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Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

Overview of Attachment Based Mentoring (ABM)

The Attachment Based Mentoring project was born out of continued concerns regarding the achievement and inclusion of vulnerable groups. Published data and evidence from working on the ground clearly indicate that outcomes for these groups are significantly lower than their peers. With interventions purely designed to move them on with learning they often have difficulty engaging and making progress.

ABM is a relational approach to supporting children with their social and emotional development. The approach includes both universal and targeted support, particularly for children who may have had adverse childhood experiences, those who are struggling with their emotional health and well-being and those who are finding it difficult to engage with learning and the social aspects of school.

Developed from the ground up, it looks at the specific needs of these children and how these can be met through our relationships: what we are doing and how we are being with the child.

In order to provide a truly holistic approach that has the potential to remove barriers to learning and inclusion, the approach draws upon theory and research from several areas of psychology and school-based practice – neuroscience, attachment, connection, resilience, coaching (efficacy, agency, motivation, identity), social learning theory, executive functioning and restorative approaches.

Written by education practitioners it translates psychological theory into practical, accessible approaches for use in the educational setting.

Meet the writers of our popular Attachment Based Mentoring and Relational Learning training and professional development programmes: Matt Jones (Social, Emotional and Mental Health advisory teacher) and Catherine Dunnett (Educational Psychologist).

Course content

The training runs over 3 days with all participants receiving the Attachment Based Mentoring book.
The approach has 3 components:

Attachment and relationship – being the significant adult

  • Providing a safe base to increase feelings of safety, security, belonging and trust.
  • Supporting children to develop the ability to self-regulate through the use of co-regulation.
  • The development of a relational support plan, providing the four key elements of an effective relationship – protection, connection, understanding and care.

Development – being the coach

  • Enabling children to have ownership of their development.
  • Raising motivation to change.
  • Supporting children to discover their strengths, skills and qualities and work out what works.
  • Helping children to identify small things that they can change to move forward.
  • Shifting children’s perceptions of their identity.

Practical support and skill development – being the parent in school

  • Identifying skills that could be developed; social skills, organisation, control, study skills.
  • Modelling skills and providing opportunities for practice.
  • Providing information; clubs, careers, change.
  • Providing practical support and advocacy when appropriate.
  • Using restorative approaches to repair breakdowns in relationships and social bonds.

Why choose this Attachment Based Mentoring programme?

  • Understand the needs of all children including the most vulnerable and how they can find it difficult to engage with learning.
  • Learn how to become the child’s significant adult.
  • Meet attachment needs by considering the mentoring relationship.
  • Develop solution-focused coaching and mentoring skills.
  • Consider the wider role of the mentor in terms of social learning, restoration, advocacy and practical support.
  • The downloadable version of our Attachment Based Mentoring course publication.
  • Certificate of achievement.

Feedback and evaluation

Feedback from previous delegates on the training and its impact.

Find out more – visit Devon Education Services