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Title: How can Educational Psychologists Support Looked After Children and Care Leavers in their Journey to University?
Authors: Francis, Hannah
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: Literature shows Care Experienced Individuals (CEI) experience poorer educational outcomes than their non-care experienced peers. This continues into Higher Education where CEI are amongst the lowest represented population. Educational success is considered important due to its relation to greater satisfaction in life outcomes, including job, housing and economic security along with increased levels of wellbeing and health. Educational Psychologists are professionals that work to support positive educational outcomes for children and often work with CEI. The first part of this research systematically reviews the existing literature to explore what is beneficial for CEI throughout their education in supporting an ambition and achieving university. A Meta-Ethnographic approach was used to review five selected studies. Supportive Relationships were found to act as an overarching mechanism to five key concepts of High Expectations, Positive Self-Perceptions, Role Models, Opportunities and Practical Support. The Systematic Literature Review highlights a lack of English literature that explores CEIs’ perspective on the supportive factors in their educational journey to university. It further shows a lack of representation of the Educational Psychologists’ role in supporting CEI to aim for and attend university. The Empirical project has two phases. First it aims to gather CEI’ perspective on the factors that have supported university attending CEI to succeed. Semi-structured interviews with Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis were used to develop three master themes: Relational Approach, Value of Education and Sense of Safety. Secondly, an Educational Psychologist Service engaged in focus group discussions that explored the current and potential practice Educational Psychologists engage in to support positive educational outcomes for CEI. Three superordinate themes were developed through Thematic Analysis engagement with focus group transcripts. Psychology as a Specialist Knowledge, Supportive Practices and Activities Undertaken are discussed as a bottom up approach to supporting CEI. “You don’t realise how each lesson, never mind how each year or whatever, has an impact on your whole education.” [Nasha.683]
Description: D. App. Ed. Psy. Thesis.
Appears in Collections:School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

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