Understanding the Importance of Attachment in School

Why did a group of Virtual Headteachers of children in care create a charity to research the characteristics of Attachment Aware Setting. Tony Clifford finds out.
Woman with pre-school girl smiling

A bit of background

Thirty five years of working with young people in settings including mainstream, special and psychiatric and working for eight years as a Virtual Head teacher for children in care, have convinced me that the biggest difference we could make for children and adults is to support all settings to be ‘Attachment Aware’ – a term which has already got many practitioner champions. The ARC website – – has a film which aims to capture what this looks like in practice. We use a working definition that an Attachment Aware setting is a place in which everyone feels safe enough to learn – including those who have experienced trauma, neglect and abuse. The concept of attachment is simple and profound. For schools and other settings to take on the challenge, we must provide a rationale, an action research driven evidence base and support. That is the purpose of ‘The-ARC’, which any setting interested in becoming Attachment Aware can join from 1st June.

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