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Attachment Aware Schools programme

The Attachment Aware Schools programme has transformed schools in their understanding and practice around attachment and trauma.

The programme was conceived and devised by Lizzie Watt, Assistant Headteacher and Dr Paul Kelly, Specialist Senior Educational Psychologist within the Virtual School in Derbyshire. It is now entering its fifth year and has involved 77 schools in the action research project.

The attachment aware schools programme was designed to:

  • improve the teaching and learning conditions for children in care and all vulnerable learners in schools and settings
  • help to reduce the need for exclusions in school
  • develop a supportive network of Derbyshire schools that have innovative and excellent practice around vulnerable learners
  • produce a portfolio of good practice examples and other resources to share across the whole of Derbyshire’s school community and beyond
  • raise awareness of the issues and needs around attachment and trauma
  • consolidate good working relations between the newly formed Virtual School and all Derbyshire schools
  • bring about a new community of schools working with action research as their driver for school development
Encourage pedagogical development – trialling new ways of working with vulnerable learners led by the Virtual School.