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Department of Education

Research projects

Attachment and trauma awareness: good practice in local authorities

It is increasingly understood that traumatic experiences in childhood can have a profound and long-lasting impact on a young person’s ability to engage successfully in school.

The last ten years have seen the growth of a bottom-up movement within schools, variously referred to as ‘attachment-aware’ or ‘trauma-informed’.  These schools have begun to take steps to recognise that a proportion of their pupils will be contending with a legacy of trauma or unmet attachment needs, leading to whole school innovations in ethos, policies and everyday practices.  In some cases, these developments are actively supported by the local authority through training, advice and research.

The aim of this study, which is funded by the Hadley Trust, is to work with three local authorities who are leading in this space to explore and capture the good practice that they have developed.  The three local authorities that we will be working with are Derbyshire, Islington and Kirklees.  The principal output from the study will be a suite of materials that will be shared widely with local authorities, national policymakers and other stakeholders.

Former team member: Neil Harrison

Research Team

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