“It Ripples Down”: Exploring personal and professional experiences of primary school staff implementing a trauma informed approach

Mellor, Shalah (2023) “It Ripples Down”: Exploring personal and professional experiences of primary school staff implementing a trauma informed approach. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Schools in the UK are currently caught in a tug of war between the demands for staff to adopt a more behaviouralist approach to address discipline, while at the same time responding to a growing understanding of the importance of developing positive relationships to address issues around emotional wellbeing and behavioural regulation. Trauma informed approaches in schools take a relational stance by prioritising building safe relationships, taking a holistic view of children and young people and making their needs central. The aim of this exploratory, qualitative study was to explore professional and personal experiences of a range of staff with different roles in primary schools who are involved in implementing a trauma informed approach. Semi-structured interviews were used to explore both teaching and non-teaching staff (n=8) experiences, and Reflexive Thematic Analysis (Braun & Clark, 2022) was used to analyse the transcripts. The findings highlighted key of six overarching themes related to staff experiences: Relationships and connection, Insight gained, Promoting staff cohesion and support, Psychological and emotional impact, Lining up of values and Encountering friction with expectations and norms (RIPPLE). Further analysis of these experiences highlighted important aspects linked to alignment and friction in staff values when implementing the approach, as well as suggesting some systemic considerations when embedding trauma informed approaches in schools. These include individual (supervision), group (peer support; messages to parents) and organisational level (culture). Recommendations for future research are discussed and the potential role of the EP at the individual and systemic level is considered.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education and Lifelong Learning
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2023 07:11
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2023 07:11
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/93368


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