Stf presentation Charlotte Anderson 21.06.13 ed psy part 2


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A presentation representing the work carried out by an under graduate Educational Psychologist into transitions for Young people with disabilities in Scotland. This presentation was given at the Scottish Transitions Forum in June 2013. (more information can be found at

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  • Developed this research project as part of my MSc training – final year thesis. Will speak briefly about the project and then spend some time considering the implications of the findings and what my role as an EP was in this context.
  • Context: Z provision is a secondary provision to support the education of children with PCN and is located within a large mainstream secondary school in an area of high deprivation. Concern about break-down of transitions to post-school destinations from Z provision arose from within the EPS and was in line with an identified priority for improvement for the council. Break down at transition was largely attributed to a gap in the transition procedures for obtaining the views of the children. I’ll touch on why I felt this was an important area for research later in the presentation.
  • MA developed for mainstream nursery population, adapted for primary-secondary transition with PCN population by edin EPS. Combines many different methods of visual and verbal data collection which I will touch on later. Pieces of the ‘mosaic’ brought together, or triangulated, to see what correlates and builds the bigger picture. Really just a framework to make sure that evidence is being collected in a systematic manner. Merit: how well does the programme perform? Worth: Is what the programme does important? (dependent on the outcome of the evaluation of merit). For me that translated to:         Merit: - To what extent does the information gathered using the MA correspond with child and practitioner perceptions?         Worth: - How can this approach be integrated and embedded into practice in Z Provision? -How can the resulting information be used effectively? Evaluated through: Key staff focus group; Pupil evaluation; College staff interview; Teacher training and future planning session (planning session for ways in which they could meaningfully incorporate the approach into the school for next session); Information pack (step by step guide with all the recording resources I used for the whole staff team to refer to).
  • practitioners willing and enthusiastic about the approach with adaptations they developed to suit their context. Ideally would be used throughout school stages – focus on post-school transition in this instance as it was an identified area of concern.    For meaningful participation to take place, we must create situations that allow the views of children to influence decisions about their lives. To do this, a listening culture must be developed. Attitudes of adults and constructions of childhood and disability are likely barriers to this development . EPs must continue to promote listening to children, particularly children with PCN, in education settings. This study has demonstrated that training and support is important to drive the listening to children agenda. 3.  At FE level, lack of choice is likely to inhibit the potential for Self Determination in young people with PCN. Methods to ascertain the views of these young people should be investigated further at FE level, and transition to further destinations.
  • Theory base regarding self determination and motivation and impact on outcomes. What psychological impact is – self determination, motivation and impact on long term outcomes (mental health, successful learning, achievement of personal goals and desires). (SD is the extent to which a person believes they can exert control over their own life) NEXT SLIDE
  • And elaborating on this… So what is essential to a person being considered SD? SD components: self-esteem, self-advocacy, goal-setting, decision and choice making, self-reflection and self-assessment. Expressing your views, desires, preferences etc. Being heard by society – reciprocal. Right to be SD is recognised and they are allowed freedom to express their desires. Expression of views is a key component to becoming self determined. Starting point – if not able to express views, how can you be heard, how can you develop the components of SD etc. Many children I have experience with are non verbal, or found expressing themselves in any way very very difficult. Most depended very much on people who knew them well interpreting their facial expressions, gestures etc, to make inferences about their views. QUESTIONS How reliable was this? How would a child with PCN know they could express their views? Do people take account of them? Being heard by society is a big part of that too – what is the point of being able to express your views if no one hears them?
  • The MA is very much an evidence based approach – it draws information from as many sources as possible and this is triangulated to highlight areas of agreement. A framework to make sure that evidence is being collected in a systematic manner. A lot of methods schools already use but perhaps not all at once and not triangulated as a matter of course. This outline reflects the methods I used in my study, but other methods can be included such as 3-d map making, role play, guided tours etc. I used what I felt was appropriate following discussions with staff and getting to know the pupils involved. NEXT SLIDE
  • Triangulation example – simplified Particularly important when working with this population of young people who find it very difficult to communicate their wants and needs. Often misrepresented as people assume they know what they want.
  • Children with PCN under-represented in research – complexities with this population, very diverse. Ethical issues regarding consent, power imbalance etc. Complex evaluation process. Consultation skills used at every stage. These skills are integral to EP training and practice. We provide regular staff development sessions in education establishments – draw on adult learning theories and aim to meet real needs. As EPs we would always try to work in a systemic way in the first instance – important for schools to have ownership of interventions and initiatives and a more effective way to meet a larger number of needs. This topic arose from EP involvement in casework and concerns about a number of cases where views of young people were not considered at this stage – putting this in a broader context by taking council and national policies into account and by considering and critically evaluating existing research in self determination, post-school transitions for children with PCN and listening to children with PCN (including impact of impairments, power imbalances, social model of disability).
  • Stf presentation Charlotte Anderson 21.06.13 ed psy part 2

    1. 1. Gathering the views of young people with profound and complex needs at post school transition. An Educational Psychology perspective Charlotte Anderson Educational Psychologist (Probationer)
    2. 2. What were the objectives? • To promote the views of young people with profound and complex needs in a secondary school’s post-school transition planning framework. • To develop an effective tool to enable the young people to express their views on post- school destinations.
    3. 3. How? • Adapt the Mosaic Approach (Clark & Moss, 2011) for this population. • Pilot the method with a small group of young people with profound and complex needs at post-school transition. • Evaluate the method on merit and worth. • Train school staff in the application of this approach and seek to embed it in the transition planning framework.
    4. 4. Key Implications for practice • The Mosaic Approach has potential value as a tool to ascertain the views of young people with PCN at post-school transition stage. • A listening culture must be promoted and embedded at all stages of education for meaningful participation to occur. • Provision for individual choice at FE level must be made for people with PCN and methods to ascertain views must be embedded in this setting.
    5. 5. What was the contribution of the Educational Psychologist in this process?
    6. 6. Drawing on a robust theory base
    7. 7. Understanding the importance of evidence based practice
    8. 8. ‘X’ appears happy in the pool – smiling and watching the water when he flaps his hands ‘X’ appears happy in the pool – smiling and watching the water when he flaps his hands ‘X’ Takes a photo of the sign for the pool and the changing rooms ‘X’ Takes a photo of the sign for the pool and the changing rooms Parent mentioned that swimming would be part of a good day for ‘X’ at school. Parent mentioned that swimming would be part of a good day for ‘X’ at school. “I like really good swimming in the pool, playing with [peer] in it, lots of friends” “I like really good swimming in the pool, playing with [peer] in it, lots of friends”
    9. 9. • Training in research skills • Using consultation skills with young people, parents and members of staff. • Training the staff team in the approach. • Using a systemic approach in schools. • Taking a broad overview of wider systems which impact on children’s lives. And…
    10. 10. For further information please contact: