Building resilient communities for all

KCA works with practitioners in a range of educational settings and organisations including primary schools, secondary schools, colleges, multi-agency academies, Virtual Schools, and Special Educational Needs settings.

'Those who are nurtured survive best. It turns out that our emotional resilience and our ability to learn are inextricably interwoven.'

Louis Cozolino, The Social Neuroscience of Education: Optimizing Attachment and Learning in the Classroom

The need

Schools, colleges and academies are busy places filled with a wonderfully diverse range of individuals, some of whom have experienced significant adversity or who have complex needs, and some of whom are simply growing up in stressful or unsupportive environments at times. This can have an impact on mental health, behaviour and learning for many students, and also on the wellbeing of staff.

The task of ensuring that the most vulnerable children and young people receive the services and support they need has become a legal responsibility yet, at the same time, schools are under immense pressure to raise academic standards. This pressure, coupled with supporting children who have faced significant adversity in their life, can impact on staff wellbeing and performance with the risk of secondary trauma being increased.

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'As a mentor for a lot of children with trauma, this training has helped us as a team to form some action plans on how we can move forward to support these children and staff.'

Participant, Knowsley – School-based training (Dec 2020)

Our support

KCA works with settings and practitioners to increase their confidence to support children and young people, especially the most vulnerable, to feel engaged with their learning, and to manage their emotions. We work with practitioners to develop attachment-aware and trauma-informed practice, and support them to understand the neuroscience of challenging behaviour, and thus how most effectively to deal with this and build lifelong regulatory skills in the children and young people with whom they work. We support settings to embed this knowledge base throughout their community, from students to parents, and from staff supervision to policy documents.

When we embark on a partnership with a school, college, or a group of practitioners (for example, Designated Teachers or SENCO’s), we begin by meeting with members of the staff team to discuss the needs of their community and then we co-creatively design a learning journey comprised of suitable and effective inputs that will address these needs and have impact, at both individual level and whole school / setting level. Our approach is bespoke for each setting / group of practitioners and our learning journeys may include whole staff inputs, smaller group sessions and consultancy sessions, in addition to the e-learning and practice tools that we offer.

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'Would recommend that anyone and everyone in a school type setting would benefit from the training. Especially from such a passionate insightful individual.'

Participant feedback attending school-based training, Sept 2019

Our training and consultancy offers key knowledge to support practice in the education sector, including:

  • Building and maintaining community resilience
  • The impact of toxic stress and trauma
  • Emotion Coaching
  • Staff wellbeing - preventing and managing secondary trauma

We welcome co-creative discussion around most effective ways of spending available budgets that will have greatest impact on the children and young people.

International Schools

Read more about how we work with International Schools.

Virtual Schools

Learn more about how KCA works with Virtual Schools and watch our video input to this year's National Association Of Virtual School Heads (NAVSH) conference here.

The greatest hope for traumatised, abused and neglected children is to receive a good education in schools where they are seen and known, where they can learn to regulate themselves, and where they can develop a sense of agency. At their best, schools can function as islands of safety in a chaotic world.

As long as we feel safely held in the hearts and minds of people who love us we will climb mountains, cross deserts and stay up all night to finish projects. Children and adults will do anything for people they trust and whose opinion they value.

Bessel Van Der Kolk, The Body Keeps The Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma

Example Learning Journeys

Once we have a clear understanding of the training needs and the target audience, we will develop a learning journey that offers the best fit in terms of cost, target audience and practice development.