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Examining Looked After Children’s (LAC) lived experiences of secondary school

Dougall, Rebecca 2018. Examining Looked After Children’s (LAC) lived experiences of secondary school. DEdPsy Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Despite legislative changes and an increase in policy provision (see The Children Act 1989; The Children Act, 2004; The Children and Young Persons Act, 2008; The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act, 2014; Welsh Assembly Government, 2007; Welsh Government, 2015a; 2016a), there continues to be a significant achievement gap between Looked After Children (LAC) and their non-looked after peers, which increases across the key stages and continues in to higher education (Department for Education (DfE), 2018; Welsh Government (WG), 2018). LAC are also disadvantaged as they move in to adulthood, with poorer life outcomes compared to the general population (Dixon, 2008; Hook & Courtney, 2011; Centre for Social Justice, 2015). While there is a proliferation of research examining why LAC underachieve (Harker et al. 2002, 2004; Zetlin, Weinberg & Shea, 2006a, 2006b; Forrester et al. 2009; Brodie, 2010; Berridge, 2012; Berger, 2015), it is argued that there remains limited empirical consideration of the lived experiences of LAC in education. Therefore, this research sought to provide an in-depth examination of the lived experiences of LAC in secondary school. Data was gathered in an urban local authority in Wales. Semi-structured interviews were held with 6 LAC at Key Stage 3 across two secondary schools. Recordings of the interviews were transcribed verbatim, and Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was conducted. 4 super superordinate themes were identified; sense of belonging, relationships, exposure to judgement and foster care experiences. The research findings are discussed in relation to existing theoretical and research literature. The implications of the present study for the practice of educational psychology are discussed, together with future directions for research and the strengths and limitations of the present study.

Item Type: Thesis (DEdPsy)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Funders: Welsh Government
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 24 September 2018
Date of Acceptance: 24 September 2018
Last Modified: 24 Sep 2018 10:03

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