Thank you for visiting our page to learn about the cause we're here to champion: Trauma-informed schooling.
Trauma-informed schooling is the answer to many of the issues we see in schools today. From high rates of exclusions to a plethora of children's mental health issues going unaddressed, many people are unsure how to respond to this mixture of crises and where the money is going to be found to do so.
The more you delve into these issues, the worse the picture seems to get. As a charity, we've researched the impact of childhood trauma for 24 years and we know from countless studies that adversities in children's past - and sometimes their present too - can strongly influence their day-to-day behaviour and mental health. Teachers and other staff can only do so much and, once you add in the strain of the pandemic and the restrictions that have come alongside it, this situation feels like it's only going in one direction.
But there is a way to make things better, effectively and without breaking the bank.
A school is trauma-informed when all of its staff understand what trauma is, how it impacts students' behaviour and how to react to it in a way that gets the best out of everyone. It's what happens when you take 21st Century science and bring it to the forefront of everyday practice.
This approach is being adopted across the UK with often astounding results. Recently, I conducted a research project where I interviewed headteachers across the country who had implemented it in their schools. Here are some of the results I came across:
- Oasis Academy Primary School, Manchester: In just ONE year, they managed to reduce their exclusions rate by 88%.
- The Key Education Centre, Hampshire: During the same year in which they reduced their exclusions rate by an amazing 81%, they also reduced the number of staff absences by 70% AT THE SAME TIME.
- St Cuthbert's Primary School, Blackburn with Darwen: Almost all of their pupils who had been identified as vulnerable made better progress after they started using this approach, with 51% making better than expected or even ACCELERATED progress.
And the great thing about all of this? Once the staff have been trained and supported to adopt this approach, it costs nothing more than their commitment to uphold. This is how we begin resolving these issues in a way that's going to last.
Many areas across the UK are already exploring or adopting this approach - which is fantastic! - but there are still countless others who have never even encountered it. We want to change that.
Our plan is to work with two enthusiastic schools in an area where this approach hasn't yet made its mark, supporting them to adopt this approach so they can go on to be the pioneers that inspire others to take their lead.
We believe our Trauma-informed training programme has the potential to inspire this change. Here are some of the comments we've received from schools we've worked with recently:
- "The training that came in the middle of the pandemic was timely and we have benefited with our children returning to school after lockdown. I can't imagine how our staff would have coped if they had not been trauma-informed trained with what has been the most unusual start to an academic year." (Serena Hemmings, Executive Headteacher at Castle Hill Academy)
- “Our school staff have benefited hugely from the high-quality training WAVE Trust have provided. Our school has adopted the phrase 'every interaction is an intervention'. The training we received from WAVE Trust definitely gave our staff more tools to use when responding to the behaviours we see on a daily basis, often challenging behaviours caused by trauma." (Andrew Cook, Acting Deputy Headteacher at Archbishop Tenison's Church of England High School)
- “We cannot recommend this training highly enough. All staff in all schools should receive it to support students and their communities.” (Elisabeth Dean, Assistant Principal at The Quest Academy)
Here's where you come in
If you would like to support our cause by pledging your share of Aviva's Community Fund to us, we would be very grateful to each and every one of you for your support.
But that's not all - for everyone who pledges funds, we also want you to tell us in the comment box which area YOU would like us to train these two schools in. Choose anywhere you wish in the UK and, after checking what areas have and haven't adopted this approach so far, we will choose one of the options from the list to work in. The more times a place gets mentioned, the greater a chance it has of being chosen.
Thank you once again for visiting our page and a big thank you to yourself and everyone at Aviva for giving us this opportunity.
Find out more about WAVE Trust's Trauma-informed training here: https://www.wavetrust.org/training-and-consultancy