AbstractThis study is an Illuminative Evaluation exploring how a college in the South West of England elicits and uses the voice of learners with EHCPs in the Annual Review (AR) process.
The inclusion of young people’s voices for the support of their Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) is a statutory requirement of legislation (DfE/DoH, 2015) and educational settings and local authorities must review young people’s Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) annually. SEND support was extended to include young people up to 25 years of age, opening up a new domain of practice for both education providers and Educational Psychology.
Issues of authenticity and variances in the use of young people’s voice in practice are rooted in the complex social, cultural and political interactions of the context. Despite theoretical and empirical support, the gap between policy and practice continues.
To explore how one college implemented the legislative requirements, the social-constructivist and collaborative methodological approach, Illuminative Evaluation, was chosen. Four learners with EHCPs, their four learning support workers and their three learning support co-ordinators were interviewed. This was combined with observations of the AR meetings and analysis of college documentation to provide a rich and thorough understanding of the college’s processes. Findings were presented to the college to allow for the joint development of next steps.
The study found that for learners to be effectively included in ARs, a set of enabling conditions at national, local authority and college level are needed. Greater guidance and standardisation for SEND processes are needed and LAs must have the resources required to fulfil statutory duties. Within college, learners need greater choice, preparation and feedback on any actions following the meeting. The role of the learning support worker for supporting learners’ engagement is also discussed. Person-Centered Planning is referenced with regards to the development of an agreed and consistent approach. Recommendations and a suggested model for the set of enabling conditions is provided.
Suggestions for further research include the complex role of the parent in the support of learners aged 16 – 25, and the issues of multi-agency working for post-16 settings.
|Date of Award||28 Nov 2019|
|Supervisor||John Franey (Supervisor) & Jak L Lee (Supervisor)|