Making Scotland the best place in the world to grow up and learn’ is one of the many commitments which have provided the policy and legislative context for life in Scotland, over the past decade. Contributing to this ambition, the language of attachment and of trauma has increased significantly across education, with greater understanding leading to notable examples of attachment-informed practice across educational settings.
In this context SAIA organised an event in October 2019, hosted by Sir John Timpson, with 50 attachment-informed participants from across Scotland: educationalists, clinicians, parents/carers, and care experienced young adults. We celebrated the progress which had been made in attachment-focused knowledge and practice in educational settings and recognised too that, in our experience, such practice was not universal. The consensus of the gathering was to have a better understanding of the current landscape of attachment-focused and relational practice in education. In so doing, understand where it works well and why, and identify ways to support educationalists and policymakers to realise universal provision of attachment-focused, trauma-informed culture and practice.
The subsequent Project aimed to sketch a ‘map’ of attachment-focused practice which would add value, provide learning, and share experience of ‘what worked’ for teachers and educational professionals and stakeholders. The wider journey of the Project, through the pandemic months, was an opportunity to marvel at the resilience of teachers and better understand how human connection and relational practice makes a significant contribution to wellbeing.
In 2022 Scottish Attachment in Action, through funding from University of Glasgow’s Finding a Solution fund, engaged two of the Universities students, Ioana Tonceanu and Rhonda Tulloch as Research Interns.
Ioana and Rhonda took one of the key themes which had emerged from the research of SAIA’s Education project, that of attachment-informed teaching as conceptualized in Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programmes across Scottish universities, and sought to advance the current understanding of the situation.
Their findings are set out in their Research Report.