Teachers' and educational professionals' perceptions of the factors that impact upon the educational attainment of 'looked after' children in a south east Wales local authority
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Backqround: The educational attainment of 'looked after' children has been the centre of political debate for decades. Studies and statistics suggest that'looked after' children significantly underachieve in comparison to other children and children from disadvantaged areas. Aims: The aim of the study is to consider teachers' and educational professionals' perceptions of the factors that ímpact upon the educational attainment of 'looked afted children within a South East Wales local authority. Teachers and educational professionals are also asked what they feel could be done to raise the present low levels of educational attainment of 'looked after' children. Methods: Methods of research consisted of face-to-face interviews with eight teachers and one social worker. Due to the nature of the study, there were too many ethical implications to consider interviewing 'looked after' children. Questionnaires were also distributed to four other teachers, to address the mixed methods approach. Discussion: The discussion outlines the main factors highlighted by teachers and educational professionals that impact upon the educational attainment of 'looked after' children. The four most recurring issues are discussed: Training; instability; Personal Education Plans; and non-attendance. The factors that impact upon the 9 education of 'looked after' children in a faith school in the South East Wales local authority are investigated in comparison to three non-faith schools. Conclusion The most recurring factors as expressed by teachers and educational professionals are discussed, considering the implications for future practices and the benefits of introducing multLpafi training. Methodologicalflaws of this research are outlined. Finally, areas of further research are suggested with relation to the implementation of l-AC co-ordinators in all schools.
B.A. (Hons) Education Studies and Psychology
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