On 9th December we held our Education Conference with PAC-UK to celebrate the end of our 1 year Education project. It was attended by delegates from London, and all over the UK. Kevin Woods, Director of Children and Families Social Work and Education at the Department for Education, was the guest speaker. Over 100 delegates attended to hear adopters telling their stories of trying to get help from schools for their children and the difficulties they encountered. Passionate pleas were made for schools to change their behaviour management policies, improve teacher's understanding of attachment and the effects of trauma on their children, and recognise the impact of transitions. One of the adopted young people involved in the Project presented an inspirational film, "Two Ticks and a Wish", showing the children's views and wishes regarding their schooling.
Emma Gore Langton from PAC-UK outlined the work and scope of the Project then Teachers from the schools and Virtual schools involved talked about their learning and the changes they had made to promote the education of the adopted children in their schools. This included attachment-based training for staff from PAC-UK; working with school leadership boards; & better use of support techniques rather than punishment for the children. Judith Ellis then outlined the work being undertaken in the Adoption Support Teams in the boroughs and Peter Stevens talked about the new contract between the Consortium and PAC-UK, to provide a Helpline and consultation sessions on Education for Adopters and Special Guardians.
We hope to continue this work with PAC-UK and help this Project to become a model of help for adopted children and parents all over the country. Already we know that a number of London boroughs are following our lead. Very exciting!