We report development of the SPQ (School Participation Questionnaire) a teacher-completed measure of participation related constructs for schools. The SPQ was developed to support participation-related assessment, interventions, and research in the inclusive school context.
Several iterative steps were undertaken. An international panel of experts reviewed content validity. A 66-item pilot questionnaire was administered in schools. Mokken and Rasch model analysis were applied. Internal consistency was assessed using Cronbach’s alpha. Analyses were conducted on associations with teacher and child demographic variables. Feedback was sourced from users. Participants were teachers of 101 children (5−12 years old) with a range of disabilities, including intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder and learning difficulties.
Four participation-related dimensions of the SPQ were confirmed. Rasch person and item reliability were good, and 2–4 strata were confirmed per scale. Internal consistency was good (all scales, Cronbach α > 0.8). Mean administration time was 11.7 min. Mean SPQ scores were independent of teacher characteristics. A significant effect of school support level, eligibility for free school meals and gender was found. Through synthesising analytic results and feedback, a new 46-item tool was obtained.
The results of this study provide evidence of acceptability, practicality and validity. The SPQ is the first tool developed to assess participation related constructs in schools, and it contains novel information not given by other assessments. The SPQ may be used by practitioners and researchers to understand and improve the participation of children with a range of disabilities in schools.