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SEND advice and guidance

Relational learning

Supporting learning, development and wellbeing through relationship

Secure relationships have a direct bearing on children’s capacity to succeed in school. Relationships and belonging are key to success for all children and essential for those who have experienced relational losses and trauma.

Relational learning provides a framework for whole school development and universal provision, as well as attachment based mentoring for those who have the greatest need.

Guidance for developing relational practice and policy

Guidance for developing relational practice and policy aims to support the inclusion, engagement and outcomes for all children and young people with a particular focus on those who are vulnerable to and at risk of exclusion.

The guidance was written in response to well-documented concerns regarding young people’s mental health and well-being and long-standing national trends which show the disproportionate exclusion of children from vulnerable groups.

The document describes an approach to teaching and learning which influences whole school ethos and systems as well as universal teaching practice and targeted support. It supports the development of relational behaviour policies which take into account current research and theory from the fields of attachment and trauma, effective support for inclusion and on improving behaviour in schools.
There are three main components to the relational model, developing relationships, responding and calming and repairing and restoring as well as guidance on working in relationship in the classroom and through a graduated response.

The approaches should be used universally as good quality first teaching and in a planned and timely fashion to target early intervention for children and young people who may be at risk of exclusion.

Relational practice and policy publications

Further resources (guidance appendices)

Our relational learning programmes

The core aims of the learning programmes are to:

  • develop an understanding of how adverse experiences and trauma may impact on emotional development and wellbeing
  • raise empathy and understanding for children who may be finding school hard
  • develop whole school practice, procedures and policy aligned to relational learning
  • enable the adults working with children to be able to read their behaviour in terms of underlying needs and provide for these needs in terms of what they are doing and how they are being with them
  • support adults to develop the skills they need to form secure relationships with the children they work with, use coaching skills to support their development and practical skills to support their inclusion
  • support adults to become reflective practitioners who can be responsive to children’s needs and adapt to different situations.
  • Attachment Based Mentoring programme (ABM)

    The Attachment Based Mentoring programme aims to meet the specific needs of children who are most in need, by providing them with a significant adult in school who will become a safe base and is able to provide relational support through coaching and mentoring.

    This three-day training draws on theories and research from the fields of attachment, coaching and resilience, ABM is a comprehensive practical guide as to what to do and how to be to ensure that the individual needs of each child are met. The approach aims to enable children to feel safe, connected, and capable – forming positive relationships and enjoying learning.

    This course is aimed at: teachers and teaching assistants who will be attachment based mentors and senior leaders who have a responsibility for student support and wellbeing.
    Did you know that you can now undertake ABM training via our online learning platform – learn at your own pace, at a time convenient to you.

    Blended learning approach through: Videos | Audio guides | Reading and exploration | Interactive activities | Personal reflection | Community forum

  • Relational learning: Relationships for learning, development and wellbeing

    This one-day course explores the theories which underpin our understanding of effective relationships and their role in learning, development and wellbeing as well as developing the skills and practical strategies that underpin the relational approach.
    The course includes:

    • why relationships are key to teaching and learning
    • the biology of emotions, behaviour and social development
    • the role of the adult as a source of safety, security, regulation and belonging
    • the impact of anxious relationships on thoughts, feelings and behaviour and what we can do to help
    • using relational support plans to develop universal to targeted support

    This course is suitable for whole school inset and can be delivered as a conference for larger groups.
    If you are interested in relational learning contact us to find out more and to discuss your requirements by calling 07568 102728 or email us.

  • Developing whole school relational practice and policy

    Aimed at senior leaders, this one day course introduces a whole school approach to relational practice and policy by providing guidance on:

    • establishing a shared understanding and framework for building relationships, regulating and de-escalating challenging behaviour and using restorative approaches to promote learning and reparation
    • developing behaviour policies that support a relational rather than behaviourist approach to personal development and which are in line with up-to-date guidance, research and evidence
    • whole school practice and systems which are inclusive, responsive and promote positive relationships and an ethos that is beneficial to all members of the school community
    • a graduated response that enables schools to meet the needs of children who are most in need

    This course is aimed at headteachers and senior leaders responsible for whole school development.

  • Train the trainer: Attachment Based Mentoring programme

    Our train the trainer programme is a five day training programme providing you with everything you need in order to deliver the ABM programme yourself. Updated materials, video sessions and email support are available with the programme’s annual subscription. The trainer manual is included and delegate reference books are available.

    This comprehensive, research and evidence-based programme enables your Local Authority, Educational Psychology Team, Virtual School Team or Multi-Academy Trust to deliver our attachment based mentoring programme to your local schools and staff. This model represents excellent value for money and offers you the opportunity to earn revenue on your delivery of the three day school programme.