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Title: What if this were my child? : an exploration of senior teachers' experiences of the corporate parent role
Author: Birchley, Jacinta
ISNI:       0000 0004 8498 4616
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2019
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This study explored Scottish Senior Teachers experiences and understandings of their Corporate Parent role. The Corporate Parent role requires certain organisations and professionals to "work together to meet the needs of Looked After Children", and to "act as any good parent would". Looked After Children are children for whom the State has a statutory duty of care as their family circumstances are or have impacted on their development. Their educational and life outcomes are generally poor. Despite this, and other policy efforts since Scottish devolution (1999) these children's educational attainment showed little improvement, so a Parliamentary Inquiry (2012) was conducted to find the reasons why. A submission, from Education Scotland, said that "overall, staff in schools do not yet have a clear understanding of their corporate parenting responsibilities". This research sought to find out, through semi-structured interviews, Senior Teachers understanding and experience of the Corporate Parent role. Additionally, it was also able to establish their views on the purpose of school education for these pupils and whether they should be treated differently to their peers. The findings have indicated that Corporate Parenting is a contested term and that the policy context relating to it is complex; particularly in terms of social justice and the equity equality divide. They suggest a reconsideration of the policy is required, in particular, an alignment with teachers existing in-loco parentis role, an acknowledgement of teacher professionalism and a reexamination of the purpose of school education for some through the use of the capability approach as initially advocated by Sen. Overall, the interviewees viewed Looked After Children as one cohort amongst other vulnerable learners. Many questioned the robustness of the decision making of the authority (Children's Reporter Service) which confers the Looked After identity. The dual role of researcher and practitioner in this study required reflexivity.
Supervisor: McArdle, Karen ; Smith, David Raymond Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Education ; Teachers ; Children ; Child welfare ; Foster children