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Title: Policy-to-practice context for inclusive education in England, with specific reference to moderate learning difficulties (MLD)
Author: Madigan, Susan Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 2709 4035
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2011
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The research aim was to investigate the current policy-to-practice context for inclusive education in England for children with Moderate Learning Difficulties (MLD). A case study of one London Borough focused on mainstream and special education provision. Research questions required an examination of the policy-to-practice context of MLD and Bowe, Ball and Gold (1992) policy trajectory model was utilised to structure the research design and frame the data gathering. This facilitated an examination of contexts of policy influence, policy text production and practice, where text is reinterpreted. Successive stages of data gathering informed those that followed, from scrutiny of Hansard to access policy influences, through analysis of changing SEN legislation, to interviews with stakeholders and observations of target children with MLD. Hansard texts revealed lack of clarity in SEN definitions, the statementing process, parental choice and funding that led to inconsistencies in interpretation of policy and inequalities in inclusive practice at local level. Analysis suggested that efforts to create clarity and direction in local policy were thwarted by continuing difficulties to define MLD and inclusive education. Interviews indicated that educational provision for MLD children was adversely affected as this inhibited identification, consistent and effective interventions and thereby created possible inequities in funding allocation. Whilst robust funding formulae were in place, lack of clear group definition introduced a level of interpretation into the process, rendering equity in funding less likely. Interviews and observation indicated tensions and dilemmas were evident for practitioners in balancing the needs of all pupils, allocating resources and meeting individual needs. The experience of individual pupils were affected by deployment of staff, individualisation of the curriculum and social inclusion with peers, in both mainstream and special settings. Challenges facing all those involved in taking national policy, interpreting it and enacting it locally are identified and implications considered.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LC Special aspects of education