An exploration of practice in the coproduction of services with children and young people

UoM administered thesis: Doctor of Educational and Child Psychology

  • Authors:
  • Naomi Boswell


Background 'Co-production' is advocated within legislation outlining children and young people's (CYP) right to be heard and to take part in the development of the services they use. Yet little is known about how to engage CYP in co-production successfully. This thesis examines the potential role of educational psychologists (EPs) in both advocating co-production endeavours and co-producing educational psychology services with CYP. Methods and participants A systematic literature review (SLR) sought to identify facilitators and barriers to co-producing with CYP within the existing literature. Seven papers, published between 2014-2019 were identified and evaluated for methodological quality, appropriateness, and relevance of focus. An empirical investigation, utilising the RADIO action research model, was conducted within a north-west local authority educational psychology service (EPS). Focus groups, drawing and mapping exercises presented what is important to CYP when working with EPs. Regular meetings between a representative CYP and the EPS supported CYP's ideas to be incorporated into service development. Analysis and findings The SLR identified a range of facilitators and barriers for consideration when co-producing services. Leadership support, transport, and support to attend meetings were found to support co-production to be successful, along with flexibility to share ideas using creative methods chosen by CYP. The empirical investigation identified what CYP want when working with and/or receiving services from EPs. CYP and EPs reported experiences that provide evidence on what is essential to allow co-production to be successful but also the challenges when coproducing services. Conclusion and implications This thesis bridges theory and practice through its empirical co-production endeavour. The application of co-production to other educational services is considered. Dissemination is considered in detail, along with the concepts of evidence-based practice and practice-based evidence, ensuring a strategy that is viable and meaningful in encouraging further coproduction endeavours within the EP community and beyond.


Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Award date31 Dec 2021