A new training programme focusing on raising awareness of trauma and its potential impacts on children has been launched today.
The training provides an opportunity for the entire education sector workforce of approximately 60,000 staff members to improve their understanding of trauma. This includes over 20,000 teachers and approximately 40,000 support staff working in schools and the Education Authority.
Education Minister, Michelle McIlveen launched the programme at Fane Street Primary School which was one of a small group of schools that took part in a pilot scheme.
The Minister said: "I welcome the development of Trauma Informed Practice training which will help us better understand trauma and the long lasting impact it can have on our young people.
"As Education Minister I want to ensure that we provide the best support we can to our children and young people. Adverse childhood experiences can come in many forms and may result in a multitude of impacts which can make positive engagement with education a huge challenge for some children."
The Level One Trauma Informed Practice training was developed by the Safeguarding Board for Northern Ireland (SBNI) and will be made available to all education sector staff by the Education Authority.
Recognising the work of SBNI in promoting and developing an understanding of adverse childhood experiences, the Minister continued: "I want to acknowledge the strong partnership between the Education Authority and the Safeguarding Board for Northern Ireland in taking forward a range of trauma informed pieces of work and in particular the support they have provided to the education sector with the provision of the training."
The Minister concluded: "I am confident that this training will help provide support at a critical point to support children and young people to achieve their full potential.
"Level two training will also be made available to School Leaders and Pastoral care staff to further enhance and support awareness of trauma.
"I would encourage everyone across the education sector to access the training. I know you will find it thought provoking, informative and helpful in your work."