School improvement research indicates that learning outcomes and pupils’ attainment can be raised if quality of teaching is improved (Barber & Mourshed, 2007). The research questions arose through reflections regarding how the special needs competence could be utilised better and in what way this could contribute to change and to development of the school and the learning environment. The aim of the study was to provide knowledge regarding the SENCO’s profession. The focus of the study was to make visible the perceptions that the school staff from six local authority compulsory schools within one municipality had regarding the SENCO’s duties and which fields they believed the SENCO should work with. Three research questions were formulated based on the aim of the study. These were 1) which perceptions exist regarding the SENCO’s duties, 2) which fields do the school staff believe the SENCO should work with and 3) which opportunities for development exist based on the fields that were identified. The study was conducted using a quantitative methodological approach whereby a digital Google questionnaire was distributed via e-mail to the six schools that participated in the study. The theoretical framing consists of the deficit perspective and the alternative perspective (Nilholm, 2005; 2007) in addition to selected concepts within system theory (Öquist, 2018; Ahrenfelt, 2013). The results show that all school staff advocate an extensive role for the SENCO encompassing the entire learning environment. All school staff advocate SENCO’s working with tasks regarded as typical for the occupational role such as pupils in need of support. The majority of the school staff were also in favour of the SENCO conducting pedagogical work and pedagogical leadership in conjunction with this. Regarding the pedagogical leadership the research showed that the school staff first and foremost believe that the SENCO should take on a pedagogical leadership in conjunction with pedagogical work on individual level and on classroom level not a leadership on organisational level. Great development opportunities exist for the SENCO within the occupational role and within duties connected to school development. The results can contribute to further development of the profession, to developing the SENCO’s duties and to better understand how the special needs competence can be utilised in conjunction with school development.
|Date of Award
|Katarina Nilfyr (Supervisor) & Daniel Östlund (Examiner)
- Special Education Programme
- 15 HE credits
Swedish Standard Keywords
- Educational Sciences (503)
- pedagogical work
- special educational needs coordinator (senco)
- school improvement
- school development och accessibility.