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The “Supporting Kids, Avoiding Problems” (SKIP) study: relationships between school exclusion, psychopathology, development and attainment – a case control study

Claire Parker (Institute of Child Health, University of Exeter Medical School, Exeter, UK)
Ruth Marlow (Devon Autism and ADHD Service, NHS, Exeter, UK)
Marc Kastner (Inclusion and Reintegration Service, Devon County Council, Exeter, UK)
Felix May (Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, Exeter, UK)
Oana Mitrofan (Institute of Child Health, University of Exeter Medical School, Exeter, UK)
William Henley (Institute of Health Research, University of Exeter Medical School, Exeter, UK)
Tamsin Ford (Institute of Child Health, University of Exeter Medical School, Exeter, UK)

Journal of Children's Services

ISSN: 1746-6660

Article publication date: 20 June 2016

873

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the association between children who are at risk of being or who have been excluded from school between the ages of 4 and 12 years and the role of psychopathology, development and attainment.

Design/methodology/approach

A case-control approach was conducted. Cases were children who had been excluded from school compared to those who had no reported exclusions and normative data where possible. A range of measures were used to collect information from the parent, child and teacher on areas covering the child’s mental health and well-being.

Findings

The findings showed the number of difficulties faced by children who are at risk of being or who have been excluded from school compared to gender- and age-matched controls and normative data increased. Behavioural difficulties were apparent in the majority of the cases and an alarming number of children reported self-harm. Interestingly nearly all the cases had recognised needs, but not all of them were accessing appropriate services.

Practical implications

There have been a number of changes regarding the identification and support of children’s mental health and well-being. This study highlights gaps in resources and provision, particularly around behavioural difficulties for children who are presenting as not coping in school.

Originality/value

The findings from the SKIP study indicate the complexities and compounded difficulties faced by children who are experiencing exclusion from school. By implementing a systematic group of assessments the study was able to identify these complexities of need across a vulnerable group of children.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank all the children, their families and the schools for taking part in the study. The authors are grateful for all the support that has been provided by a number of services and individuals across the county. The authors are grateful to the Peninsula CLAHRC for funding Claire Parker’s doctoral studentship. This paper presents independent research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) for the South West Peninsula. The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health in England.

Citation

Parker, C., Marlow, R., Kastner, M., May, F., Mitrofan, O., Henley, W. and Ford, T. (2016), "The “Supporting Kids, Avoiding Problems” (SKIP) study: relationships between school exclusion, psychopathology, development and attainment – a case control study", Journal of Children's Services, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 91-110. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCS-03-2015-0014

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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