An examination of educational practitioner perspectives towards reintegration in a rural Welsh local authority setting: from Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) to mainstream education.
This study explores the perspectives of education practitioners toward the process of reintegrating pupils (many of whom display Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties), from a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) to mainstream educational provision in a rural Welsh education authority and, examines the barriers and facilitators that they identified as evident within their individual schools and the catchment areas they serve, with regard to reintegrating pupils and their families. The study locates the process within the geographical context of the education authority to discuss whether there are specific reintegration barriers and facilitators inherent within the rural Welsh setting. Patterns of pupil referral to, and reintegration from, the PRU and mainstream schools were first examined and analysed from 'pupil tracking data' which records and tracks pupils throughout an academic year from their arrival at the PRU. The perspectives of educational practitioners regarding the possible influence of these variables were gathered first through an expert sample postal questionnaire followed by a landscape sample postal questionnaire. Interviews were subsequently conducted with respondents from Primary, Secondary and PRU settings to drill down into specific variables identified as influencing reintegration moves. This study suggests that although there may be generic reintegration barriers and facilitators evident in all settings, there were specific variables inherent within the rural Welsh context which, were largely identified as barriers. For example, a lack of aspiration and narrow world views of many county residents. Educational practitioners across mainstream and alternative settings provided feedback on difficulties inherent within the reintegration process and how these might be overcome to increase the rate of successful reintegration. The results of this study will be fed back into the professional practice community and to the Behaviour Support Service in the county where the research took place.
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