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Title: An exploration of how schools cope psychologically with a critical incident, considering support processes, with particular reference to decision-making regarding outside support, especially support available from a local authority C.I.R.T (Critical Incident Response Team)
Author: Atwell, Anthony O'Brien
ISNI:       0000 0004 6423 4885
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2017
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The thesis explores how schools cope psychologically with a Critical Incident, from the perspectives of the school decision-makers. It examines support strategies in the short, medium and long-term and at a whole-school, group and individual level. The process of support is considered in terms of its contribution to normalisation. The exploration makes particular reference to decision-making factors for schools regarding outside support post-Critical Incident, especially that which is available from a Local Authority Critical Incident Response Team (C.I.R.T.). Eleven schools participated, creating two data sets balanced between those requesting C.I.R.T. support and these that did not. Decision-makers, most of whom were head teachers, were interviewed and subsequently the resultant data was scrutinised through the process of thematic analysis from an interpretivist perspective. Overall the themes revealed that schools coped psychologically through a pastoral response targeted for both staff, young people and families, leading to reduced stress and whole-school normalisation. There are systemic limitations and pressures, however schools which requested external support through C.I.R.T. reported useful outcomes, particularly a strengthened staff and an enhanced sense of preparedness. Decision-making regarding external support is influenced by the initial impact of the C.l. (Critical Incident), circumstantial factors and situational need whereby schools assess their own capacity to cope. The thesis concludes that schools are generally able to cope effectively psychologically post-C.I., however some decision-makers do request support from C.I.R.T., which schools perceive as being beneficial.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; L Education (General)