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Moving between home and school, the experiences of children of separated parents; discussions with educational professionals

Kay-Flowers, S Moving between home and school, the experiences of children of separated parents; discussions with educational professionals. Pastoral Care in Education: An International Journal of Personal, Social and Emotional Development. ISSN 0264-3944 (Accepted)

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Parental separation not only impacts on family relationships, it also has implications for a child’s school life and opportunity to learn. However, there is little understanding of how children of separated parents navigate the relationship between home and school. This paper reports findings from discussions with three education professionals in English schools about their experience of issues children of separated parents face as they move between home and school.
Schools are seen as safe spaces where children who ‘have less supportive home lives’ can access support to promote their emotional wellbeing (DfE, 2018, p13). This study found staff in primary school tended to be knowledgeable about children’s situations, whereas in secondary school, issues came to attention only when parent(s) contacted the school, or through a child’s behaviour. Good parental communication was seen as significant in enabling children to move between home and school with ease. Where parental conflict ‘spilled over’ into schools, staff became aware of the child’s situation but did not always feel able to provide appropriate support.
If children wanted to talk about their family situation with someone in school, professionals thought they should have this opportunity but questioned whether staff had appropriate knowledge and skills. The paper considers ways in which staff might support these children through the introduction of a whole school approach, the new Relationships Education curriculum, small group work and work with parents. The framework for understanding children’s accommodation of parental separation was considered a useful tool that could support this work (Kay-Flowers, 2019a).

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1301 Education Systems, 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy, 1303 Specialist Studies in Education
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
L Education > LC Special aspects of education
Divisions: Education
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2020 14:14
Last Modified: 13 Jul 2020 14:14
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/13294

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