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Turning a blind eye? Teachers' lived experiences of child-on-child harmful sexual behaviour at three schools in the UK. An interpretative phenomenological analysis

Waters, Janice 2019. Turning a blind eye? Teachers' lived experiences of child-on-child harmful sexual behaviour at three schools in the UK. An interpretative phenomenological analysis. Cardiff University.
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Abstract

This thesis used Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis to explore the lived experience of harmful sexual behaviours (HSB) at school. Nine participants from two special schools and one mainstream school from within two local authority boundaries were involved in the study. Various levels of experience of HSB existed, with these behaviours often interpreted as play or a normal part of growing up, or a mental health issue; humour and own experience of parenting was used to respond to the lived experience of HSB. Children were described as difficult to like and could say things that might ruin careers and jeopardise livelihoods meaning participants relied on each other for support. When HSB occurred, schools were blamed by the local authority which threatened the school’s reputation as a safe establishment. Although safeguarding officers were the first point of contact for staff, no support existed for this group. Whilst the literature revealed special schools to be ideal places in which staff could recognise and respond to HSB, participants did not consider themselves professionally equipped to carry out this work. Poor Information sharing meant other children, who were potential victims, were exposed to HSB. The complexities of the education system was therefore seen to fail schools and children because of metaphorical holes in the system. The experiences described confirmed high participant awareness and acceptance of HSB in schools, even though individual experiences differed. Acceptance of these behaviours, blame, confusion and inconsistency were all observed. However, this study has revealed new understandings around silence and denial, caused by the lack of local authority support for the schools when HSB had occurred. This established HSB consistently as the elephant in the room, ‘that which was not discussed and was undiscussable'.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Date Type: Acceptance
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Additional Information: A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the Professional Doctorate in Advanced Healthcare Practice
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 11 December 2019
Date of Acceptance: 5 December 2019
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2020 01:26
URI: http://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/127462

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