An exploration of perceptions of Inclusion within one multi-academy trust in relation to the process of end of key stage two statutory testing within the current English educational climate
Stella Scharinger 2021. An exploration of perceptions of Inclusion within one multi-academy trust in relation to the process of end of key stage two statutory testing within the current English educational climate. EdD Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University School of Humanities and Education
|Qualification name||Doctor of Education|
This thesis explores adult perceptions of inclusion, with a key focus on pupils with special educational needs, within one Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) in relation to the process of end of Key Stage 2 (KS2) statutory testing within the current English educational climate. The research aim was to question how inclusive is the drive for success in year 6 SATs for pupils with special educational needs and through this to explore whether there was a commonality of approach to inclusion in the final year of primary school; what opinions were of the impact to inclusion and inclusive practices of high stakes statutory testing and whether there was a sense of autonomy in meeting any challenges.
The use of figured worlds as a conceptual framework related to the aim to gain an insight into the thoughts, perspectives and concerns of the participants. Empowering participants through adopting feminist principles supported gaining an insight into the figured worlds inhabited by the participants, a picture unfolded of the challenges they faced and how these were dealt with. These challenges have, to some extent, shaped perceptions of inclusion and have certainly impacted on the belief of limitations to delivering an inclusive practice in the final year of primary school.
Data was collected from 5 case study schools over a 4-month period and involved 16 members of staff from different levels within the school hierarchy. Undertaking a case study approach, qualitative methods of research design were used, combining semi-structured interviews with a ranking task. The methods used in the main research study had been developed following 2 preceding initial stages to the research project – a senior leadership task and a pilot exercise.
Flexibility was built into the process to enable researcher reflexivity. This flexible approach also enabled adaptations to be made, necessitated by the global Corona Virus pandemic. Undertaking research during this time presented challenges as well as opportunities. It was the first time, since its inception, that Key Stage 2 statutory testing was cancelled.
The findings illustrated some disparities between perceptions of inclusion and inclusive practices, for pupils with special educational needs, as a result of end of Key Stage 2 statutory testing. Also revealed were complexities linked to influences on the figured worlds of the participants. This was particularly evident with regards to the influence on inclusive practice of the social context of the current English education system.
In conclusion, this thesis posits that the complexity of contradictions between providing an inclusive education within the context of standards, driven via high stakes testing, has placed educational professionals in a position of competing priorities. This has resulted in constraints that have placed limits on both curriculum delivery and the autonomy of educators’ professional judgement. The high stakes approach to testing, which has driven the standards agenda, has placed significant limitations on inclusive practice and impacted on perceptions of the possibility of inclusion.
|Keywords||Perceptions of inclusion; Multi-academy trust; Key stage two statutory testing; Exploration|
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|Deposited||08 Nov 2022|
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