Trauma-informed approaches can transform a school for the better, no matter what position it started in. Here are two examples of where they have made a significant difference to the benefit of staff and students alike.

Lincoln High School

Lincoln High School in Walla Walla, Washington state used to be a downtrodden establishment, with many students not turning up, gangs running the building and less than half the students graduating. After undergoing a trauma-informed transformation, they turned themselves around dramatically:

  • School’s cohort more than doubled to 200 students
  • Nearly 90% of teachers reported changes in their students’ behaviour after they’d received counselling
  • Average number of days spent in out-of-school suspension fell by more than 75%
  • Graduation rate nearly doubled
  • Number of fights down by 75%
  • Number of seniors enrolling in college trebled

St Cuthbert's Primary ACE Pathfinder School

Closer to home, St Cuthbert's Primary ACE Pathfinder School in Blackburn with Darwen set itself the goal that everything they did in the school had to be viewed through an ACE-sensitive, trauma-informed lens. The changes they brought in had a profound effect:

  • Standards improved for all pupils, especially for the most vulnerable students
  • 51% of students achieved at least better than expected when their social, emotional and mental health needs were addressed
  • OFSTED rating jumped from ‘Good’ to ‘Outstanding’