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Title: The impact of a child's death : an interpretative phenomenological analysis undertaken with five head teachers
Author: Shepherd, Ian
ISNI:       0000 0004 2738 1616
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2013
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This research explores with five head teachers their views and experiences of a period when a child was terminally ill and subsequently died when in their school community. The participants were selected purposively from Derbyshire head teachers who had experienced the death of a pupil in their school community. After interviewing the participants using a semi-structured interview schedule the transcribed interviews provided the data for the research. The interviews were analysed, using the methodology of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, to explore the experiences of each of the participants. Three superordinate themes were identified which were; Emotions and their management Interactions with the bereaved family Interaction with the school community Additionally, an overarching theme of Elevation was identified. Each theme is presented and illustrated with abstracts taken from the original data. This is accompanied by interpretation which is also discussed and compared with knowledge from the existing literature. The research has illustrated the complications that exist for head teachers in managing their emotions and the possibility of these emotions intruding on their personal and family life. It has illustrated the way in which the relationship between the head teacher and the bereaved family changes and how it changes their interactions within the school community. This research led to the consideration of the influence of the cultural expectation enshrined in the saying, 'De mortuis nil nisi bonum dicendum est' (Of the dead, nothing unless good). Also considered is the behavioural derivative of this saying and how it shapes the responses that head teachers make when managing a school community when a child has died. It also led to the consideration of the implications of the research findings for an support professionals who help schools.
Supervisor: Billington, T. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available