This dissertation is about how to help ensure that children considered to have special needs within the primary school context are enabled to overcome the difficulties they are facing. The premise of this dissertation is that this is most effectively achieved when the child, her teacher and her parents have a genuine role within the decision-making process concerning how to meet such needs. The functioning of the two key relationships in addressing these needs form the focus of this study. Specifically, these are the relationships between the child and her teacher, and her parents and her teacher. The literature relating to these relationships is explored. It seeks to blend the dual streams of literature relating to such relationships in the special needs context with that of the everyday relationships of primary school life. It explores the literature relating to the effect of the process of the Individual Education Plan on these relationships. It notes that the majority of such literature focuses on statemented children and often does not have a specific focus on the primary aged child at the earlier, school based stages of the Code of Practice (1994). This perceived "gap" in the research literature forms the rationale for the research study which follows. The research is within the practitioner-researcher tradition and is located withm the school that I am a teacher at. It is qualitative in nature with a focus on a detailed exploration of a small sample. It utilises an interview technique to gain its data. The study argues that while genuine involvement is often sought, and even presumed, the context of the primary school, the processes of special education and the attitudes of the participants to the relationships tend to result in the teacher retaining the dominant role within the decision making process. It also suggests that the process of the Individual Education Plan may have a somewhat different effect on functioning of the two relationships from that which is often described within the literature. The dissertation concludes by drawing out the factors which appear to determine whether such relationships are genuinely involving, or not. These are described. It then suggests one way in which the findings of the research may be practically applied to enhancing the quality of the two relationships which form the basis of this study and so ensure that the needs of the children within the primary school context are most effectively met
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