Best Practice

Adverse childhood experiences and the implications for schools

Half of children will live through an adverse childhood experience and around one in 10 will suffer four or more. How can schools support these young people? Lynn Miles, who suffered ACEs herself, explains more and offers her advice

It is becoming increasingly apparent that large numbers of children in this country are growing up in a high state of distress.

Around one-third of our children are living in poverty according to the Child Poverty Action Group, while the Mental Health Foundation reports that one in 10 of five to 16-year-olds has a diagnosable mental illness.

Studies conducted in England and Wales show that around half of adults suffered one adverse childhood experience (ACE) and around one in 10 endured four or more by the age of 18 (eight per cent in England, 14 per cent in Wales) (Bellis et al, 2014 & 2015).

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