Best Practice

Trauma-informed leadership: A framework for everyday practice

Many teachers are familiar with the tenets of trauma-informed practice, but what do these look like from a whole-school leadership perspective? Dr Pooky Knightsmith outlines five principles

I have taken the principles of trauma-informed practice and applied them through the lens of the why and how for school leaders every day. There are lots of ideas in here, so cherry-pick what will work for you and your setting and maybe explore them within the context of your network or trust too.

Principle 1: Safety

Within a whole school approach, getting the trauma-informed principle of safety right will mean that efforts are made to ensure the physical and psychological safety of staff and students. This includes enabling a feeling of freedom from threat or harm.

The principle of safety matters because everyone has a fundamental right to feel safe and, on a more practical level, if people do not feel safe, they cannot learn well or teach well. It is also worth remembering that for some of our community, we may be the only safe place and people they know.

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