A local authority and educational inclusion: an investigation of policy and practice

  • Carol Wolstenholme

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    The research here reported investigated the perceptions of professionals of the implementation of educational inclusion policy within one English Local Authority (LA). Using a mixed methods approach, utilising in-depth interviews, observation and documentary analysis this investigation was pursued through the collation and analysis of data to reveal the experiences and perspectives of the professional stakeholders in the inclusion process and evaluated these against the aims established in LA policy documentation. In seeking opinions and conducting this analysis the research provides insights into the current practices which impact upon the LA policy and will allow for discourse in respect of possible future developments. The thesis builds upon previous research and literature in the area of inclusive education much of which is reviewed within the work. This has informed the development of the multi-methods research model used for field work and data collection from a wide variety of sources. Complexities surrounding the interpretation are discussed and the thesis focuses upon opportunities to gather information which has potential value to both users and providers of the education service within the LA. Within this thesis the researcher views inclusion as the process of ensuring that all pupils, irrespective of background, ethnicity, race, religion, ability, disability, SEN or gender are able to participate fully in an educational setting appropriate to their needs, whether this be mainstream, special school, Pupil Referral Unit, or college. Being a process it is accepted that the factors which determine the move towards inclusion will be subject to socio-political, economic and cultural changes and that the research reported provides insights into a situation which will be subject to change over time. However, the insights gained provide an opportunity for discussion and debate within the Local Authority at the heart of the study which could have beneficial implications for all parties involved
    Date of Award2008
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Northampton
    SupervisorRichard Rose (Supervisor)

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