Best Practice

The implications of Attachment Theory for schools

A new programme to raise awareness of the practical implications of attachment issues in schools has published a set of training materials for teachers, school leaders and governors. Dr Janet Rose and Richard Parker explain.

The theory of attachment was first proposed by John Bowlby in the 1960s, and has since become an established feature of work with children in areas such as health and social care.

The theory emphasises the importance of children making secure attachments with their main care-giver within their first three years.

It suggests that, if these attachments fail to be made, this can have a lasting impact on the child, with the effects often re-emerging during adolescence.

Within education, children and young people may tend to underachieve, are often punished for poor behaviour or are excluded.

It can appear that nothing the school does seems to work; often the sanctions which they receive further reinforce their feelings of negativity and low self-worth.

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