Exploring inclusive partnerships: parents, co-production, and the SEND code of practice (2015)

FLEMING, Katarzyna (2021). Exploring inclusive partnerships: parents, co-production, and the SEND code of practice (2015). Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.7190/shu-thesis-00419


The Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Code of Practice (2015) sets out principles for partnership working to address the historical power imbalances and ineffective communication between services and parents; however, it remains unclear how these partnerships could be formed in practice. Although co-production was proposed as an enabler of effective partnerships on the local government level, the institutional or individual levels where parents are most likely to experience partnerships were not discussed. Therefore, firstly, this study aims to explore parental contributions to decision-making processes in partnerships following the implementation of the Code, and secondly, to investigate whether co-production could become a vehicle for inclusive partnerships between parents and practitioners in public services. A Mixed Methods Research, utilising an explanatory sequential design, comprising an online survey followed by interviews, was conducted between November 2017 and June 2018. The study was situated within the theoretical framework of pragmatism and employed the ‘appreciation’ and ‘dream’ elements of an Appreciative Inquiry structure. 144 survey responses from parents/carers were analysed through descriptive analysis and formed the foundation for the second stage of the study – the interviews. Three group interviews and eight individual interviews with 25 parents were analysed using thematic analysis (Braun and Clarke, 2006). The following main themes emerged: parental lived experiences of partnerships; practitioners’ attributes, attitudes, and knowledge; discrepancies between the Code and parental experiences; practices enabling inclusive partnerships; and systemic barriers to effective partnerships. Participants reported that they continue to be mostly positioned as unequal contributors to decision-making for their children and young people following the changes in legislation. Despite the lack of guidance on co-productive partnerships at institutional and individual levels, this study reveals how co-production could empower parents to become equal and valued contributors to decision-making within partnership working. Furthermore, connections among the principles of co-production, the desired by parents approaches to equal and contributory partnerships, and the Code’s guidance on partnerships, demonstrate the potential co-production could offer to inclusive partnerships with parents. A framework that illustrates these connections culminates the discussion in this thesis.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Mcgrath, Lisa [0000-0003-2598-4942]
Additional Information: Director of studies: Dr. Lisa McGrath. "No PQ harvesting"
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.7190/shu-thesis-00419
Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2021 15:25
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2023 01:18
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/29440

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