The Pyramid of Participation: The Representation of the Child’s Voice in Psychological Advice
Fox, M. 2016. The Pyramid of Participation: The Representation of the Child’s Voice in Psychological Advice. Educational Psychology Research and Practice. 2 (2), p. 58–66. https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.886z0
The three key principles which underpin the Code of Practice have been highlighted by a number of authors in this edition. We must have regard to:
the views, wishes and feelings of the child or young person and their parents;
the importance of the child or young person and their parents participating as fully as possible in decisions and being provided with the information and support necessary to enable participation in those decisions;
the need to support the child or young person and to help them achieve the best possible educational and other outcomes, preparing them effectively for adulthood.
SEND Code of Practice 2014, p. 8.)
These principles clearly lay out the EPs’ responsibilities in terms of listening to the child and ensuring that they have a voice as regards their SENs. These principles not only apply to EPs but to all those who are involved in the construction of the Education Health and Care Plans. The importance of involving children and young people in the assessment process has been advocated by EPs for many years (Gersch 1996). More recently, EPs have written about the importance of Person Centred planning (Sutcliffe & Birney 2014). Buck (2015) has highlighted the opportunity for EPs to reconstruct psychological reports with the new Code, though his particular focus is not on the representation of the child’s views. The purpose of this paper is to present a model which would allow EPs to develop their practice in ensuring the child’s voice is represented in their EHC Plans.
The origins of this article came from reading and analysing 21 Psychological Advices written by trainee EPs (TEPs) on their final year- three placement. These reports came from sixteen different services in London and the South East of England. All these reports had been anonymised before analysis and had been part of the audit of TEPs’ placement portfolios.
Analysis of these reports and reflections on the other articles in this journal were the basis for conceptualising a pyramid of representation. This pyramid was also stimulated by Hart’s (1992) Ladder of Participation (see Vingerhoets and Wagner in this issue). Hart’s ladder helps professionals think how they can move upwards, to ensure that professionals move beyond seeing service users’ involvement as tokenism and into actual participation. However, movement in this pyramid is conceptualised as downwards, to where there is a wider base and a solid foundation for understanding the child and young person.
|Journal||Educational Psychology Research and Practice|
|Journal citation||2 (2), p. 58–66|
|Publisher||School of Psychology, University of East London|
File Access Level
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.886z0|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||15 Sep 2020|
|Copyright holder||© 2016 The Author|
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