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Factors associated with successful transition among children with disabilities in eight European countries

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Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0179904
Pages (from-to)1-17
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume12
Issue number6
Early online date21 Jun 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2017

Abstract

Introduction.This research paper aims to assess factors reported by parents associated with the successful transition of children with complex additional support requirements that have undergone a transition between school environments from 8 European Union member states. Methods.Quantitative data were collected from 306 parents within education systems from 8 EU member states (Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, the Netherlands, Romania, Spain and the UK). The data were derived from an online questionnaire and consisted of 41 questions. Information was collected on: parental involvement in their child’s transition, child involvement in transition, child autonomy, school ethos, professionals’ involvement in transition and integrated working, such as, joint assessment, cooperation and coordination between agencies. Survey questions that were designed on a Likert-scale were included in the Principal Components Analysis (PCA), additional survey questions, along with the results from the PCA, were used to build a logistic regression model.Results.Four principal components were identified accounting for 48.86% of the variability in the data. Principal component 1 (PC1), ‘child inclusive ethos,’ contains 16.17% of the variation. Principal component 2 (PC2), which represents child autonomy and involvement, is responsible for 8.52% of the total variation. Principal component 3 (PC3) contains questions relating to parental involvement and contributed to 12.26% of the overall variation. Principal component 4 (PC4), which involves transition planning and coordination, contributed to 11.91% of the overall variation. Finally, the principal components were included in a logistic regression to evaluate the relationship between inclusion and a successful transition, as well as whether other factors that may have influenced transition. All four principal components were significantly associated with a successful transition, with PC1 being having the most effect (OR: 4.04, CI: 2.43 – 7.18, p<0.0001).Discussion.To support a child with complex additional support requirements through transition from special school to mainstream, governments and professionals need to ensure children with additional support requirements and their parents are at the centre of all decisions that affect them. It is important that professionals recognise the educational, psychological, social and cultural contexts of a child with additional support requirements and their families which will provide a holistic approach and remove barriers for learning.

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