The experiences of learning support unit managers and students in London

Van Blerk, Daryl Anthony (2004-04)

Thesis(MEdPsych)--University of Stellenbosch, 2004.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Following the United Kingdoms of Great Britain Government's commitment to social inclusion in the 1990s, dramatic changes have taken place in education policy. A large amount of time and money has been invested into the development of inclusive practices, one of the more recent programmes being the Learning Support Unit (LSU). The LSU programme is seen as a way forward for social inclusion and now it is playing a growing role in the context of national strategies to improve behaviour and attendance. As little evaluation research has been done, this study aims to verify good practice in relation to the guidelines set out by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES, 2002b) and identify whether the LSU programme is truly an inclusive model. Given the commitment to inclusive education the world over, this study also seeks to assess whether the LSU programme would work within the South African Inclusive Education and Training Policy. An interpretive approach was applied to the research undertaking a programme evaluation. The qualitative techniques of interviewing, observations and discussions were used for data collection. Interviews were conducted with LSU managers and their pupils, which were then triangulated with data obtained from observations, informal and focus group discussions. Using an interpretive approach allowed me to become immersed in the research process and develop an intuitive feel for the subject. This enabled more effective verification of good practice in use. Interpreting the experiences and beliefs of LSU managers and their pupils in the London Borough of Hillingdon has verified a range of good practices. It is particularly important that LSUs are an extension of, and fully integrated into, whole school behaviour policy. The LSU programme promotes social inclusion by offering in-school support to pupils with behavioural, social and emotional development needs. These needs are addressed through a short-term fixed period stay in the LSU while the pupils still engage in the curriculum and their reintegration back into class facilitated. The LSU programme could compliment the South African Inclusive Education and Training Policy by offering a viable programme to address challenging behaviour in an inclusive manner. In conclusion, the LSUs have proved to be effective in introducing social inclusion in schools. This is achieved through their uniqueness, which allows them to target the greatest needs in their school.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Onderwysbeleid in die Verenigde Koninkryk het dramatiese veranderinge ondergaan ná die regering van die Verenigde Koninkryk se verbintenis tot sosiale insluiting in die negentigerjare van die vorige eeu. 'n Groot hoeveelheid tyd en geld is bestee aan die ontwikkeling van inklusiewe praktyke. Een van die jongste programme is die Leerondersteuningseenheid (LSE). Die LSE-program word gesien as 'n stap vorentoe in die rigting van sosiale insluiting en dit speel tans toenemend 'n rol in die bepaling van nasionale strategieë vir die verbetering van gedrag en bywoning. Aangesien min evalueringsnavorsing tot dusver gedoen is, beoog hierdie navorsing om goeie praktyk in die lig van die riglyne soos uiteengesit deur die Departement van Onderwys en Vaardighede van die Verenigde Koninkryk (DfES, 2002b) te ondersoek en om te vas te stelof die LSE-program 'n waarlik inklusiewe model is. Met inagneming van die verbintenis tot inklusiewe onderwys wêreldwyd, poog hierdie navorsing ook om te bepaal of die LSE-program binne die Suid-Afrikaanse inklusiewe Onderwys- en Opleidingsbeleid met sukses aangewend sou kon word. 'n Interpretatiewe benadering is gevolg met betrekking tot die navorsing waartydens 'n evaluering van die programme gemaak is. Die kwalitatiewe tegnieke van onderhoudvoering, waarneming en bespreking is gebruik vir die insameling van data. Onderhoude is gevoer met Leerondersteuningseenheid-bestuurders en hulle leerders, wat dan weer getrianguleer is met data wat uit waarnemings, informele besprekings en fokusgroep-besprekings verkry is. Die gebruik van 'n interpretatiewe benadering het die navorser in staat gestelom verdiep te raak in die navorsingsproses en 'n intuïtiewe aanvoeling vir die onderwerp te ontwikkel. Dit het doeltreffender verifikasie van goeie praktyk wat tans gebruik word, moontlik gemaak. Die interpretasie van die ervaringe en oortuigings van Leerondersteuningseenheidbestuurders en hulle leerlinge in die distrik Hillingdon, Londen, het bewys gelewer van 'n reeks goeie praktyke. Dit is veral belangrik dat die LSE-program 'n uitbreiding is van geheelskool- gedragsbeleid, en ook ten volle daarin geïntegreer is. Die LSE-program werk sosiale insluiting in die hand deur inskoolse ondersteuning aan leerlinge met gedrags-, sosiale en emosionele ontwikkelingsbehoeftes te bied. Daar word tydens 'n vasgestelde korttermynbywoning van die LSE na hierdie behoeftes omgesien terwyl die leerlinge steeds by die kurrikulum betrokke is en hulle heropname in die klas gefasiliteer word. Die LSE-program sou as aanvulling tot die Suid-Afrikaanse Beleid van Inklusiewe Onderwys en Opleiding kon dien deurdat dit 'n lewensvatbare program aanbied waardeur uitdagende gedrag op 'n inklusiewe wyse aandag kry. Ten slotte kan genoem word dat die LSE-program as doeltreffend bewys is by die invoer van sosiale insluiting in skole. Dit is vermag deur hulle eensoortigheid waardeur die grootste behoeftes in die besondere skool bereik kan word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/50151
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