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Education partnership recognised with national award

Education partnership recognised with national award

An inspirational partnership of educators including the University of Chester has won a national teaching award.

The Liverpool HEARTS project has been selected from thousands of nominations to win a Pearson National Teaching Silver award.

The project is a collaboration between the University, Hope School, Virtual School Liverpool, Changing Minds Child and Family Services UK, Clinical Psychologists Warrington Borough Council and Tony Clifford; Educational Consultant (Greater Cheshire West and Cheshire). It received the award in recognition for their outstanding commitment to changing the lives of the children they work with every day.

The Liverpool HEARTS project idea was developed to increase the capacity of schools in the city to address the issues of attachment and trauma for the benefit of the whole learning community. 

Children, young people and adults may find that they struggle to form relationships and regulate behaviour if they have failed to form secure attachments with their primary caregivers. Trauma occurs when a child, young person or adult suffers unmanageable or overwhelming stress. It is essential that professionals have a strong knowledge and understanding of attachment and trauma difficulties and how this may impact in an educational setting.

This project developed a framework for ten pilot schools to transform their school ethos and practices to ‘Attachment Aware and Trauma Informed Practice’ models. The University’s School of Education supported 20 leaders from ten pilot schools to complete the Attachment, Trauma and Mental Health Post Graduate Certificate as one key element of the project.

Early indications are positive with evidence that the project is having a positive impact and supporting further development of inclusive practice.

Hope School is a maintained special school for 68 children aged five to 11 years old with SEMH (Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs) based in Liverpool that has committed to supporting children with complex trauma histories and attachment disruptions. 

The Liverpool HEARTS Project has now been shortlisted to win one of 16 Gold Awards, which will be announced and celebrated at a gala ceremony in London on 25 November and televised on the BBC, with winners showcased on The One Show.

The Pearson National Teaching Awards is an annual celebration of excellence in education run by the Teaching Awards Trust, an independent charity now in its 25th year, that recognises the life-changing work that takes place in education, highlighting the vital role educators play and the work that’s delivered in schools and colleges every day.

Dr Lynn Sampson-Chappell, Head of Academic and Professional Programmes and Jane Bradley, Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader for the Post Graduate Certificate in Attachment, Trauma and Mental Health, Clare Holmes and Sarah Collins, Senior Lecturers were involved with the project from the University of Chester.

Lynn said: “We are really proud that the Liverpool HEARTS project has been recognised for ‘Impact through Partnership’ and the group are now SILVER Award Winners of the Pearson National Teaching Awards!”

Jane said: “It is inspiring to see collaborative working with our partners yield such positive results for young people in school. I’m looking forward to hearing the results at the finals later this year.”

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