Social Competence and Moderate Learning Difficulties: a Comparative Study of Pastoral Care in Mainstream and Special Secondary Schools

Ramshaw, Elizabeth (2014) Social Competence and Moderate Learning Difficulties: a Comparative Study of Pastoral Care in Mainstream and Special Secondary Schools. EdD thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

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This study is concerned with the pastoral care of pupils with Moderate Learning Difficulties in special and mainstream secondary schools. It explores the relationship between pastoral care and social outcomes. Since the agenda to include pupils with learning difficulties in mainstream schools was introduced, research has focused on academic results, leaving a gap in the educational knowledge base regarding the personal and social development of these learners. The study was undertaken in two phases, in one Further Education College, in the first term of the academic year. Phase one comprised semi-structured interviews with learners, all of whom had Moderate Learning Difficulties and had recently left secondary school. Interviews were undertaken with 26 students. Half of the participants had previously attended mainstream and half special schools. The second phase incorporated the whole cohort of students with Moderate Learning Difficulties who had embarked on their college career that term; 68 participants, again from special and mainstream schools. The results of the initial assessments conducted by a team of specialist professional staff were analysed. Particular consideration was given to the skills relating to social confidence and self-esteem. What emerged from the study was that the students who had attended special schools had received a high standard of individual pastoral care as opposed to their mainstream counterparts who had received little or none. There were marked differences between the two groups, with the learners who had previously attended special schools demonstrating significantly higher levels of social confidence and self-esteem. The research indicated that there is an association between the quality of pastoral care and that of social outcomes for pupils with Moderate Learning Difficulties. The study concludes with recommendations to all levels of education, from policy makers to practitioners. These are intended to enable all secondary schools pupils with Moderate Learning Difficulties to benefit from robust and effective pastoral care which will produce positive social outcomes.

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Additional Information: Doctor of Education
Uncontrolled Keywords: Pastoral care, Secondary schools, Learning difficulties,Special schools, England
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools
L Education > LC Special aspects of education
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education & Humanities
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2014 17:02
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2021 21:29

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