Diversifying Support in Schools: The Impact on the Care of Children and Young People

This project is directed by Ruth Rogers, collaborating with staff in the Department of Childhood Studies.

Together with the significant recruitment of teaching assistants, schools now often employ learning mentors, social workers, counsellors, therapists, family liaison workers, youth workers, police liaison workers and health professionals. This project, funded by Kent County Council, takes stock of these developments in schools by identifying the contribution of the various new roles in relation to multi-agency working and to the education and care of students.

More specifically, the research explores:

  • the nature of the support roles in Kent schools
  • any differences in the extent of use of diverse roles between schools
  • any association between deprivation in areas and investment in diversified school support
  • whether new roles benefit the lives of vulnerable students.

The project included a literature review into the background and historical context that led to the recruitment of various support professionals within schools. Questionnaires were also issued to these professionals to gain a better understanding of support roles. Case study visits to schools took place, exploring the nature of multi-agency working and its affect.

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