University of Leicester
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Special education needs co-ordinators perceptions of local education support services with particular reference to pupils with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties: A case study of Luton local authority

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posted on 2010-03-03, 12:13 authored by Michael J. Clarke
This Thesis is a case study of Luton Local Authority (LA) and its approach to delivering special educational needs (SEN) support services to Luton schools. The study concentrates on the delivery of behaviour support to schools and pupils and explores how pupils with social emotional and behavioural difficulties may be included or excluded from school as a result of this support. The case study incorporates a multi-method research strategy, which sought to gain an LA perspective of service delivery by involving all Luton's special educational needs co-ordinators (SENCOs) in a questionnaire about behaviour support service delivery to their schools. The case study approach also involved using semi-structured interviews with thirteen Luton SENCOs. In Luton the delivery mechanism for SEN support services is through termly meetings with schools. These school consultation meetings (SCMs) are the strategy used by the LA to deliver support services. The study involved observing eight SCMs so that first hand knowledge of the delivery process could be investigated. The data collected is presented in three layers. Layer one Presents the questionnaire data, layer two presents the inter-view data and layer three presents the observation data. All three data sets are presented under the key research questions. The three key research questions are: 1) How do schools use School Consultation Meetings to access Behaviour Support? 2) Who from the LA carries out the Behaviour Support work with the Schools? 3) Why have SEN support services, which focus on pupil deficits instead of pupil strengths? The case study found that the concept of SEN is a contentious and complex issue, which is subject to redefinition over time. The English education system is viewed as being segregationist and the concept of inclusion is found to apply to different pupils along class, ethnic and gender dimensions.


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University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • EdD



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