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Trauma Informed Practice

Since September 2022, Compass School has started to prepare to be a Trauma Informed School.

As such, all of our staff have now received basic training in Trauma Informed Practice to support our ongoing work with young people with additional staff receiving further training throughout 2022-2023 to build on this.

In addition, we have a member of staff who has completed the Trauma Informed Schools UK Diploma in 2023 – 2024. 

We also have staff members taking part in the Trauma Attachment Aware Educational Settings pilot run by the Virtual School

Trauma is a response to any event/s encountered as out of control, frightening experiences that disconnect us from all sense of resourcefulness, safety, coping and/or love (Tara Brach, 2011

Trauma is an emotional response to a painful and shocking event where there was no one there to help you with what was happening at the time


The impact of Trauma on a child’s readiness and ability to learn can take several forms:

·      Trauma can have an impact on young people’s ability to have positive relationships, their self-esteem and regulation of their behaviour,

·      Trauma can replace social engagement and development with defensive behaviours

·      Trauma can hinder a young person’s capacity to learn


All schools have children who have experienced trauma and schools and the staff in them play a vital role in supporting all children.


Lockdown and COVID-19 as a Traumatic Experience:

More recently all young people have experienced the COVID 19 pandemic and lockdowns.

This has affected them in various ways including:

·      Sudden, unwanted change over which they had no control

·      The reliable and predictable routine of everyday life changed suddenly

·      The experience of isolation

·      The feelings of loss of friendships / absence of social times

·      The lack of significant relationships with adults

·      The loss of routine, structure, order and safety

·      The loss of freedom to act and make decisions

·      Unable to mark milestones

·      The experience of bereavement

·      The experience of uncertainty

·      The experiencing of dysregulation


From Secure to Insecure Attachment:

Even young people with experience of secure relationships and an internal understanding of the world as a safe, inviting and predictable place will be affected by the impact of COVID 19.

Those young people with patterns of attachment that are anxious or avoidant will have their internal understanding of the world confirmed and will be greater affected. It will have confirmed their thoughts of the world as not being a safe place, that others cannot be relied upon to help me and that have to manage by myself.


Trauma and Mental Health Informed Training:

We now have the evidence base showing that it’s relational interventions that change and improve children’s lives.

A whole school approach is essential - so that we are all working together to improve everyone’s mental health and well- being.