Children referred for additional support for literacy difficulties : their views of being included

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004, as amended, provides the human rights-based legal framework which underpins the system for identifying and supporting the additional support need of any pupil in Scotland. The Supporting Children's Learning Code of Practice (2017) details the duties on education authorities and other relevant agencies to support learning. In response to these legislative and practice frameworks, Scottish schools operate a staged intervention model (levels 1- 4/ stage 1- 4) for identifying and supporting young people with additional support needs in schools.However, despite these positive legislative and policy frameworks, the system does not always operate successfully to deliver the rights and entitlements of young people, in schools pupils with literacy difficulties continue to experience challenges in school, and a particularly difficult time appears to be at Stage 1 and 2 as the process begins.The theoretical context for this research is the capability approach of Amarya Sen (1979). The purpose of this research is to document and explore differing pupil experiences of, and perspectives on, the support processes during Stage 1 and Stage 2 intervention in one Scottish secondary school. Using semi structured interviews and visual data techniques (pictures and photographs) the experiences and opinions of the young people were gathered.This research finds that the pupils did not have a depth of knowledge of the staged intervention system and did not feel involved or listened to throughout their experience. The perception of the literacy difficulties and challenges in learning framed the learner identity, and challenges continued despite staged intervention support.It concludes that pupil voice is potentially a strong change-agent and that insights gathered from the pupil perspective offer an important source of data that could prompt professional reflection on the support processes adopted in schools.
Date of Award16 May 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SupervisorLio Moscardini (Supervisor) & Susan Ellis (Supervisor)

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