A multiple case study investigating participation of children and young people with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties (SEBD) in statutory review processes

  • Genevieve Kilroy

Student thesis: Doctor of Educational and Child Psychology


The participation of children and young people (CYP) in decisions affecting them is high on the political agenda. CYP with special educational needs (SEN) in the form of social, emotional and behavioural difficulties (SEBD) continue to be under-represented in the literature with regard to participation and sharing their views. CYP with a statement of SEN must be formally reviewed on an annual basis, which is referred to as the annual statement review (ASR). The current research investigates how CYP with SEBD are presently participating in this formal and regular process that involves reviewing, decision-making and planning around their individual needs. A multiple case study was carried out, which involved two educational provisions, a resource based provision and a special provision, both for CYP with SEBD. Participants included the special educational needs coordinator (SENCo) in each provision, two CYP from the resource based provision, and one CYP from the special provision. Each of the three CYP were the focus of each individual case, with the two CYP from resource based provision being in Key Stage 2 and the individual CYP in special provision in Key Stage 4 of the National Curriculum. Main methods of data collection were semi-structured interview and observation throughout the ASR process. Data was analysed using thematic and content analysis. From a critical realist perspective, the investigation revealed that current practice to enable CYP with SEBD to participate in their ASR was found to be good, although it was proposed it could be better. This overall finding is based on the perspective that CYP should have the opportunity to make an impact on the ASR process as well as the outcome through decision-making, no matter how small the decision is that they are involved with. This was not always the case in the current practice examined in the study, more so with the younger CYP attending the resource based provision. The findings contribute to developing a good practice model for schools to support CYP with SEBD to effectively participate in review, decision-making and planning around their needs in statutory processes. A further research opportunity would be to investigate such practice in specialist provision for CYP with SEBD on a wider scale by using the survey design, to consider the current findings in a wider context.
Date of Award31 Dec 2013
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorKevin Woods (Supervisor) & Caroline Bond (Supervisor)


  • Social, emotional and behavioural difficulties
  • SEBD
  • Participation
  • Annual statement review
  • Statutory process

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