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Title: Aces too high : an IPA study to examine educational exclusion and social inequality
Author: John, G. M.
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2019
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Inclusion in schools is a highly complex and much debated topic (Edmonds, 2012; Hodge, 2016; Tutt, 2007; Webster and Blachford, 2015; Whitelock, 2012). However, the voice of the 'excluded' is rarely heard. This study has sought to listen to the voice of the excluded to hear 'their truth' about educational barriers and their consequences, along with innovative preventative measures. Since lack of educational attainment has been identified as the 'biggest driver of future poverty' (Rowntree, 2017) and school bullying/exclusion has been identified as a precursor to self-harm and suicide; suicide being the leading cause of death in almost all European countries (Hawton, Saunters and O'Connor, 2012), this thesis answers an urgent call to find preventative and restorative solutions. An interpretative phenomenological analysis approach (IPA) was implemented to further examine Edmonds' stance that the education system unfairly discriminates against individuals 'with' difference (Edmonds, 2012). Since published data has highlighted many gaps between Wales and the rest of the UK, for example in educational attainment (Adult Basic Skills, 2004; PISA 2006; 2009; 2012; 2015 (cited in OECD 2006; 2009; 2012; 2015)), Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and health harming behaviour (Bellis, 2017), lack of economic regrowth (Rowntree Foundation, 2017) and rising suicide statistics compared to the rest of the UK (Samaritans, 2018); the research setting was purposely chosen because of the high rates of social poverty, inequality, opioid deaths (BBC, 2019) and self-harm compared to other localities. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with twelve participants (aged 14-35). Seven emerging superordinate themes were identified: ACEs and trauma, missed assessment, disabling learning environments, bullying, gaslighting and systematic abuse, damages to mental health, survival coping mechanisms and self-medication, revolving door of cycles of oppression and intergenerational poverty, and preventative measures and restorative solutions. The trans-disciplinary findings combine neuro-science, education, behavioural studies, ACEs, sleep studies, neuro-diversity and suicide prevention, to tackle international public health targets which, if implemented by policy makers, could lead a process of emancipatory social reform right across society to create a better future for our children.
Supervisor: Williams, Antony Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available