Attachment Aware Schools: Working with Families to Enhance Parental Engagement and Home-School Relationships

Janet Rose (Lead / Corresponding author), Louise Gilbert, Rebecca McGuire-Snieckus, Licette Gus, Karen McInnes, Rebecca Digby

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    Background: Application of attachment theory in school contexts lacks empirical evidence. The Attachment Aware Schools pilot project was commissioned by two Local Authorities in England to improve the educational outcomes of Looked After Children, and to build an evidence base. Informed by attachment research, the Attachment Aware Schools program provides a coherent and integrated theoretical framework, discourse, and practice for all practitioners working with children and young people.

    Objective: The primary focus was to provide whole school and targeted attachment-based strategies to support children’s well-being, behavior, and academic attainment. This paper; however, documents a secondary objective, which was to facilitate collaborative partnerships with families.

    Method: As part of the mixed methods approach to the Attachment Aware Schools project, a series of case studies were collected and thematically coded. The case studies were generated by practitioners using an outcomes-based framework.

    Results: Although the case study sample size is small (N=10), the case studies presented here illustrate how the Attachment Aware Schools program can promote increased home-school engagement and shared practice between home and school. Outcomes include improved home-school relationships, reductions in behavioral incidents, and improved family dynamics.

    Conclusion: Attachment Aware Schools can be a vehicle for facilitating supportive home-school collaborative partnerships with positive outcomes for vulnerable children and young people.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)160-171
    Number of pages12
    JournalOpen Family Studies Journal
    Issue numberSupp-1, M8
    Early online date10 Oct 2017
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    • Attachment aware schools
    • Attachment theory
    • Emotion coaching
    • Home-school relationships
    • Parental engagement
    • Behavior


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