As part of our collaboration with the National College for Teaching and Leadership, we have made some of our training materials available.



Why do we need attachment aware schools?

Introduction  - A scripted piece which can be used from early years to secondary settings, showing an early years aged child/children.

Maggie Atkinson (Children's Commissioner for England) - Outlines why it is important for teachers to know about attachment issues.

Robin Balbernie (Clinical Psychologist) - Introduction to attachment theory and spectrum of needs.

Mike Gorman - Outlines why it is important for teachers to know about attachment issues.

Louise Bomber (Attachment disorder specialist) - Impact of trauma on children in schools, why schools need to be attachment aware.

Jeremy Holmes - The neuroscience of attachment (including the amygdala/frontal lobe development, mirror neurons and vagal tone). 

How do we create an attachment aware school?

Keith Ford (Primary Head Teacher) - A whole school approach - the nurturing school.

Peter Elfer - Early Years attachment and the Key Adult, including why nursery and early years settings need to be attachment aware.

Louise Bomber - Key features of an attachment aware school.

Felicia Wood (Secondary School Teacher) - The importance of consistency in the school's approach. 

Making a difference through everyday practice 

Clare Langhorn (Head teacher of Special Educational Needs school) - A whole school approach, the difference in her school when it became attachment aware for her staff and students.

Adam Crockett - The child/young person's insights (the need for attachment-like relationships).

Paul and Caroline Hicks - How parents and carers can be involved and supported.

Felicia Wood - The Key Adult/Attachment Lead.

Peter Elfer - The Key Adult approach, an overview of how it promotes attachment.

James Beattie (Play specialist) - How specialist agencies can work with schools.

Heidi Limbert (Health Visitor/Children's Centre Manager, Somer Valley) - How can partner agencies work with schools, particularly Health Visitors and Children's Centres.

Niki Smith (Senior Social Work Practitioner) - How specialist agencies can work with schools. 

Closing Summary

Why attachment makes a difference.

We would like to thank Louise Bombèr for her contribution to the opening and closing film sequences. 



Key Documents

Key Government Reports


  • Allen. G. (2011) Early intervention: the next steps: an independent report to HM Government. London: The Cabinet Office. Ansari, D.,Coch, D. and De Smedt, B. (2011) Connecting education and cognitive neuroscience: Where willthe journey take us? Educational Philosophy and Theory, 43(1), 37-42.

  • Balbernie, R. (2001) Circuits and circumstances: The neurobiological consequences of early relationship experiences and how they shape later behaviour, Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 27, 237-255.

  • Bergin, C. and Bergin, D. (2009) Attachment in the Classroom. Educational Psychology Review, 21, 141-170.

  • Bomber, L. (2007) Inside I’m Hurting: Practical Strategies for Supporting Children with Attachment Difficulties in Schools. London: Worth.

  • Bowlby, J. (1988) A Secure Base: Parent-Child Attachment and Healthy Human Development. London: Routledge

  • C4EO (2010) Narrowing the gap in educational achievement and improving emotional resilience for children and young people with additional needs. London: Centre for Excellence and Outcomes in Children and Young People’s Services.

  • Cairns K. and Stanway C. (2004) Learn the Child: helping looked after children to learn. London: British Association for Adoption and Fostering.

  • Cairns, K. (2006) Attachment, Trauma and Resilience. London: BAAF.

  • Chen, F.M., Hsiao, S.L. and Chun, H.L. (2011) The Role of Emotion in Parent-Child Relationships: Children’s Emotionality, Maternal Meta-Emotion, and Children’s Attachment Security. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 21, 403-410.

  • Clarke, L., Ungerer, J., Chahoud, K., Johnson, S. and Stiefel, I. (2002) Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is associated with attachment insecurity. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 7.2, 1359-1045.

  • Coe, R. (2013) Improving education: A triumph of hope over experience. Durham University: Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring.

  • Commodari, E. (2013) Preschool teacher attachment, school readiness and risk of learning difficulties Early Childhood Research Quarterly , 28, 123– 133.

  • Cozolino, L. (2013). The social neuroscience of education: Optimizing attachment and learning in the classroom. London: Norton & Co.

  • Cunningham, J. N., Kliewer, W. and Garnder, P. W. (2009). Emotion socialization, child emotion understanding and regulation, and adjustment in urban African American families: Differential associations across child gender. Development and Psychopathology, 21, 261-283.

  • DoH (2015) Future in mind. Promoting, protecting and improving our children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing.

  • Davis, H. (2003) Conceptualizing the role and influence of student–teacher relationships on children’s social and cognitive development. Educational Psychologist, 38, 207–234.

  • Driscoll, K. and Pianta, R.C. (2010) Banking Time in Head Start: Early efficacy of an intervention designed to promote supportive teacher-child relationships. Early Education and Development, 21.1, 38–27.

  • Dunsmore, J. C., Booker, J. A., & Ollendick, T. H. (2012). Parental emotion coaching and child emotion regulation as protective factors for children with oppositional defiant disorder. Social Development, 22, 444–466.

  • Ellis, B.H., Alisic, E., Reiss, A., Dishion, T. and Fisher, P.A. (2014) Emotion Regulation Among Preschoolers on a Continuum of Risk: The Role of Maternal Emotion Coaching. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 23,965–974.

  • Ferguson, G. and Takane, Y. (1989) Statistical Analysis in Psychology and Education. New York: McGraw-Hill.

  • Fullan, M. (2005) Leadership & sustainability: Systems thinkers in action. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

  • Furnivall, J., McKenna, M., McFarlane, S. and Grant, E. (2012) Attachment Matters for All – An Attachment Mapping Exercise for Children’s Services in Scotland. Centre for Excellence in Looked After Children in Scotland.

  • Geddes, H. (2006) Attachment in the Classroom. The links between children’s early emotional wellbeing and performance in school. London: Worth.

  • Gilbert, L., Rose, J. and McGuire-Sniekus, R. (2014) Promoting children’s well-being and sustainable citizenship through emotion coaching. In Thomas, M. (Ed), A Child’s World: Working together for a better future. Aberystwyth: Aberystwyth Press.

  • Goodman, R. (2001) Psychometric properties of the strengths and difficulties questionnaire. Journal of the American Academy of Childhood and Adolescent Psychiatry, 40 (11), 1337-1345.

  • Gottman, J., Katz, L. and Hooven, C. (1996) Parental Meta-Emotion Philosophy and the Emotional Life of Families: Theoretical Models and Preliminary Data. Journal of Family Psychology, 10 (3) 243-268.

  • Gottman, J.M. et al. (1997) Meta-emotion: how families communicate emotionally. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

  • Greenhalgh, P. (1994) Emotional Growth and Learning. London: Routledge.

  • Gus, L., Rose, J. and Gilbert, L. (2015) Emotion Coaching: a universal strategy for supporting and promoting sustainable emotional and behavioural well-being. Journal of Educational and Child Psychology, 32.1, 31-41.

  • Hart, R. (2010) Classroom behaviour management: Educational psychologists’ views on effective practice. Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties, 15, 353–371.

  • Havighurst, S. S., Wilson, K. R., Harley, A. E., and Prior, M. R. (2009) Tuning in to Kids: An emotion-focused parenting program – initial findings from a community trial. Journal of Community Psychology, 37, 1008-1023.

  • Havighurst, S. S., Wilson, K. R., Harley, A. E., Kehoe, C., Efron, D. and Prior, M. R. (2012) Tuning into kids:Reducing young children’s behaviour problems using an emotion coaching parenting program. Journal of Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 43, 247-264.

  • Havighurst, S. S., Wilson, K. R., Harley, A. E., Prior, M. R. and Kehoe, C. (2010) Tuning in to kids: Improving emotion socialization practices in parents of preschool children – findings from a community trial. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 51, 1342-1350.

  • Holmes J (1993) John Bowlby and attachment theory. London: Routledge.

  • Howard-Jones, P. (2014) Evolutionary perspectives on mind, brain and education. Mind, Brain and Education, 8, 21-32.

  • Hruby, G. (2012) Three requirements for justifying an educational neuroscience. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 82, 1-23.

  • Katz, L.F., Maliken, A. C. and Stettler, N. M. (2012) Parental Meta-Emotion Philosophy: A Review of Research and Theoretical Framework. Child Development Perspectives, 6.4, 417-422.

  • Katz, L.F., Hunter, E. and Klowden, A. (2008) Intimate partner violence and children’s reaction to peer provocation; The moderating role of emotion coaching. Journal of Family Psychology, 22.4, 614-21.

  • Katz, L.F. and Windecker-Nelson, B. (2004) Parental meta-emotion philosophy in families with conduct problem children: Links with peer relations. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 32.4, 385-98.

  • Katz, L.F. and Hunter, E.C. (2007). Maternal meta-emotion philosophy and adolescent depressive symptomatology. Social Development, 16, 343–360.

  • Kehoe, C., Havighurst, S. and Harley, A. (2014) Tuning in to Teens: Improving Parent Emotion Socialization to Reduce Youth Internalizing Difficulties. Social Devlopment, 23 (2), 413-431. DOI: 10.1111/sode.12060

  • Kennedy, B.L. (2008) Educating students with insecure attachment histories: toward an interdisciplinary theoretical framework. Pastoral Care in Education, 26(4), 211-230.

  • Kennedy, J.H. and Kennedy, C.E. (2004) Attachment Theory: Implications for school psychology. Psychology in the Schools, 41(2), 247-259.

  • Kohlrieser, G. (2012) Care to Dare: Unleashing Astonishing Potential Through Secure Base Leadership. San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons.

  • Marmot, M. (2010). Fair society, healthy lives. The Marmot review Executive Summary. London: The Marmot Review.

  • Meltzer, H., Gatward, R., Goodman, R. and Ford, F. (2000) Mental health of children and adolescents in Great Britain. London: The Stationery Office.

  • Mertens, D. M. (2010) Research and Evaluation in Education and Psychology: Integrating Diversity with Quantitative, Qualitative and Mixed Methods, 3rd Edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

  • Miles, M. B. and Huberman, A. M. (1994) Qualitative Data Analysis (2nd Ed) Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

  • Moss, E., and St-Laurent, D. (2001) Attachment at school age and academic performance. Developmental Psychology, 37, 863-874.

  • Murphy, J., Havighurst, S. and Kehoe, C. (forthcoming) ‘Trauma-focused Tuning in to Kids’, Journal of Traumatic Stress. Nagel, M. (2009) Mind the Mind: Understanding the links between stress, emotional well-being and learning in educational contexts. International Journal of Learning, 16(2), 33-42.

  • NICE (2015) Children’s attachment: attachment in children and young people who are adopted from care, in care or at high risk of going into care. NICE Guidelines (NG26).NSCDC (2012) The Science of neglect: The persistent absence of responsive care disrupts the developing brain: working paper 12. [Online]. Available at: http://www.developingchild.harvard.edu Matthews, B. (2006) Engaging Education: Developing Emotional Literacy, Equity and Co-education.

  • Berkshire: Open UP.O’Connor, M. and Russell, A. (2004) Identifying the incidence of psychological trauma and post-trauma symptoms in children. Clackmannanshire: Clackmannanshire Council Psychological Service

  • Parker, R., Rose, J. and Gilbert, L. (2016) Attachment Aware Schools – an alternative to the behaviourist paradigm. In Noddings, N. and Lees, H. (Eds) The International Handbook of Alternative Education. London:Palgrave.

  • Pianta, R. C. (Ed.) (1992) Beyond the parent: The role of other adults in children’s lives. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.

  • Porges, S. W. (2011) The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological Foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-regulation (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology). New York: Norton &Company.

  • Riley, P. (2009) An adult attachment perspective on the student-teacher relationship and classroom management difficulties. Teaching and Teacher Education, 25, 626-635

  • Rose, J. (2015) Attachment Aware Schools – preliminary pilot findings. Institute for Recovery from Child Trauma, Best Practice Forum. House of Lords, May 2014.

  • Rose, J. and McGuire-Snieckus, R. (2014) Independent Impact Evaluation Report Brighter Futures and Bath Primary Partnership: an early intervention project to improve outcomes for vulnerable children. Bath: Institute for Education, Bath Spa University.

  • Rose, J., McGuire-Snieckus, R. and Wood, F. (2015a) Independent Impact Evaluation Report of Brighter Futures Nurture Outreach Service. Bath: Institute for Education, Bath Spa University.

  • Rose, J. McGuire-Sniekus, R. and Gilbert, L., (2015b) Emotion coaching – A strategy for promoting behavioural self-regulation in children/young people in schools: A pilot study. European Journal of Social and Behavioural Sciences, 13, 1766-1790.

  • Rose, J Gilbert, L., McGuire-Snieckus, R. and Wood, F. (forthcoming) Attachment Aware Schools: A pilot study. Rose, J., McGuire-Snieckus, R. and Gilbert, L. (2016) Attachment Aware Schools: A pilot study. Paper presented at the American Education Research Association Conference, Washington DC, April 2016.

  • Rose, J., Gilbert, L. and Smith, H. (2012) Affective teaching and the affective dimensions of learning. In Ward, S. (Ed.), A pupil’s guide to education studies. London: Routledge.

  • Sebba, J., Berridge, D., Luke, N., Fletcher, J., Bell, K., Strand, S., Thomas, S., Sinclair, I. and O’Higgins, A. (2015) The Educational Progress of Looked After Children in England: Linking Care and Educational Data. Oxford: Rees Centre.

  • Shaffer, H.R. (2004) Introducing Child Psychology. London: Blackwell.

  • Schore, A. (1994) Affect Regulation and the Origin of the Self: the neurobiology of emotional development. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum.

  • Schore, A. (2001) The effects of early relational trauma on right brain development, affect regulation and infant mental health. Infant Mental Health Journal, 22 (1-2), 201–269.

  • Schore, A. (2003) Affect regulation and the repair of the self. New York: W.W. Norton and Co. Siegel, D. (2012) The Developing Mind: How relationships and the brain interact to shape who we are. New York: The Guildford Press.

  • Shortt, J.W., Stoolmiller, M., Smith-Shine, J. N., Eddy, J. M. and Sheeber, L. (2010) Maternal emotion coaching, adolescent anger regulation, and siblings’ externalizing symptoms. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 51.7, 799-808.

  • Tesch, R. (1990) Qualitative research: Analysis types and software tools. New York: Falmer Press. Trevarthen, C. (2011) What young children give to their learning, making education work to sustain a community and its culture. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 19.2, 173-193.

  • Verschueren, K. and Koomen, H. M. Y. (2012) Teacher-child relationships from an attachment perspective. Attachment and Human Development, 14, 205-211. Vygotsky, L. (1986) Thought and Language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

  • Wetz, J.(2009) Urban Village Schools - putting relationships at the heart of secondary school organisation and design London: Callouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

  • Wilson, B.J., Berg, J.L., Surawski, M.E. and King, K.K. (2013) Autism and externalizing behaviours: Buffering effects of parental emotion coaching. Research in Austism Spectrum Disorders, 7, 767-776.

Edit section | Website feedback to web@bathspa.ac.uk