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An exploration of secondary school Teaching Assistants’ lived experiences of supporting young people identified with Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis

Angel, Naomi Emelia (2019) An exploration of secondary school Teaching Assistants’ lived experiences of supporting young people identified with Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. DEdCPsy thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

Recent government advice has identified the important role played by schools in supporting children and young people’s (CYP) social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs, with direct reference to the role of teaching assistants (TAs). Research has highlighted the variable impact of TAs in supporting children and young people’s academic achievement, Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and behaviour. Within the existing research, TAs voices are often buried or excluded and there is a lack of research exploring the role of TAs supporting children and young people identified with SEMH needs. This research focused exclusively on TAs’ lived experiences in order to learn more about a role in an under-researched area from the perspective of those who undertake it. Using Interpretative Phenomenology Analysis (IPA), semi-structured interviews were undertaken with three TAs employed at the same English mainstream secondary school. Each of the TAs supported at least one young person identified with SEMH needs and challenging behaviour. Challenging behaviour was used to create a homogeneous sample within a broad area of SEND. Three superordinate themes were identified: understanding the young person, processing emotions and individual approach to the TA role, and are discussed within the context of existing literature, research and psychological theory. The implications of the research findings were explicated for school and Educational Psychology (EP) practice such as the use of supervision for reflective practice.

Item Type: Thesis (DEdCPsy)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.786573
Depositing User: Miss Naomi Angel
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2019 08:44
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2019 10:20
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/24864

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