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Teaching staff

Teaching staff – supporting students with special educational needs in mainstream primary schools

Research team: Dr Ciara Padden and Lucy Brady

This research study is funded by a grant from the University of Kent’s Faculty of Social Sciences Research Fund.


Background – In 2015, 236,165 pupils were in receipt of a statement of special educational needs (SEN) or an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan, with an estimated 30% of those pupils attending mainstream primary schools. A range of factors such as staff attitudes and access to training and resources are likely to influence the experiences of both students and staff. Additionally, recent research found that teaching assistants, rather than teachers, are increasingly being relied on to act as primary educators for students with SEN in mainstream education.
Aims – The aim of this study is to explore teaching staff’s perceptions and experiences of supporting students with SEN in mainstream primary schools. There will be an emphasis on training needs and perceptions and experiences regarding the roles of teachers and teaching assistants in education for students with SEN.
Method – An online questionnaire has been developed, which also includes the Challenging Behaviour Self-Efficacy Scale (Hastings & Brown, 2002) and the Impact of Inclusion Questionnaire (Hastings & Oakford, 2003). Teachers and teaching assistants working in mainstream primary schools are being recruited from across England via email invitations and relevant organisations online.
Timeline and Progress – We have received ethical approval from the Tizard Research Ethics Committee. Following pilot testing, we are now recruiting participants for this study. If you are currently working as a teacher or teaching assistant within a mainstream primary school in England and would like to take part in this study, you can access the questionnaire here: https://kentsspssr.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cAOepsKy5VBTZQx


Poster 2014


Findings will be added to this page once available