Exploring the secondary school experiences of International New Arrivals

  • Amy Wong

Student thesis: Doctor of Educational and Child Psychology


Immigration worldwide is at an all-time high resulting in significant changes in school populations internationally. Schools have a key role in the resettlement of International New Arrivals (INA) and the perspectives of INA pupils can play an important part in the development of provision which effectively meets their needs. The first paper is a systematic literature review exploring the secondary school experiences of INAs. Using the PRISMA framework, 35 potentially relevant studies were identified of which 10 met the inclusion criteria. A thematic synthesis of the studies identified the following key themes: sense of belonging, acquisition of the English language and lack of acceptance. Findings also highlight similar perceptions across different INA groups relating to the importance of social inclusion of pupils into schools. Implications for school practice are considered. The second paper is an exploratory qualitative study exploring the experiences of three male adolescent INAs as they transferred into secondary school in one local authority in the UK. Two interviews using interpreters were carried out with each participant and analysed using thematic analysis. Key themes generated from the data included navigating the learning context, the school transition experience and developing a sense of belonging. Findings also reflected the role of INA pupils as active agents in shaping their own experiences in school. Implications for school practice and future research are considered. The third paper outlines the dissemination of evidence to professional practice within the context of educational psychology. An overview of the literature on evidence-based practice, practice-based evidence and effective research dissemination is given. This is followed by a summary of the research implications from Paper One and Two and concludes with a strategy for dissemination.
Date of Award31 Dec 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorKevin Woods (Supervisor) & Caroline Bond (Supervisor)


  • Immigrant; refugee; new arrival; school; experience

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