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'Inclusion – that word!' Examining some of the tensions in supporting pupils experiencing social, emotional and behavioural difficulties

Mowat, Joan Gaynor (2014) 'Inclusion – that word!' Examining some of the tensions in supporting pupils experiencing social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties. ISSN 1363-2752

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This paper explores issues around stigmatisation and labelling as they pertain to pupils with SEBD. The paper draws upon an evaluative case study conducted in two Scottish Local Authorities of the implementation of Support Groups and examines how the approach was experienced by pupils who participated within the intervention, drawing from a range of accounts. The study was implemented in upper Primary (aged 10 -12) and lower Secondary (aged 12- 14). It is principally qualitative and draws upon data generated from open-questionnaires, interviews and Focus Group discussions. Pupil responses to intervention were largely positive but there was evidence that a minority of children had experienced the intervention as stigmatising. Variables relating to the establishment of trusting and respectful relationships within the group; partnerships with parents; professional development for staff; and the adoption of a whole school approach emerged as key variables in determining how pupils experienced the intervention.