• Developing the capacity to recognise the capabilities of pupils with PMLD, to promote learning opportunities and to reduce isolation

      Butler, Cathal; University of Bedfordshire (Harpur Trust, 2018-09-12)
      This research focused on exploring whether Quest for Learning materials, developed originally in Northern Ireland, could be used as a basis for understanding the capacities of learners with Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties in a Special School in England. This research is occurring at an opportune time as the results of a recent government report, the Rochford Review on statutory assessment arrangements for learners operating below the standard of the national curriculum has provided an impetus to explore alternatives to the P-Scales, which have been used to report on the progress of these learners. The Quest for Learning Materials offer an opportunity to potentially work towards a broader range of more relevant learning goals for learners, and identify and celebrate the capacities and progress that these learners can make in educational settings. The research, was conducted in a class catering for learners with Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties. Video recordings were made of regular activities with 5 learners in the classroom, to assess whether the 43 milestones detailed in Quest for Learning could be meaningfully used to explore the capacities of these learners. Over 40 videos of each learner, recorded across an entire school year, were coded by the researcher. A subset of 10 videos for each learner was also independently coded by a member of staff in the School. Findings indicated that a variety of Milestones could be identified for each learner, with individual profiles emerging that showed the capacities of learners. A comparison of the coding between the researcher and the member of staff demonstrated a high degree of inter-rater reliability. These findings provide clear evidence that the Quest for Learning materials could be a useful tool to use for schools to address the recommendations from the Rochford review.