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Title: "What's it like here?" : exploring young peoples' perceptions of the Alternative Provision sector in Wales
Author: Charles-Nelson, Lauren
ISNI:       0000 0004 9354 4700
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2020
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Interviews were carried out with nine young people placed in the Alternative Provision (AP) sector in one Local Authority (LA) in South Wales, UK. The interviews focused on exploring participants’ lived experiences of the AP sector. Interview questions were purposely broad to reflect the exploratory nature of the research and encourage participants to speak freely about ideas that were relevant to them when thinking about their education. In keeping with the focus on holding central the voices of participants, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was used to analyse the interview transcripts. Interpreted by the researcher through an inductive lens, three superordinate themes are presented. These relate to social identity, self-agency and change. The themes are discussed in relation to wider literature and also considered through the lens of social identity theory and social constructionism. The findings highlight that AP is a place where young people can be supported to grow and develop as individuals, but moving into AP can bring about questions and challenges for some learners. How individuals make sense of their journey in AP arguably can be influenced by the dominant deficit discourses they describe hearing about the sector from other people. Arguably, these deficit discourses may have implications for many areas of their development including: social identity, self-esteem, engagement and motivation. It is suggested that changing the dominant discourses about AP and those who attend may lead to changes in young peoples’ experiences. Practice implications are offered for the wider education systems when thinking about the future of AP in Wales and for Educational Psychologists, who play a role in supporting young people and education systems. Implications include a need to provide further information to young people about what AP is and why some learners are placed there. This should give more consideration to the situational and systemic factors and challenge the dominant deficit discourses about learners in AP. Implications for policy makers and LAs include a need to facilitate greater involvement of young people in decision making. Also, to review how local/national policies may be challenging or contributing to the deficit discourses related to AP and young people, who experience iv SEBD. Consideration is given to how EPs may be able to support these complex and challenging changes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology