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Is Exclusion from main stream school the only option?
While working within residential care I have noticed that many of the young people who come into care are still at main stream school even if it is only on a part time timetable, however once within the care system the young person seems to be more at risk of loosing that school place through exclusion.
I intend with the aid of this study to
Look at the provisions provided by main stream schools for those children in care with behavioural, emotional and social problems.
Look at the education provision within secure accommodation within Edinburgh.
Look at any other factors such as mental health and social exclusion issues that may contribute to a young person being excluded from main stream school.
To facilitate this proposal I will look at legislation related to education and the responsibilities the education department has to meeting the young people's educational needs,
Children (Scotland) Act 1995). This Act favours the young people and is laid out in such a way as to ensure that the young people's needs require to be met.
The Equal Opportunities Act 1979 where schools are committed to policies to provide equal opportunities regardless of social class, gender, race, religion, disability or sexuality.
Green Paper, Excellence for All Children: Meeting Special Educational Needs (1997) and the action plan that followed its introduction.
I will look at other studies such as Godfrey and Parsons (2000) who suggest several reasons for the increase of exclusion from main stream school, including
1. High levels of Family stress
3. Poor relationships with parents, peers and/or teachers
4. Limited opportunities
5. Poor basic skills such as reading and writing
I will look at the opinions of teachers as well as pupils in both main stream and special education (Edinburgh Secure Services) through questioners.
This study will be carried out using triangulation methods. This will allow me to use both qualitative and quantitative data. There are four types of triangulation (Bolton.ac online 03.05.10)
Data Triangulation-involves time, space and persons
Investigator Triangulation-uses multiple rather than single observers
Theory Triangulation-employs a number of different theories to explain the conclusion of the research,
Methodological Triangulation-is a combination of any of these methods
For example the Likert or summative scale
The semantic differential scale requires the person filling in the questionnaire to tick the grade which best represents their feelings, (Changing Minds online 03.05.10). Secondly, there is the option to make the questionnaire anonymous with random numbers, or for the person to fill in their name.
Interviews are a qualitative method of collecting data. There are three forms of interview
Structured-simple yes and no questions with little depth
Semi Structured-which begin by asking structured questions and then uses open-ended questions to gain more depth (this is the most useful way of conducting interviews)
Unstructured-which does not use a detailed interview guide but has a rough plan
(fds.oup online 03.05.10)
Methods of Research
Pupils Questionnaire (quantitative)
The aim of this questionnaire would be to collate the responses that would give a comprehensive overview of how pupils felt about "bad" behaviour both in and out of class and, on a whole determine how effective they felt teachers were at dealing with such behaviours.
I would give this to a main stream school class and to the special school (secure services school). This will be a short questionnaire with 10 uncomplicated questions using the Likert scale. The pupils would be able to answer the questions anonymously and each question would deal with a different aspect of the school and classroom environment. Questions 1-3 deal with school rules and environment. Questions 4-5 deal with overall impression of the school and questions 6-10 look at overall impressions of the teachers that are teaching them.
To assist with this research I will conduct two open ended Qualitative interviews
I would interview the head teacher from the special school within Edinburgh Secure Services. Firstly to get a professional view from someone who has an immense amount of knowledge of young people with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties as well as having the responsibility of placing young people with these difficulties in an appropriate educational setting. Second l aim to find out what resources could be offered by special schools to those young people whom have been permanently excluded from main stream school.
I would conduct an open ended interview with the head teacher/teacher from main stream school. My aim would be to find out what the school policy was when dealing with exclusions as well as the head teachers/teachers views and experience when dealing with permanent or temporary exclusion from school and is it possible to integrate a pupil back into school after they have been permanently excluded.
During my time with Secure Services I have had the opportunity to work with a variety of young people with varying degrees of behavioural, social and emotional difficulties. To conduct Active Research I aim to reflect on how I handle these behavioural difficulties and what procedures and methods are in place to assist me with these young people and how these procedures and methods help me to deal with these difficult behaviours.
Once in receipt of the completed questionnaires from the pupils I will be able to look at the results to find what the pupils think about how behaviour is dealt with. I would collate this into a simple bar chart using the number of questionnaires returned by the number of possible answers. Breaking the questionnaire into sections that best represent the ways in which behaviours are dealt with and catered for will give a clearer graphical representation. This should give me an average figure for those pupils who take part.
This will include my interpretation of the triangulation research methods I will use.