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“You’ll get used to it”: Pupils’ with Speech, Language and Communication Needs experience of readiness for secondary school

15 October 2019

Author: Dr Claire Peters, Tavistock and Portman NHS trust educational psychology training course


The aim of this study was to explore the experience of secondary school readiness with a group of Year Six pupils with Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN) in the final term of primary school.

Data was collected from six pupils who had an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) for SLCN using visually supported semi-structured interviews.

Their individual experiences were analysed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA).

The research questions were:

  1. What sense do pupils with SLCN make of their experience of primary school?
  2. What sense do pupils with SLCN make of their experience of secondary school following their induction days?
  3. What are the pupils’ perceptions of secondary school readiness?

The findings identified four overarching themes:

  • Concept of Self, Family and Life Experience
  • Risk and Resiliency and Coping tools
  • Language Skills and the Impact on Personal Narratives
  • Experiences of the Education System

The themes and research questions are explored further in the discussion chapter with reference to previous research and psychological theory. Limitations of the research and implications for Educational Psychology practice are also discussed.
This study contributes to the understanding of the phenomena of school readiness from the perspective of pupils with SLCN and also to involving pupils with communication difficulties in research.

Link to full paper coming soon.


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