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Title: Factors influencing provision of Special Educational Needs support at the point of delivery within the Private, Voluntary and Independent group-based Early Years Education and Childcare sector
Author: Benedict-Owen, Sian
Awarding Body: Brunel University London
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2019
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Local Authorities (LAs) policy and funding decisions have been heavily influenced by the stringent education and fiscal policy demands imposed upon them by Government. One sector particularly adversely affected during the period has been that of Education, especially within the area of Special Educational Needs (SEN) support and associated funding streams. This thesis considers those attributes which when combined shape SEN provision as delivered by the Private, Voluntary and Independent (PVI) group-based Early Years Education and Childcare sector within England. This research is divided into two discrete yet interrelated parts. The first considers the 'problem area' and explores issues that practitioners perceive to be barriers to proficient SEN provision within the PVI group-based Early Years Education and Childcare sector. The second analyses the development, implementation and on-going monitoring of an on-line intervention model that was developed by the researcher as a means to address, in part, some of the concerns identified in the first part of the research. The research not only addresses matters directly related to SEN provision, such as the implications of targeted statute and practitioner competence, but also examines some of the wider operational concerns shared by PVI group-based providers. An interpretivist approach is used within the research. Additionally, an action research model as outlined by Sager (2000) was adopted when designing, constructing and modifying the Virtual Educational Support and SEN Inter-Linked System (VESSILS) intervention. Qualitative and quantitative data were gathered using a mixed method design. A thematic analysis approach was the primary method of qualitative data analysis with BOS Online Survey and Facebook analytics used to generate and interpret quantitative data sources. What becomes clear is that consequences of funding and ideological decisions made by Central Government and, in turn, by LAs with regards to not just SEN have had a direct impact on the extent to which, and quality of, any SEN provision available to children accessing PVI group-based early years provisions. Much feedback given by practitioners supports findings outlined in existing literature, yet, an unexpected and compelling outcome of this research is the extent to which PVI group-based provisions may have been being perceived and used by successive political administrations as venues for providing a low-cost way of meeting Central Governments' political manifesto pledges on early years education and childcare and how this might now prove the downfall of many PVI group-based provisions. This being further exacerbated through Government's consideration of ways in which early years education and care provision for children from the age of two could now be increasingly provided from within the LA maintained sector. An outcome of particular significance to the research is the suggestion that SEN support and delivery for and to children under statutory school age appears under threat at this current time regardless of the provision type attended.
Supervisor: Zwozdiak-Myers, Paula ; Watts, Mike Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Practitioners ; Setting