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Does Every Child Matter, Post-Blair? The interconnections of disabled childhoods

Grant reference: RES-062-23-1138

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Impact Report details

Impact Report for Does Every Child Matter, Post-Blair? The interconnections of disabled childhoods
Impact Report for the 'Every Child Matter, Post-Blair? The interconnections of disabled childhoods' Research Project, RES-062-23-1138
English

Primary contributor

Author Daniel Goodley

Additional contributors

Contributor Janice McLaughlin

Impacts

The impacts of the research are best understood in relation to the key objectives of the research (outlined in Goodley, DA, McLaughlin, J, (2011) Does Every Child Matter, Post-Blair? The Interconnections of Disabled Childhoods ESRC End of Award Report, RES-062-23-1138. Swindon: ESRC). Objective 1: A critical commentary on contemporary social and educational policies relating to disabled children. Objective 2: An appraisal of the Aiming High for Disabled Children policy agenda and how this has impacted on the inclusion of disabled children in educational and community life. Objective 3: An interdisciplinary theorisation of disability, childhood, families and community. Objective 4: An analysis of the ways in which 'parent', 'professional' and 'disabled child' are constructed across contexts, over time, and nested in a host of policies and practices. Objective 5: An identification and analysis of enabling forms of health, care, education and leisure. Objective 6: An exploration of the lives of disabled children, their families and community engagement. In addition, a number of further scientific impacts emerged from this project, including: • The development of participatory methods with disabled children • The promotion of public discourse around the educational inclusion of disabled children in light of the current government’s push to ‘end the bias towards inclusion’. 92 outputs are listed on this page http://www.esrc.ac.uk/my-esrc/grants/RES-062-23-1138/read. In this document we refer to numbered publications [n] listed on our project website http://post-blair.posterous.com/pages/publications.

Objective 1: There is a complex and shifting policy agenda [20; 37]. We are unclear if the Coalition’s proposed new Children and Families bill will resolve the complexities [20; 37]. Objective 2: Many disabled children meet the ECM outcomes within enabling communities [45; 55] but others experience discrimination and violence [17; 39]. Educational inclusion conflicts with the marketisation of education and a time of austerity [67]. Short break provision has positive impacts on families [25; 34]. Families are yet to benefit from purported improving access to childcare and transitions to adult services [50]. Objective 3: Disabled children’s ‘unruly’ bodies trouble policy and practice agendas [21: 23] as children fail to fit prevailing images of ‘productive’ childhoods [23; 47]. Families are excluded from communities [22; 23]. Parents/carers have to pathologise children to access services [44; 68]. There has been a troubling rise in labelling of children [1; 23, 44; 46]. Objective 4: Disabled children resist disablement [28; 45; 48; 60] through participation in community arts [26], leisure [40; 66] and education [22]. Objective 5: Disabled children, parents/carers and professionals collectively promote children’s positive identities in schools, leisure facilities and local communities [40; 43; 49]. Objective 6: Engagement in the arts [26], enabling education [49], leisure [40], and research [28; 53; 54; 55], promote positive identities of disabled children [45; 60]. Families thrive through community interdependence [22; 28], now influenced by ‘Big Society’ [16]. • Disabled children utilise media to promote aspirations [60]. • There is renewed public discourse around inclusion.

The impacts described under 1A are emerging through nine main methods of dissemination: (1) Publications and presentations – 2 books [1,2], 10 book chapters, 11 journal articles, 49 seminar/conference/inter/national presentations (including 17 keynotes) [51-100]. Includes invitation to publish chapter in course reading text [13] and permissions request to reproduce paper in new Reader [22]. (2) Public engagement events –mid and end of project seminars conferences aimed at disabled children, their families, practitioners and academics. (3) Project website – regular news updates, release of publications, details of seminars and public engagement events (http://post-blair.posterous.com/pages/home). (4) Impact summary cards – a number of one page, bullet pointed summaries of key publications for use by a host of potential users [34-50]. (5) ESRC Festival of Science Event – findings from the project were shared in order to tap into and extend public discourse around the inclusion of disabled children (http://esrc-inclusion.eventbrite.com/). (6) Youtube and Vimeo Channel videos – summarizing impact cards, interviews with key activists and researchers, recordings of public engagement sessions as part of ‘disCOVER’ video series (http://cdsmmu.posterous.com/pages/downloads). (7) User-led research reports – the production of accessible, summative accounts of our findings and recommendations aimed at families of disabled children [25-27]. (8) Practitioner-focused publications – a rewrite of key findings and recommendations for practitioner publications [28-33]. (9) Press interest – the ESRC Festival of Science Event and ESRC Press Office allowed us to summarise the research and publicise this in a number of non-academic outlets.

(i) Inter/national academics, community of academics and researchers and under/postgraduate students of a number of disciplines across the globe (testimonies from course tutors available on request), including disciplines of education, psychology, philosophy, nursing, sociology and social policy as evidenced by the publication outlets (which encompass these disciplines) and subsequent citation analysis (http://post-blair.posterous.com/pages/publications). (ii) Specific academics citing and drawing on work inc.: Titchkosky, Michalko, Douglas (Canada); Mori, Nagase (Japan); Traustadottir (Iceland); Liddiard, Watson, Smith, UK; Roets, van Hove (Belgium); Gabel, Erevelles, Davis (US); Meekosha, Shuttleworth, Dowse (Australia); Kee, Kuno (Malaysia). (iii) Inter/national conference presentations include Society for Disability Studies; Disability Studies Association, Nordic Network for Disability Research. (iv) Key findings from the project have informed the writing of three research bids which will have further potential scientific impact: • (ESRC, unsuccessful, 2012) Responding to the lives of children with life-limiting and life-threatening impairments; • (ESRC, pending) Big Society and young people with learning disabilities. • (FIRA, pending) Promoting good practice in relation to the adoption and fostering of disabled children. Finally, in part due to the success of this ESRC project, we were approached to tender for (and successfully were awarded) a SCOPE funded project ‘resilience in the lives of disabled people’ which extends an analysis of the societal position of disabled people (http://disability-resilience.posterous.com).

While many of the outputs listed in Section 1 have the potential for long-term impact, objectives 1, 2 and 3 have provided more opportunities for immediate short-term economic and social impact. Rather then providing a general and discursive overview of possible impact we aim here to identify specific areas in which evident impact can be evidenced. Policy and legislation: Objective 1: We have provided a critical commentary on contemporary social and educational policies – including Every Child Matters – as they relate to disabled children and their families Policy and Practice: Objective 2: Our research has provided an appraisal of the Aiming High for Disabled Children policy agenda and how this has impacted on the inclusion of disabled children in educational and community life. Practice, education and public awareness: Objective 3: Our research has promoted an interdisciplinary theorisation of disability, childhood, families and community.

Policy and legislation: Objective 1: We have provided a critical commentary on contemporary social and educational policies – including Every Child Matters – as they relate to disabled children and their families • We have demonstrated how some of the aims of Every Child Matters are at odds with realities of life for some disabled children Policy and Practice: Objective 2: Our research has provided an appraisal of Aiming High for Disabled Children policy agenda and how this has impacted on the inclusion of disabled children in educational and community life. • We have shown how short break provision is a key mechanism for promoting the emotional and social well being of disabled children and their families • We have demonstrated how leisure and the arts have the potential to improve the lives of disabled children Practice, education and public awareness: Objective 3: Our research has promoted an interdisciplinary theorisation of disability, childhood, families and community. • We have evidenced that disabled children continue to experience discrimination and exclusion and this must be acknowledged by service providers and professionals • We have demonstrated that there needs to be an interdisciplinary and inter-professional response to the needs of disabled children and their families

Policy and legislation: Objective 1: We have provided a critical commentary on contemporary social and educational policies … • Invited to speak about research to Office for Disability Issues, Every Disabled Child Matters Campaign, British Association of Adoption and Fostering (BAAF); Runswick-Cole’s work in the 2011 Education Green Paper. Policy and Practice: Objective 2: Our research has provided an appraisal of Aiming High for Disabled Children policy agenda … • Commissioned by Aiming High Parents Forum to evaluate Short Breaks. A meeting of the Local Authority Children and Younger Adults Senior Management Team Report minuted that this report was ‘valued and well received and to be encouraged and used in the commissioning process’. • Commissioned to implement an evaluation of Oily Cart Theatre Company which works with disabled children and their families. This report has been used by the Company to secure Arts Council Funding. Practice, education and public awareness: Objective 3: Our research has promoted an interdisciplinary theorisation of disability, childhood, families and community. • Goodley and Runswick Cole invited to teach on social work, psychology, education and nursing courses in Australia, UK, Iceland, Canada, Japan and Malaysia • Findings published on project website, in practitioner journals, a number of press outlets (cuttings available on request) and Youtube Channel. • Delivery of public engagement events throughout project lifetime. • Goodley was invited to present findings from the project which were drawn upon in discussions around the setting up of the new Centre of Excellence in Disability at UNIMAS, Malaysia

Policy and legislation: Objective 1: We have provided a critical commentary on contemporary social and educational policies – including Every Child Matters – as they relate to disabled children and their families. • Office for Disability Issues and BAAF Policy and Practice: Objective 2: Our research has provided an appraisal of Aiming High for Disabled Children policy agenda and how this has impacted on the inclusion of disabled children in educational and community life. • Aiming High Parents Forum; Senior Management of Local Authority and the provision of Short Breaks • The continued funding of Oily Cart Theatre Company Practice, education and public awareness: Objective 3: Our research has promoted an interdisciplinary theorisation of disability, childhood, families and community. • Under/postgraduate students of a number of disciplines across the globe (testimonies from course tutors available on request) • Readership of Community Care, Cerebra, Nursery World, etc. • Participants and contributors to events including disabled children and their families • UNIMAS, Malaysia

Current educational policy moves towards ‘ending the bias towards inclusion’ by the current government has sparked a renewed interest in debates around inclusive education. We expect our publications and findings will feed into these debates – as evidenced by press interest in our project (scoopt/t/sciencenews; examhealth.com; disabledworld.com; nurseryworld.co.uk) and new campaigns (see for example http://www.reversethebiascampaign.com/). We see continued impact to occur in the following two areas: Policy and legislation: Objective 1: We have provided a critical commentary on contemporary social and educational policies – including Every Child Matters – as they relate to disabled children and their families Practice, education and public awareness: Objective 3: Our research has promoted an interdisciplinary theorisation of disability, childhood, families and community. We will continue to work alongside inter/national impact partners to promote our findings. We are exciting by the potential to follow through the impact thus far through the following proposals: • (ESRC, pending) Big Society and young people with learning disabilities. • (FIRA, pending) Promoting good practice in relation to the adoption and fostering of disabled children Both of these bids were developed through ‘impact workshops’ where we brought together a number of non-academic, user and professional organisations to develop the aims, methodologies and applications of the research. This preparatory work has, in part, been primed by the ESRC emphasis on impact. Furthermore, connected findings of our ESRC project with the new SCOPE funded project ‘resilience in the lives of disabled people’ will allow further opportunities for identifying and promoting impacts in relation to policy, practice and public awareness (http://disability-resilience.posterous.com).

We did not anticipate, but were excited to be approached, to implement the two commissioned evaluations: Aiming High Parents Forum to evaluate Short Breaks. A meeting of the Local Authority Children and Younger Adults Senior Management Team Report minuted that this report was ‘valued and well received and to be encouraged and used in the commissioning process’. Evaluation of Oily Cart Theatre Company which works with disabled children and their families. This report has been used by the Company to secure Arts Council Funding. Nor did we expect to be brought directly into discussions and planning for the setting up of the new Centre of Excellence in Disability at UNIMAS, Malaysia. We had expertise and were able to find time within the project to complete this work and therefore extend the impact of the research.

Cite this outcome

Harvard

Goodley, Daniel and McLaughlin, Janice. Does Every Child Matter, Post-Blair? The interconnections of disabled childhoods: ESRC Impact Report, RES-062-23-1138. Swindon: ESRC

Vancouver

Goodley Daniel and McLaughlin Janice. Does Every Child Matter, Post-Blair? The interconnections of disabled childhoods: ESRC Impact Report, RES-062-23-1138. Swindon: ESRC.