Learning from an AP referral panel

People might wonder why trauma informed practice is such a passion for me, and why I can’t help but react when it’s dismissed as somehow anti-discipline or dangerous by those who are too entrenched in their behaviourist positions to even find out about it. (I refer here to England’s expert advisor on behaviour & hisContinue reading “Learning from an AP referral panel”

How can we support traumatised refugees in school?

Whilst the plight of Ukraine children has inspired a groundswell of compassion and school leaders are absolutely committed to welcoming refugees into the sanctuary of their schools, many are expressing concern about whether they will have the resources required to adequately meet the needs of those traumatised by their experiences. With CAMHS waiting times anContinue reading “How can we support traumatised refugees in school?”

“I was asked to be a prefect. I actually cried.” Learning from a transformative managed move.

Expertly and compassionately handled, the managed move can transform the life-chances of vulnerable young people but, as in all things, there is a spectrum of practice and safe transition onto the roll of the new school is far from guaranteed. With every school move, every social and educational disruption, the pupil’s odds of positive outcomesContinue reading ““I was asked to be a prefect. I actually cried.” Learning from a transformative managed move.”

Six ways to improve managed moves

This is the introduction to a longer post (yet to be written!) about how we might improve the poor outcomes of those predominantly disadvantaged and vulnerable pupils who experience managed moves. According to research undertaken by Dave Thomson at the FFT, only 17% of managed move pupils achieved 4-9 in English and Maths in 2019,Continue reading “Six ways to improve managed moves”

Trauma-informed practice. Where do I start?

The short answer to this is with Dr. Bruce Perry’s reversed triangle diagram of the brain, the implications of which need to be understood by all staff, if schools are to meet the greatest challenge of the day: securing the wellbeing of our children. Perry summarises the model in ‘The Boy who was Raised asContinue reading “Trauma-informed practice. Where do I start?”

Opening the can of worms & fear of trauma informed practice

To open a can of worms is to attempt to solve a problem only to inadvertently complicate it and create even more trouble. The metaphor refers to fishing – the tendency of live bait to wriggle loose from any open container, creating a messy issue for the angler. The idiom is used to describe uncontrollableContinue reading “Opening the can of worms & fear of trauma informed practice”

Settling back to learning in September – how leaders can create the conditions

Many teachers will be feeling apprehensive about their ability to settle classes in September; fretful dreams about losing control will be disturbing sleep, amplified this year because of the unchartered waters that lie ahead. For all of leaders’ planning, and their re-planning following eleventh hour DfE guidance, September is a step into the unknown forContinue reading “Settling back to learning in September – how leaders can create the conditions”

Punished for being remarkable – A level results, 2020

“It wasn’t too bad Miss!” That’s the kind of feedback we want from our A level students after a terminal exam. It’s a sign they’ve fulfilled their potential, the breadth and depth of which we know intimately by now. Mercifully, it’s also what we hear most of the time, or words to that effect, becauseContinue reading “Punished for being remarkable – A level results, 2020”

Preventing anxiety-based school refusal: a guide to working with children and families

Contents Foreword What is school-based anxiety? The purpose of this advice Identifying the cohort at risk Guidance for pastoral leads Guidance for parents/carers Guidance for children and young people Foreword This guidance draws heavily on comprehensive advice from Babcock EP service which you can read in full here. It doesn’t attempt to cover in any explicitContinue reading “Preventing anxiety-based school refusal: a guide to working with children and families”

Meeting the challenge of school refusal, post lockdown

School leaders will already be thinking about pupils who may struggle to return, post lockdown, or whose attendance will be a concern. Within some very good guidance to improve school attendance, Milton Keynes psychology service identify common triggers for school refusal as follows: Transition between primary and secondary education Loss or bereavement within the family AContinue reading “Meeting the challenge of school refusal, post lockdown”