The role of special educational needs coordinators in implementing the 2014 special educational needs and disability legislation: a juggling act

Tysoe, K., 2018. The role of special educational needs coordinators in implementing the 2014 special educational needs and disability legislation: a juggling act. EdD, Nottingham Trent University.

D5 Thesis May 2018 Final Amended.pdf - Published version

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The purpose of this research was to investigate the role of special educational needs coordinators (SENCOs) and discover how the new Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 to 25 Years (DfE 2015) was being enacted in schools. The main argument presented through this thesis is that the SENCO role is currently overly focused on carrying out bureaucratic tasks rather than supporting inclusive classroom practice.

The literature review situates the research within its historical and cultural context by considering the development of special educational needs and disability (SEND) provision, including the role of the SENCO. A conceptual framework for the SENCO role and identity is advanced which adds to our understanding of the SENCO role.

This applied social research adopted a phenomenological methodology where the self-reported experience of individuals is the source of data (Creswell 2007; Husserl 1970). The field work for the research involved two sets of interviews, separated by an interval of 12 months, with seven SENCOs from across several London boroughs.

The qualitative data gathered was analysed using categorisation and coding, a method drawn from grounded theory (Charmaz 2006; Glaser and Strauss 1967). A rating scale and analysis of threats, opportunities, weaknesses and strengths (TOWS) was also used to gauge the confidence and attitudes of SENCOs towards aspects of the new SEND legislation (Children and Families Act 2014).

The research contributes to our evidence base on how the SEND reforms are being implemented in schools. The findings demonstrate that SENCOs broadly welcome the principles underpinning the new SEND Code of Practice (ibid). However, SENCOs find that some of the procedures associated with the Code of Practice (ibid) are proving problematic. The thesis concludes by asserting that, if these issues are not addressed, then the aspirations of the new SEND legislation will not be fully realised and SENCOs will be yet further removed from their work in supporting colleagues in developing inclusive practice.

The thesis makes a number of recommendations at school, local and national level to support further the implementation of the SEND reforms. It also identifies areas for future research including: investigating the SEND reforms from the perspective of children, their parents or carers and young people; and evaluating the effectiveness and impact of the SENCO role.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Tysoe, K.
Date: May 2018
Rights: This work is the intellectual property of the author Keith Tysoe. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed to the owner of the Intellectual Property Rights.
Divisions: Schools > School of Education
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 27 Jun 2018 12:49
Last Modified: 01 May 2020 03:00

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