What helps children in a Pupil Referral Unit? An exploration into the potential protective factors of a PRU as identified by children and staff.

Prof Doc Thesis

Hart, Natalie 2010. What helps children in a Pupil Referral Unit? An exploration into the potential protective factors of a PRU as identified by children and staff. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London
AuthorsHart, Natalie
TypeProf Doc Thesis

A number of studies have focused on the views of excluded children or those finding themselves in Pupil Referral Units. Few studies, however, have focused on exploring views from a resilience perspective. Studies linked to resilience have tended to focus on exploring factors through quantitative rather than qualitative measures. This qualitative piece of ‘real world’ research, adopting a resilience perspective, aimed to explore the potential protective factors of a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) through the valuable voices of children and staff based in one PRU in the UK.
The views of six children aged between 9 and 13 years old, all with varying forms of behavioural, emotional and social difficulties, and partway through a PRU placement, were explored through semi structured interviews supported through the use of tools and techniques to facilitate discussion. The views of four staff members, including the Headteacher, were also obtained. Educational resilience research informed semi structured interviews and the subsequent thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006) of interview data.
Findings from this research reveal the powerful perspectives children and young people can offer relating to what might be helping them within a particular environment. A number of potential protective factors, both within the PRU environment and within-child factors, that may operate as mechanisms in fostering positive social and academic outcomes for children, are identified. These resonate in the themes: a) relationships, b) teaching and learning, c) expectations, d) environment and e) within-child factors, also evident in educational resilience literature. Implications of these findings for Educational Psychology practice, and for children finding themselves in alternative PRU provision, are discussed with a focus on reintegration and the potential impact of changing environments for these children. Methodological issues are also considered, together with suggestions for future research.

Keywordsexcluded children; Pupil Referral Units; resilience
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10552/1297
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Deposited11 May 2011
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