Work to be done? A survey of educational psychologists exploring their contribution to special schools for profound and multiple learning difficulties

Article


Winter, S. and Bunn, H. 2019. Work to be done? A survey of educational psychologists exploring their contribution to special schools for profound and multiple learning difficulties. British Journal of Special Education. 46 (1), pp. 53-75.
AuthorsWinter, S. and Bunn, H.
Abstract

This article explores the perspectives of educational psychologists across England with regard to their professional involvement, role and contribution to special schools for children and young people with profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD). An online survey was distributed to all educational psychology services in England and to private educational psychology practices. Data collected from 207 respondents were analysed using descriptive statistics and quantitative and qualitative content analysis. The findings suggest a complex national picture, including great variation in the frequency of educational psychology visits and indirect contact with the special schools. While the work carried out by educational psychologists in these special schools is primarily individual, statutory-led casework, systemic work is considered to be the ‘ideal’ contribution. Educational psychologists’ views on their role in PMLD settings seem to feature limited ideas. The authors suggest that improving educational psychologists’ skills and knowledge of PMLD, building relationships with special schools and finding a niche in supporting, among other things, the emotional well-being of the school’s community, might be ways forward for working in PMLD schools. The article concludes by emphasising the continued need for the profession to understand and market the specific role it can play in PMLD settings.

Keywordseducational psychology; special schools; profound and multiple learning difficulties; special educational needs; working in special schools
JournalBritish Journal of Special Education
Journal citation46 (1), pp. 53-75
ISSN0952-3383
Year2019
PublisherWiley
Accepted author manuscript
License
File Access Level
Anyone
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1111/1467-8578.12252
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8578.12252
Publication dates
Online04 Mar 2019
Publication process dates
Accepted09 Dec 2018
Deposited25 Jul 2019
Copyright holder© 2019 NASEN
Copyright informationThis is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Winter, S. and Bunn, H. (2019), Work to be done? A survey of educational psychologists’ contribution to special schools for profound and multiple learning difficulties. British Journal of Special Education, 46: 53-75., which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8578.12252. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.
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Accepted author manuscript

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