New Schools' Training Certificate to demonstrate commitment to Attachment-based practice

Following the introdution of new Statutory Guidance for Designated Teachers earlier this year, KCA are now able to offer schools certificates to verify they have received training on attachment. KCA have always provided individual certificates for participants, but the new guidance means that many more schools have expressed to us that they are actively wanting to demonstrate their commitment to developing attachment-based practice. The new certificates will help schools to be able to show simply and clearly that they have received training with the requisite learning outcomes also noted.

For more information please contact KCA on 01453 488400 or

KCA appoints Jonathan Rallings as new Managing Director

KCA has welcomed Jonathan Rallings as its new Managing Director. Jon brings a wealth of experience from a range of roles in the public and voluntary sector - including at NSPCC, Pre-School Learning Alliance and London Councils. Most recently he has led on rolling out KCA's Five to Thrive into services UK-wide whilst Assistant Director for Strategy at Barnardo's.

Jon takes up his post at KCA on Monday 8 January 2018.

KCA announces conference for 2018

KCA today announced that it will be running a new conference for school leaders which will be taking place in February 2018. The conference - entitled 'Courageous Leadership' - will be taking place on 28 February in Reading.

For more details about the programme, speakers and to book a place please visit the open courses page on our website.

Attachment Research Community launch conference kick-starts important new initiative

The inaugural conference of the Attachment Research Community at Birmingham's NEC took place on Wednesday 7 December, and KCA was happy to be a part of it.

Around 180 enthusiastic delegates warmly welcomed the launch of this new sector-led initiative which will facilitate and share action research into those attachment-aware, trauma-informed and neuroscience-based interventions which work best for children.

Kate Cairns spoke about the Harvard model of 'co-creation' saying, 'Practice develops best when the people who are doing it are the ones who actually develop it.' You can read more on this here, an interview with Kate published in Nursery World on 12 December.

John Timpson CBE announced that he will be funding five years of research into fostering and education at the Rees Centre; Dr Janet Rose spoke about 'the zone of tolerable stress'; school practitioners celebrated the fantastic work they have been doing in bringing attachment awareness into practice in their schools; and researchers from Bath Spa University shared their findings which indicate that attachment-aware practice improves pupil attainment as well as emotional health and wellbeing.

Tony Clifford, Head of the Virtual School closed the conference with a rallying cry: 'This is a call to arms - the arms that we extend out to support children when they are in need of connection.'

From January 2017, professional organisations which are delivering attachment-aware and trauma-informed interventions with children will be able to sign up to become members of the ARC. Member organisations will have access to a specially designed web platform which will support them to conduct action research within their settings and share it across a community of like-minded organisations delivering children's services nationally and internationally.

You can learn more at, find it on Facebook @attachmentresearch or follow it on Twitter @attachmentrc

Barnardo's Early Intervention with Families Strategy

To date, eighty-two KCA training events have been delivered as part of the Barnardo's three-year Early Intervention with Families Strategy. This means that we have trained over 1,800 Barnardo's staff!

The training was jointly delivered with Barnardo's Training and Consultancy, and the courses have been overwhelmingly well received by staff: 94% of post-training respondents said they would recommend this training to others.

We now look forward to delivering more training in the third year of the strategy and to working even more closely with Barnardo's services across the UK as they begin to use Five to Thrive in practice.

Barnardo's rolls out Five to Thrive

Barnardo's are rolling out Five to Thrive training across the country as part of their Early Intervention strategy. Following the successful completion of Phase One of the initiative, 300 Early Years services are to receive training in the principles of Five to Thrive.

Assistant Director for Strategy at Barnardo's, Jonathan Rallings, said "The Five to Thrive approach will be complementary to the existing Barnardo's Early Years work. It will provide our family support staff with new ways of emphasising to parents the importance of their interactions with their baby, and the difference they can make to their child's life."

"In making our choice of [training] programme, we carried out a full assessment of a number of products on the open market of which Five to Thrive was felt to be the best fit for Barnardo's based on a number of criteria including cost, flexibility and focus."

Evaluation of My Baby's Brain confirms Five to Thrive makes a highly positive contribution

The evaluation of phase two of Hertfordshire's 'My Baby's Brain' project confirmed that Five to Thrive and the contributions made by KCA have an impact and are cost-effective.

Both the resources and training that make up KCA's Five to Thrive approach are now being considered by many Local Authorities and Health Trusts as an essential model to underpin work across children's services.

Initial Teacher Training to include attachment awareness?

A meeting was held today at the headquarters of Teach First in London to consider how Initial Teacher Training might be extended to include understanding of attachment and developmental trauma.

The meeting saw representatives from the Department for Education, National College for Teaching and Leadership, UCET and NASBTT, Teach First, Bath Spa University, The Teaching School Alliance, the National Association of Virtual School Head and KCA discuss these training needs. There was consensus that the neuroscience is compelling, and an understanding of these issues is essential knowledge for all who work with children.

Sally Poskett commented that "It is fantastic to see this important area of work now on the agenda for Initial Teacher Training. We look forward to seeing how this develops, and to contributing in whichever ways prove useful."

CYP Now Outcomes Conference

Our Training Director, Kate Cairns, presented on Five to Thrive at the 2014 CYP Now Outcomes conference. Chaired by Anita Tiessen (UNICEF UK) and John Freeman, the conference was very well attended by senior leaders, managers and practitioners from across the public and private sectors.