Attachment Based Mentoring

Attachment Based Mentoring

Relational Learning and Attachment Based Mentoring

Supporting learning, development and wellbeing through relationships. Secure relationships have a direct bearing on children’s capacity to succeed in school. Relationships and belonging are key to success for all children and essential for those who have experienced relational losses and trauma. Relational learning provides a framework for whole school development and universal provision, as well as attachment based mentoring for those who have the greatest need.

Meet the writers of our popular Attachment Based Mentoring and Relational Learning training and professional development programmes: Matt Jones (Social, Emotional and Mental Health advisory teacher) and Catherine Dunnett (Educational Psychologist).

Did you know that our same great Attachment Based Mentoring course is now available as an online learning programme (equivalent to 18 hrs learning)

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand the needs of all children including the most vulnerable and how they can find it difficult to engage with learning
  • Learn how to become the child’s significant adult • Meet attachment needs by considering the mentoring relationship
  • Develop solution focused coaching and mentoring skills
  • Consider the wider role of the mentor in terms of social learning, restoration, advocacy and practical support
  • Downloadable version of our Attachment Based Mentoring course publication
  • Certificate of achievement

Blended Learning Approach through: Videos | Audio guides | Reading and exploration | Interactive activities | Personal reflection | Community forum 

Find out more and shop here >>>

Overview of Attachment Based Mentoring (ABM)

The Attachment Based Mentoring project was born out of continued concerns regarding the achievement and inclusion of vulnerable groups. Published data and evidence from working on the ground clearly indicates that outcomes for these groups are significantly lower than their peers. With interventions purely designed to move them on with learning they often have difficulty engaging and making progress.

ABM is a relational approach to supporting children with their social and emotional development. The approach includes both universal and targeted support, particularly for children whom may have had adverse childhood experiences, those who are struggling with their emotional health and well-being and those who are finding it difficult to engage with learning and the social aspects of school.

Developed from the ground up, it looks at the specific needs of these children and how these can be met through our relationships: what we are doing and how we are being with the child. In order to provide a truly holistic approach which has the potential to remove barriers to learning and inclusion, the approach draws upon theory and research from several areas of psychology and school based practice - Neuroscience, Attachment, Connection, Resilience, Coaching (efficacy, agency, motivation, identity), Social Learning Theory, Executive Functioning and Restorative Approaches. Written by education practitioners it translates psychological theory into practical, accessible approaches for use in the educational setting.

Course content

The training runs over 3 days with all participants receiving the Attachment Based Mentoring book.

The approach has 3 components:

Attachment and Relationship – Being the significant adult

  • Providing a safe base to increase feelings of safety, security, belonging and trust
  • Supporting children to develop the ability to self-regulate through the use of co-regulation
  • The development of a relational support plan, providing the four key elements of an effective relationship - protection, connection, understanding and care

Development – Being the coach

  • Enabling children to have ownership of their development
  • Raising motivation to change
  • Supporting children to discover their strengths, skills and qualities and work out what works
  • Helping children to identify small things that they can change to move forward
  • Shifting children’s perceptions of their identity

Practical support and skill development– Being the parent in school

  • Identifying skills which could be developed; social skills, organisation, control, study skills
  • Modelling skills and providing opportunities for practice
  • Providing information; clubs, careers, change
  • Providing practical support and advocacy when appropriate
  • Using restorative approaches to repair breakdowns in relationships and social bonds

What Schools Say

"So far this year 100% of attendees (75 across 3 courses) gave the overall quality of the course the high"est rating of very good.
A blend of passion, knowledge and humour which led to exceptional effectiveness of course delivery from start to finish." (Primary school teacher, Bradley Barton School)

"Fabulous in all aspects – content, concept, application, practice, resources. This is easily the best and most useful course I have participated in." (School mentor, Appledore Primary School)

"Two outstanding trainers with different styles of delivery, experience and insights. A course filled with impactful discussion and exploration without feelings of being overwhelmed." (Head of teaching and learning, Haytor Primary School)

"One of the best training I’ve ever been on - such valuable information to enable me to make a difference in our school." (Secondary school teacher, Great Torrington School)

"Very informative and engaging, the best training ever in 16 years as a teacher." (Teacher in a specialist provision. South and West Devon Academy)

"A three day epiphany." (Head of Inclusion. South Dartmoor Community College)

Evaluation and Impact

Evaluation of the mentoring project to date indicates that the mentoring is having a positive impact in several areas.

Adults working with the children (both teachers and mentors) commented that the mentoring had an impact on the children’s ability to be open and trusting. They also commented on increased feelings of self-worth, confidence and happiness.

In addition to the role of the significant adult, coaching has enabled the children to experience ownership, a clear sense of agency and success in areas that are most meaningful to them. This has been significant in terms of giving the children a voice and increased confidence and motivation. The children themselves appear to have greatly valued feeling listened to and having someone in school to talk to.

During the pilot study, Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaires were completed by the teachers of a sample of 10 children who were being mentored. Scores showed that after 12 weeks of mentoring 9/10 children showed an improvement with regard to the total difficulties score.

The findings so far indicate that Attachment Based Mentoring is supporting children to access learning and be included. Actively working on their relationship needs and sense of security as well as providing coaching to support them to move forward has had a positive effect on many areas of their development, their ability to engage with education and to experience success at school.

Why Choose this Attachment Based Mentoring Training Programme?

  • Understand the needs of all children including the most vulnerable and how they can find it difficult to engage with learning
  • Learn how to become the child’s significant adult
  • Meet attachment needs by considering the mentoring relationship
  • Develop solution focused coaching and mentoring skills
  • Consider the wider role of the mentor in terms of social learning, advocacy and practical support


Attachment Based Mentoring Project

Find out more about the research that supports this programme and read about the significant positive impact on the children and their learning in this article published by and reproduced by kind permission

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