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Title: The attuned school : the effect, and effectiveness, of developing relationships between pupils with attachment difficulties and significant adults
Author: Wall, Sarah Regina
ISNI:       0000 0004 6494 4545
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis examines the effects, and effectiveness, of developing relationships between pupils with attachment difficulties and significant adults. Research suggests that 40 percent of children are insecurely attached; which may not only prove a barrier to their learning, but also pose challenges for schools. While anecdotal evidence exists, pertaining to the benefits of individual support and particular strategies, little empirical research has taken place around teaching assistants’ efficacy. This study was designed to add to the current body of work. An innovative mixed-methods a priori purposive sampling process was used to ensure that relevant data was gathered. Firstly, the notion of The Attuned School was created by conducting a structured literature review. Ethnographic research followed, which culminated in a quantitative content analysis that identified four suitable contexts. Subsequently, Boxall Profiles were completed to sample individuals who may benefit from intervention. Ultimately, through two pairings, the significant adult-pupil dyad was explored. Attachment and secure base theories underpin the study; they give rise to the notion that schools, and significant adults, can become surrogate secure bases from which students can develop social, emotional and behavioural skills. The findings suggest that settings that have a family ethos, and reflective head teachers, are likely to be attuned. 1:1 intervention positively influenced the two case study pupils’ progress; their Boxall Profiles and Individual Education Plans provided evidence, as did participants’ voices. Noteworthy improvement was made in Section II (The Diagnostic Profile), which opposes prior studies. What also emerges is that a reflective significant adult ensures pupils with attachment difficulties receive equal opportunities and are not discriminated against. Consequently, the thesis makes recommendations; however, further research is also suggested.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LB Theory and practice of education