs register (DfES, 2001 b) who had received PPS support. The research explored the impact of PPS support on parents' confidence in understanding SEN procedures and in their relationships with schools. It also looked into outcomes for the children and used systems theory (Dowling and Osborne, 2003) as the underpinning psychology, alongside a critical realist paradigm. Semi-structured interviews were administered and a thematic analysis was conducted with the aim of building two questionnaires to further inform the research questions. This research acknowledged a number of limitations, namely the small sample size used and time constraints that did not allow for a longitudinal design to be implemented. Findings indicated a perceived increase in parental confidence and understanding of SEN procedures following PPS support. Qualitative data generally revealed a lack of partnership between home and school, though there was some evidence of changes towards partnership with positive outcomes for children following PPS interventions. Questionnaire data showed a perceived increase in the confidence of parents working in partnership with schools to support their children after PPS support, with mean scores on relevant measures ranging between 3.28 and 3.44 (3 = 'same' and 4= 'more confident') There was also evidence of some impact on parental empowerment in their relationships with school staff, with mean scores of 3.92 and 4.00 on the two questionnaire measures. Thematic analysis suggested that mothers did not feel their views were listened to by school staff and that they were in a 'fight' with the school. Political language was reconstructed in two instances, and the claim was made that: 'Every child doesn't matter'. Qualitative findings revealed some positive findings around parental perceptions of children's academic progress and behaviour following PPS support. Implications for EP practice were considered and the researcher emphasised the importance of EPs applying psychology to facilitate partnership between parents and education professionals in their casework, in an attempt to ensure positive outcomes for children.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.Ch.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available