New programme aims to embed trauma-informed culture in every Scottish college

College Development Network (CDN) has launched an ambitious new programme to facilitate the creation of a trauma-informed culture in every Scottish college.

The new Trauma-Informed College Programme has developed from learning taken from CDN’s recent Pathways from Poverty Research. This research identified good practice already taking place in colleges in relation to trauma-informed practice.

There is a clear link between poverty and trauma in Scotland. More than 10% of those living in households with the lowest income experience childhood trauma, compared to 1% of those living in the highest income households.

With over 40% of college students estimated as coming from Scotland’s most deprived areas, the experience of trauma pervades the student experience with associated adverse impacts on learning and student retention.

The new programme builds on existing good practice in colleges and will provide training, resources, workshops and events to help colleges tackle the challenges faced by learners and their communities in accessing and sustaining their participation in education.

Crucially, the programme will also engage with college senior leadership teams, supporting them to consider what a trauma-informed culture may look like in their context, and encouraging them to embed joined-up trauma-informed approaches into their organisation’s processes and systems.

Marie Hendry, Chief Executive of CDN, said:

“I am proud to announce the launch of our new Trauma-Informed College Programme. It is a unique and exciting approach to developing a sector-wide, whole-institution approach to trauma-informed practice.

“Colleges and their staff having the knowledge and insight to be able to address student experiences of trauma is fundamental if colleges are to improve the attainment and retention of learners.

“This new programme is a great example of how CDN’s team uses research to identify, then share best practice to support colleges to do even more to improve learner experiences.

“We’ve already seen large numbers of college colleagues expressing an interest in this programme, with many of them saying it is exactly what is needed by the sector at this time.”

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