The Experiences of Autistic Young People and Managed Moves

Prof Doc Thesis

Mahdi, S. 2022. The Experiences of Autistic Young People and Managed Moves. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsMahdi, S.
TypeProf Doc Thesis

Managed moves were introduced to the UK policy landscape in 1999 as a way of avoiding permanent exclusions for young people, giving them an opportunity to have a ‘fresh start’ at a different school. Guidance defining managed moves and the processes involved is limited. Research suggests that managed move practice is varied and inconsistent across the country. There is currently no research exploring managed moves involving Autistic Young People, this is despite evidence pointing to Autistic children being at a greater risk of placement breakdowns due to exclusions, including managed moves. The aim of this research is to address this gap in the literature by focusing on Autistic young peoples’ experience of managed moves.

Autism theory from the Autistic community is drawn upon, and in particular Milton’s Double Empathy Theory. This theory reframes discourses of social communication and interaction deficits (e.g. theory of mind) as a ‘a two-way’ predicament; with non-Autistic individuals also experiencing difficulties in understanding and effectively responding to Autistic individuals. Bronfenbrenner’s Bioecological Systems Theory provides a framework for considering YP’s situated experience of managed moves. Therefore, the study looks into the YP’s accounts as well as the accounts of staff embedded within school and LA systems. Four Autistic young people and six members of staff were interviewed and data was analysed thematically using Reflexive Thematic Analysis. Key themes from the perspective of autistic YP and staff are identified and implications for educational psychology practice are discussed.

KeywordsAutism; autistic; managed move; exclusion; inclusion; managed transfer; school placement; alternative provision
PublisherUniversity of East London
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
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Publication dates
Online09 Aug 2023
Publication process dates
Completed28 Oct 2022
Deposited09 Aug 2023
Copyright holder© 2022, The Author
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