05 SES 10, Urban Children and Youth at Risk & Urban Education: Thesis on Bullying and Violence
This study 'An exploration, through a small number of case studies, of the education provision for Looked After Children (LAC) who have experienced early life abuse or neglect' focuses on examining the educational outcomes of this group of children. The intention of the study was to find out whether this group of children receive education provision which meets their needs or if not, how and by whom it can be further enhanced.
The children selected as suitable case studies had all experienced abuse or / and neglect prior to the age of three and were all living in 'care', away from their immediate birth families. The study took place across a period of three years in England. Two of the case study children were living in foster care and one was living in a residential provision. The children attended different types of school provision; a mainstream primary school (aged 5-11), a special school for children with moderate learning difficulties (MLD) (aged 5-16) and a specialist provision for children with social, emotional and behavioural needs (aged 6-16).
Utilising the framework designed by Cuthbert, Rayns and Stanley (2011:20) 'for understanding the causes and consequences of maltreatment in infancy' enabled the generation of a relevant conceptual framework for this specific study. This conceptual framework is considered to add even greater complexity to the understanding of risk and protection markers to that detailed by Cuthbert et al (2011) and hence to any response strategy.
Data collected from the case studies led to considering whether teachers in one or all types of school provision have the knowledge and skills required to work with this group of particularly vulnerable children. Additionally the study looks at how effectively professionals from a variety of disciplines, such as health and social care, share information and work together when trying to 'look after' these children. Other factors which the data suggests also influences the education provision and outcomes for these children are also considered and discussed.
Although undertaken with children living in England an investigation of the literature consulted found that this study has international relevance as well. It was generally found that this group of vulnerable children leave school with very low educational achievement, with only a few proceeding onto college or university successfully (Eurochild, 2010).
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