Special Educational Needs and Disabilities reforms 2014 - from policy to practice: SENCos' perspectives of the first year post implementation

Curran, H.C (2017) Special Educational Needs and Disabilities reforms 2014 - from policy to practice: SENCos' perspectives of the first year post implementation. PhD thesis, Bath Spa University.

Abstract

This study explores the role of the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) as an implementer of Special Educational Needs policy within mainstream schools, at a time of significant Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) policy reform; the SEND reforms. This study examines the various policy actor roles the SENCo could be seen to assume during this period (Ball et al., 2012) and explores the initial impact of the SEND reforms, from the perspective of the SENCo. A phenomenological approach to the study has been taken. The data consists of five phases which were conducted during the first year of SEND reform. Phases one and two sought the initial views of SENCos' regarding preparedness for the introduction of the SEND reforms. Data was gathered through questionnaires and interviews respectively. Phas three consisted of six interviews with nine SENCos across the academic year which explored the SENCos experience of SEND reforms implementation. Phases four and five comprised of questionnaires to wider groups of SENCos and sought to explore the emerging themes from phase three. Data has been analysed through a thematic analysis approach. The findings indicate that the SENCos immediately established themselves as leaders of policy implementation; determining priorities and related actions, often without the status Senior Leadership Team membership can bring. The study suggests that, in order to support the implementation of the new policy, SENCos assumed various policy actor roles during this period, including narrator, entrepreneur and enthusiast. The findings suggest that, from the perspective of the SENCo, the SEND reforms have already had an impact, including an expansion of the SENCo role and an increase in engagement between schools and parents. SENCos also reported a reduction in the numbers of children identified as having SEN in response to a number of drivers, directly related to the introduction of the SEND reforms.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Note:

Thesis supervised by Dr Tilly Mortimore and Dr Richard Riddell.

Keywords: Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo), Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), UK, policy reform, policy implementation, questionnaires, interviews, thematic analysis, policy actors, parental engagement, schools
Divisions: Institute for Education
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2018 09:56
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2018 10:01
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