Sign up to email updates. Click here Donate

A Day on Supporting Looked After and Adopted Children in School

20 June 2020

It is widely accepted that adopted and fostered children struggle in school and often don’t achieve their potential. Children who have had traumatic early experiences and find it hard to trust adults often struggle in the classroom for a range of reasons, from finding the classroom a sensorily overwhelming environment to being preoccupied about other worries in their life, or even being scared to put pen to paper in case they fail. For adoptive and foster parents, if school stops functioning well for the child or even on occasions excludes the child, this can put considerable extra strain on the family as a whole. In this way school is important for the child’s future potential and self esteem but also crucial to the outcomes for the family as a whole.

It is therefore very important for the system around the adoptive family to also support the child in school. This module looks at the impact of developmental trauma on a child’s cognitive development and on their capacity to learn. An assessment of the child’s difficulties with learning helps to make sense of their behaviour in the classroom, of peer relationships and their behaviour at home. Understanding how your child learns is key to understanding how they live.

Additional information

Delegate type


Course objectives

This course will give you an overview of how cognitive abilities such as memory and executive functioning are affected by early trauma. You will gain an understanding of the effects of neglect on children’s capacity to learn, on how they manage transitions and on everyday tasks both at home and school.  The course will focus on how to best support traumatised children in school by looking at the teacher-pupil relationship, as well as providing strategies and tools for teachers to support a child who has experienced abuse and neglect to manage with the academic and emotional demands of school.

What skills will you take away?

  • An understanding of the evidence base for ‘executive functioning’ difficulties in children
  • Information on developmental trauma, peer relationships and the emotional and social implications of trauma within the educational environment
  • Recognising the different teacher-pupil relationships and how these may affect the way in which children manage learning based on how safe and secure they feel around their teachers
  • Learning about the effects of trauma on sensory integration development and how this manifests in school
  • Knowing how to identify your child’s sensory difficulties in school and strategies to implement in school
  • Practical tools and strategies to support your child in the classroom
  • Advice on how to approach Education and Health Care Plans (EHCP), Pupil Premium (PP) and Pupil Premium Plus (PP+)

Who should attend?

Adoptive parents, foster carers, prospective adopters and foster carers and parents/carers of children who have experienced on-going trauma in their early formative years.


Ángela Palacios – Therapeutic Teacher & Trainee Educational Psychotherapist

Ángela joined Family Futures as a training coordinator in 2015. Ángela has a background in education and has worked as a teacher in various educational settings in Spain, England and Scotland where she has worked with people of all ages including children who had experienced difficult starts in life. Ángela is now part of the therapy team at Family Futures and has been a therapeutic teacher for the past three years, currently in the final stages of her MA in Educational Psychotherapy. Ángela has a special interest in how adopted and fostered children’s ability to learn is hindered by their early experiences of abuse and neglect, and how this is reflected in their capacity to manage the academic and emotional demands of school. Ángela currently supports children with educational psychotherapy input and offers support to parents and teachers in thinking about how to best support traumatised children both at home and in school. Ángela is also a Theraplay® trainee and believes in the importance of play in supporting traumatised children build healthy attachments to their adoptive parents or foster carers as well as their teachers.


Family Futures CIC
3 & 4 Floral Place
7 - 9 Northampton Grove
London N1 2PL

Course times: 10am - 4:30pm


Book Your Place

Categories: ,
Terms & Conditions  |  Privacy Policy