Attachment Difficulties and School

Children who have experienced trauma or neglect in their early lives may have difficulties attending or thriving in school. A child who has experienced trauma and has attachment difficulties may struggle with day to day changes that school provides them such as:

  • Coping with being dropped off at school and their parents/carers leaving
  • Sharing adult support with a group of other children
  • Adapting to a more structured environment
  • Learning to trust and build a relationship with peers or other adults
  • Developing independence and self-organisation

All of these things can be difficult for a child who may be struggling with feelings of abandonment from their birth parents, who may be emotionally younger than their peers due to developmental gaps caused by their earlier trauma, and who have difficulties direction attention away from their internals needs and struggles to focus on new tasks and learning.


Supporting Children in School

Louise Bomber is a teacher and therapist. She works as an Attachment Support Teacher and Therapist and offers a range of services supporting children and young people who have experienced significant relational traumas and losses. She has written a series of books providing strategies for schools to support children with attachment difficulties:

Inside I'm Hurting (Goodreads Link)
What About Me? (Goodreads Link)

 Further Resources

Attachment Aware in Schools - YouTube video by Suited and Booted
Attachment in the Classroom - by Heather Geddes (Goodreads Link)