Wolverhampton Trauma Informed Attachment Aware Schools

The prevalence of children who have experienced trauma has been shown to be around 1 in 3. The known impact of experiencing trauma in childhood is well established with a growing evidence-base, and the impact can be seen daily in our schools, with children who find it difficult to regulate emotions and handle stressful situations and focus and learn.

Wolverhampton Educational Psychology Service (EPS) and Wolverhampton Virtual School (VS) are excited to launch the Trauma Informed Attachment Aware Schools (TIAAS) project. Here you can find key information about what trauma informed practice is, how it could benefit your setting, and how the Wolverhampton TIAAS project support your journey to embedding trauma informed practice within your setting.

A school where:

  • Practice, policies and procedures are guided by an understanding of the impact of trauma on a child’s development and behaviour and are rooted in relational approaches.
  • Staff recognise signs of trauma and understand the impact this can have a child’s development, learning and behaviour.
  • Staff understand that all behaviour is a form of communication and respond in a way that recognises the child’s need.
  • Staff are confident in managing behaviour through restorative practices, co-regulation and Emotion Coaching. Connection and relationships are prioritised.
  • There is an environment where children and young people feel safe and feel a sense of belonging and connection with the school community.
  • The curriculum supports students to understand and regulate their emotions and resists re-traumatisation.

A trauma-informed attachment aware approach could lead to benefits such as:

  • Calmer school environment
  • Improved relationships with pupils and parents
  • Improved attendance and pupil engagement
  • Reduction in exclusions
  • Positive impact on staff confidence
  • Fewer sanctions used, particularly with vulnerable pupils

(Timpson Attachment and Trauma Awareness in School Project, 2021)

The Wolverhampton TIAAS project offers support to settings on their trauma informed journey, recognising that all settings are at different stages. This project aims to empower settings to become trauma informed and attachment aware, fostering a supportive environment, promoting connection and relationships, to support students' holistic wellbeing.

If required, settings can access whole-setting training on Trauma and Attachment and Emotion Coaching through AC Education which is commissioned through Wolverhampton Virtual School. Find out more (PDF 165kb)

The TIAAS project includes:

  • EP support and guidance, (4 days of support over the first 12 months) to support your journey to becoming a trauma-informed, attachment aware setting.
  • Support to evaluate your current practice, strengths and areas for development.
  • Collection and analysis of key information and data through an audit, staff surveys, parent and pupil focus groups and setting ‘trauma informed walk throughs’
  • Facilitation of a Development Plan for your setting for the next 12 months, reviewed together each term. Settings will be supported to meet criteria to gain certification as a bronze, silver or gold TIAAS.

In April 2024 we had 14 settings from across the city who were involved in our TIAAS pilot project and these included mainstream primary and secondary schools, nursery settings and specialist settings. We are keen to support as many settings as possible.

 

Some useful links:

Mind: What is trauma?
YoungMinds – Video on How do I talk about trauma?: Understanding trauma and adversity
UK Trauma Council
ACAMH: ACEs - Adverse Childhood Experiences
West Midlands Violence Reduction Partnership - Regional training: 63 Upcoming Activities and Tickets

 

If you would like to find out more about our TIAAS Project contact Senior Educational Psychologist Dr Sarah Pryce at sarah.pryce@wolverhampton.gov.uk

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