Jessica’s Story: Responding To Children Who Have Suffered Traumatic Loss

A child’s behaviour can spiral out of control in the aftermath of losing a loved relative or parents separating. Putting these children into detention or suspending them, is the opposite of how a school should respond. Dr Margot Sunderland describes what happened to Jessica

I have heard the following narrative so many times. It goes like this. There is a really good student, good attainment and good behaviour. The student then experiences a traumatic loss, for example parents separating, a loved relative dying. The child’s behaviour and attainment rapidly declines. Too many times, they end up in the isolation room or detention. Many are permanently excluded.

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