With a Little Help from my Friends: ‘Circle of Friends’ – supporting children and young people with additional support in Scotland’s mainstream schools

This mixed method research focused on the knowledge and experiences of parents and their children, with learning disabilities, about ‘The Circle of Friends,’ approach and its potential to improve the experiences of the children excluded from the mainstream educational setting.

  • Theme: Achieving long-term outcomes and making a difference to lived experiences
  • Strength: Promising
  • Breadth of Impact: Robust
  • Status: Referred
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This mixed method research focused on the knowledge and experiences of parents and their children, with learning disabilities, about ‘The Circle of Friends,’ approach and its potential to improve the experiences of the children excluded from the mainstream educational setting.

They found the Circle of Friends approach helped children and young people to achieve some of their outcomes in mainstream schools, but that schools must be willing to embrace the idea and lead the way in making this approach a reality. The key is the partnership work of the parents and the schools.

This grey literature was appraised using a validated checklist. The AACODS checklist provides guidance when dealing with diverse formats of grey literature (Tyndall, 2010). AACODS includes the following items: Authority (who is responsible for the intellectual content) – Accuracy – Coverage (parameters which define the content coverage i.e., reference to a particular population group, or certain type of publication) – Objectivity (identify bias, if it is unstated or unacknowledged) – Date (that confirms relevance of information)- Significance (value judgment in the context of the relevant research area). The checklist can be used for any discipline area and prioritises expert opinion and expertise over source format (Tyndall, 2010).