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1. Title of Project: An exploration of experiences of parents when choosing special school placements
Researcher name: David Satherley
Invitation and brief summary:
The project aims to to look at the views of parents of pupils in UK special schools, specifically their experience of choosing a school for their child. This first part of the study is a survey which will ask parents about their reasons for choosing special school, the potential dilemmas experienced, alternative options explored, how their views were facilitated during the process and their underlying views around what a high-quality education looks like for their child. Participants will be given the opportunity to volunteer to partake in the second part of the study, which will involve follow-up interviews.
Purpose of the research:
I am a Trainee Educational Psychologist at the University of Exeter and this research forms part of my doctoral thesis.
Why have I been approached?
The research is asking parents of children that have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) and have been attending a special school for at least 12 months; it is being conducted across the Devon, Plymouth and Torbay localities.
What would taking part involve?
Participants will be emailed with a link to an e-questionnaire; they will also be able to request a paper questionnaire if they prefer. At the end of the questionnaire, participants will be given the option to consent to a follow-up interview.
What are the possible benefits of taking part?
It is my hope that this research will be representative of the special school selection process across the South West and the individual experiences of parents. As a Trainee Educational Psychologist, it is also my hope that the research would also support the development of a role for Educational Psychologists to support parents and schools in this process.
What are the possible disadvantages and risks of taking part?
It is recognised that the experience of choosing educational provision for their child and the potential dilemmas entailed may have been an upsetting one, and completion of the surveys and interviews may serve as a reminder of this time. Should participants seek additional information and support, they will be referred to their local Special Educational Needs Advice and Support Service (SENDIAS). Contact details for these services are given below.
What will happen if I don't want to carry on with the study?
Participants can request to withdraw their consent at any point, without reason given. Their data will then be destroyed.