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  • Publication
    An Exploration of the Conceptualisation and Assessment of Attainment for Pupils with Moderate to Profound Intellectual Disability
    (University College Dublin. School of Education, 2022) ;
    Educational attainment can be considered one of the overarching goals of the education system. For pupils with moderate to profound intellectual disabilities (MPID), there is a dearth of research on the conceptualisation and assessment of attainment. This doctoral research aimed to address the limited research available in this area. The first paper of this thesis, a systematic literature review, provides an overview of the theoretical frameworks and measures used to assess attainment for pupils with MPID in the research literature. The second paper, a qualitative empirical study, explores how attainment is conceptualised and assessed by seven school staff and two parents, in a special school setting in Ireland. The facilitators and barriers to assessment were also explored. Inductive reflexive thematic analysis (TA) highlighted participants’ understanding of attainment as a holistic concept as well as the importance of time and relationship in the assessment process, and the systemic challenges in accessing therapeutic supports and creating a consistent whole-school approach to assessment. Implications for the role of educational psychologists in supporting pupils with MPID are outlined.