An Exploratory Study of the Experiences ofYear 7 pupils with Autistic Spectrum Conditions(ASC) on Transition to Mainstream SecondarySchool

  • Anita Bennett-Warne

Student thesis: Doctor of Educational and Child Psychology


The majority of children with ASC are educated within a mainstream secondarysetting. The challenges within the new environment may lead to some childrenexperiencing a breakdown in provision resulting in temporary or permanentexclusions. A gap in the literature highlights a need for research which seeks tounderstand the views and experiences of year 7 children with ASCs about theirtransition to mainstream secondary school.The research involved four year 7 children with ASC, from across three settings, whohad recently transitioned from a mainstream primary school to a mainstreamsecondary school (without resource based provision). The views of their parents andteachers were also sought.A multiple-embedded case study design was employed involving four cases fromacross three school settings. This involved utilising a transition Q-sort and a semistructuredinterview with four children and semi-structured interviews with sixparents and three teachers. The data was analysed using content analysis andthematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006).The findings highlight a need for individualised transition planning for the child withASC; consideration of co-occurring difficulties and the importance of including theviews of the child and parents in transition planning. The findings are discussed inrelation to psychological theories and existing literature. The implications for futureresearch; local authority policy; school staff; parents and educational psychologistsare considered.
Date of Award31 Dec 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorCaroline Bond (Supervisor) & Kevin Woods (Supervisor)


  • semi-structured interviews
  • thematic analysis
  • Q-sort
  • eliciting the views of the child with autism
  • views of parents and teachers of child with autism
  • year 7 transition
  • children with autistic spectrum conditions; ASC; ASD; autism
  • Transition to mainstream secondary school;
  • voice of the child

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