Attachment theory is based on the premise that children who fail to form an attachment with adults at an early age can often go on to develop problems such as behavioural issues or communication difficulties.
The programme has been created by Bath Spa University’s School of Education, in partnership with Bath and North East Somerset Council and offers materials to help teachers understand how failure to form secure attachments can affect children’s education.
The launch comes after research published last month by the Sutton Trust found that infants aged under three who do not form strong bonds with their parents are more likely to suffer from aggression, defiance and hyperactivity when they grow-up.
The study, Baby Bonds, revealed that insecure attachment is associated with poorer language and behaviour before school, with insecure children more likely to go on to leave school without further education, employment or training.
The new materials – entitled An Introduction to Attachment and the Implications for Learning and Behaviour – have been commissioned by the National College for Training and Leadership and have the backing of children’s minister Edward Timpson.
Dr Kate Reynolds, dean of the School of Education at Bath Spa, said: “It’s vital that all teachers have a practical understanding of attachment issues experienced by children who have suffered neglect.
“If these problems are not recognised and dealt with they can cause exclusion, underachievement and in the worst case, wasted lives.
“This resource is based on leading academic insight and authority, extensive research and direct experience, and should go some way in helping teachers support their most vulnerable students.”
Bath Spa’s School of Education is now planning to develop a research database on attachment in schools and is working with the Universities Council on the Education of Teachers to integrate attachment awareness into initial teacher education programmes.
The training materials can be accessed online at http://bit.ly/1jZ5fZ2