Senior LA leaders recognise their responsibility to create an environment where services, like the Educational Psychology Service (EPS) and Virtual School, can confidently use their expertise to pioneer projects with schools, particularly when the work is strongly connected to the wider local authority strategy.
Kirklees Virtual School
Kirklees Council

Kirklees Council, with the vision and support of senior leaders across Kirklees Children’s Services, actively promotes two programmes designed to support AA/TI practice in schools.


Since 2018 the Kirklees Educational Psychology Service (EPS), with the vision and support of senior leaders across Kirklees Children’s Services, have delivered two programmes: the Alex Timpson Programme, and the whole-school offer of the Mental Health Support Teams, and together have supported 119 schools to develop attachment aware and trauma-informed practice.

The Alex Timpson Programme has three phases: training; implementation; and sustainability:


1) Initial training: 1.5 days training is delivered at school INSET days or twilight sessions to the whole school staff. This covers attachment theory, trauma, resilience, outcomes for looked after children, loss and separation and emotion coaching. 


2) Implementation: schools offered additional training for selected members of staff e.g., ELSAs, advanced emotion coaching, and therapeutic story writing. Group based peer supervision is also introduced for staff.


3) Sustainability: to support schools to maintain the practice changes and to rely less directly on the EPS. This involves completing a School Evaluation Framework (SEF) which focuses on how the programme is embedded across the school, and identifies areas where further support might be useful. School policies for behaviour management and practice are also reviewed and changes made to ensure they align with the principles of an attachment aware and trauma informed approach.


Through an extensive training offer delivered through an attachment aware and trauma-informed lens schools in both programmes are supported to develop the approach. Schools are helped to identify and schedule training sessions for optimal impact. This customised offer supports schools to focus on context-specific development.

Kirklees Virtual School and the EPS have worked closely together since 2014 to provide services to looked after children and the schools they attend. Kirklees are able to provide their schools with a comprehensive core offer of support for all pupils who are looked after, previously looked after, or at risk of permanent exclusion.