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    School transition and SEND: Investigating parental accounts of their child’s primary to secondary school transition experience through the use of Mumsnet data

    Cromwell, Hannah and Fox, Claire ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4329-4056 (2023) School transition and SEND: Investigating parental accounts of their child’s primary to secondary school transition experience through the use of Mumsnet data. Psychology of Education Review, 47 (2). pp. 49-56. ISSN 1463-9807

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    Abstract

    Background: Previous research on school transition has highlighted how it can be a particularly difficult time for children with special educational needs and disabilities. In addition, parental involvement in the transition is seen to be an important factor in facilitating a positive transition. Aim: This study aimed to investigate the factors that impact the school transition experience of children with SEND, through the use of Internet forum data and the perceptions and experiences of parents. Sample: A total of 12 threads from the internet-based forum website Mumsnet were selected and analysed containing 127 posts from 46 different users. Method: The keywords ‘School transition’ and the selected chosen topics of ‘SEN’, ‘SN Children’ and ‘SN teens and young adults’ were used to search for relevant forum threads. Forum threads were then analysed using Reflexive Thematic Analysis. Results: The themes generated were ‘Proactive parents’, ‘Child-focussed: Understanding and addressing the individual child’s needs and concerns’, and the overarching theme of ‘Sufficient preparation’ with the themes ‘Preparation pre-transition’ and ‘Preparation post-transition’. Conclusions: Understanding the parents’ role in school transition can help to support other parents to better support their child; the advice of other parents and suitable methods they have found to support their children can be suggested to others. Recognising the issues will also be useful in improving the support within schools.

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