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Title: Exploring children's and education professionals' views on children's involvement in the Education, Health, and Care process
Author: Rao, Aditi
ISNI:       0000 0004 9359 4679
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2020
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The introduction of the Children and Families Act, 2014 and the implementation of Education, Health, and Care (EHC) plans led to a focus on children’s participation. Previous research found that children prioritise their own participation (Kilkelly et al., 2005). Involving children in the EHC Needs Assessment (EHCNA) process creates plans that are more personalised and effective (Sutcliffe & Birney, 2015). At present, children’s involvement is inconsistent and not fully embedded in practice (Adams et al., 2017). The current study aimed to explore primary school-aged children’s experiences of involvement in the EHCNA process from their own perspectives and the perspectives of Educational Psychologists (EPs) and Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCos). Five children, four EPs, and three SENCos from schools in one London Local Authority (LA) were interviewed about their views on children’s involvement, their experiences of being involved or involving children in the EHCNA process, and the facilitators or barriers to children’s participation. The interviews were thematically analysed. Key findings of the study were discussed in the context of previous research. The study found that children’s involvement in the EHCNA process in this LA was mixed. Adults made judgements about children’s capacity in determining if children should be involved. EPs, SENCos, and children themselves valued children’s participation and felt that it had a positive impact. Some barriers to children’s involvement included children’s capacity to engage, SENCos’ lack of knowledge and skills relating to facilitating children’s participation, and systemic challenges that EPs and SENCos faced. Factors that facilitated children’s participation included children having agency and the support of a familiar adult with whom they shared a good relationship. EPs and SENCos valued collaborating with each other. Unique contributions of the study and its limitations were addressed. Practical implications for SENCos, EPs, and children were highlighted, as well as avenues for future research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available