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Stakeholder perspectives towards online safeguarding of children with special educational needs (SEN).

Henderson, H., 2022. Stakeholder perspectives towards online safeguarding of children with special educational needs (SEN). Doctoral Thesis (Doctoral). Bournemouth University.

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HENDERSON, Hayley_Ph.D._2021.pdf
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This thesis explores stakeholder perspectives in relation to children’s online behavior and safeguarding with a specific focus on children with a special educational need (SEN). The research aims to explore key stakeholder perspectives in relation to safeguarding SEN children online in order to inform and guide stakeholders towards sensibly balancing risk and opportunities online. SEN children are identified as having been largely ignored over previous years within the field of online safeguarding, with the focus predominantly on children within mainstream schools without a learning need or disability. There are some unique challenges for SEN children that place them at a greater risk than mainstream children and which can have a significant and long-lasting effect on mental health, self-esteem and development. The interaction and engagement of stakeholders is a central theme in examining how to effectively safeguard SEN children online and support a system which places the child at the center. An ecosystems theory approach, which considers child development as a system of interrelated relationships affected by multiple levels of surrounding environment (Bronfenbrenner, 1979) positions the thesis within the field of education and facilitates an analysis of stakeholder engagement which proposes that a multi-stakeholder approach is central and key to supporting SEN children. Bronfenbrenner (1979) proposes that a child’s development is affected by their immediate environment and their larger external environment, which subsequently consists of a number of different stakeholders. One-to-one interviews with 18 stakeholders were included as part of the study, comprising of 14 adults and four children aged between 12 and 14. Adults included as part of the study were all key stakeholders within the field of safeguarding SEN children online whilst all children involved in the study had been previously identified as having a learning need and/or complex emotional and social need. The study revealed a range of perceptions around online safeguarding and SEN children and revealed that there more commonly exists stakeholders working fragmentedly, in isolation or with a limited number of other stakeholders within the field. It was revealed through thematic analysis adopted as part of the study that support, resources and specialist training are difficult to find or are non-existent and frequently cause frustration and challenges for all stakeholders. Children as stakeholders were interviewed as part of the study and their views and experiences considered alongside other stakeholders including teachers, parents, headteachers, SENCO, mental health practitioners, social care, external education consultants, enhanced SEN inspector and the police. Analysis revealed that a holistic multi-stakeholder and multi-agency approach is required. As a result, the outcomes of this study have produced a framework for SEN online safety which supports a multi-stakeholder approach and provides guiding principles for all stakeholders to support SEN children online and to sensibly balance the risk and opportunities online.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information:If you feel that this work infringes your copyright please contact the BURO Manager.
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:37485
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:09 Sep 2022 14:32
Last Modified:09 Sep 2022 14:32


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