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Title: This is a new start for you”: exploring adopted young people’s educational experience and what works well to support their transition to secondary school
Authors: Barry, Alexandra
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: Adopted children and young people (CYP) can be considered by schools and external agencies to have found their ‘happy ending’ (Langton, 2017). Despite this narrative, research has found that 50% of adoptive placements breakdown (SCIE, 2004). In addition, although adopted CYP achieve better educational outcomes when compared to looked after children (LAC); they achieve poorer outcomes when compared to the rest of the population (Brown, Waters, & Shelton, 2017). The first chapter of this thesis uses meta-ethnography to critically review existing qualitative research focusing on the educational experiences of adopted CYP; from the perspective of adopted children, their parents and teachers. Findings emphasise that whilst adopted CYP are of course not a homogenous group, they can experience unique challenges in relation to their schooling. Challenges include whether to share their adoption with peers and a lack of understanding from others regarding the impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACE). A key assumption present in many studies was that labels such as attachment disorder and ADHD would lead to appropriate support. However, diagnosis led some adopted CYP to blame themselves for their educational difficulties and promoted a within-child model, rather than looking at ways of adapting the wider school environment. The systematic literature review also identified transition to secondary school as a significant period in adopted CYP’s educational careers.
Description: D. App. Ed. Psy. Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

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