I am continually appalled at the lack of progress in the education system understanding the needs of vulnerable children and young people. It’s been 15 years since I started working in this field and whilst the neuroscience has moved on, many more organisations are providing trauma informed training and resources, adoption practice has improved BUT the education system seems to be ignoring these advances.
This week some messages were delivered under the banner of DfE’s Behaviour in Schools through a webinar delivered by Tom Bennett OBE – Lead Behaviour Advisor. It focused again on the traditional models of behaviour modification and seems to have totally disregarded current thinking around restorative practices and meeting the needs of vulnerable children and young people.
No better way of saying this is through the rebuttal from a consultancy group that I am associated with Trauma Informed Consultancy Services (TICS). Lisa Cherry, the founder, and many other associates contributed to this, and I think it’s well worth a read and considering the ramifications in our schools.
It is something I’m also seeing constantly whilst working with adopters and the fallout of these antiquated systems on our children. Another two-day exclusion for a child in year 2 today, no alternative provision available for another in year 10 this week and constant focusing on rewards and sanctions to the detriment of children’s trauma responses to loss for many families this month.
As I look back over these 15 years I am amazed (not in a good way) that we seem to have not moved on or made enough progress in this area. What will it take for the people in authority to take notice and think that a different approach is needed?
So, look at the rebuttal from TICS and here’s some old blogs I wrote and some of them over 10 years ago!! Use them as you will.
If you are a parent struggling, then try to build on those relationships you are making in your children’s schools and point them in the direction of these blogs. If you are a school and are working very hard to change this (as I know many are) then please accept our appreciation and gratitude for what you are doing in going against the flow.
If you are a school who is struggling to know how to meet the needs of some of your children, then we do onsite observations which help to gain specific knowledge and strategies. During December and January, I have a few slots left to come of visit your school. I will be sending out more information on this shortly.