West Kirby School and College scoops gold award

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West Kirby School and College has been recognised with a national award for their work to support young people who have faced adversity through trauma and attachment challenges.

The school, based on Meols Drive, has been awarded a Gold Level Attachment and Trauma Sensitive Schools Award (ATSSA). It recognises the school as a “beacon of best practice” in supporting young people who have experienced adversity to heal, thrive, play, and learn.

Dr. Jennifer Nock, who presented the school with the accolade, said: “What really shone throughout is how an attachment and trauma-sensitive approach is increasingly interwoven into WKS’ strategy, policy and practice.

“It is not a ‘tick box’ of things to do, but a rich tapestry which is organic and dynamic, responding to the needs of the whole school population. We are delighted to award Gold Level status to the school.”

The school had to submit a comprehensive portfolio of evidence that illustrated how the school met each of Award’s six criteria; including how the school is a ‘Beacon of Best Practice’ for other schools, how professional supervision is provided, and how an attachment and trauma-informed responsive physical environment has been developed.

It is one of only five based in the north west to achieve the Gold Level, and the first in Wirral.

Sian Thomas, West Kirby School and College CEO, said: “This is a milestone moment for our school.

“We have been proud recipients of the Silver Level Award before, but now we are the first school in the area to have ever secured the Gold Award.

“This is amazing news for our school and our immediate community. Our school is wholeheartedly dedicated to providing a safe, welcoming and compassionate environment where all children and young people can heal and flourish. Achieving the ATSSA Gold Level Award means so much to our staff who all work so hard to make this happen.

“The difference is, however, that a Gold Award means that we are also playing a much wider role in supporting young people who are facing challenges and adversity. The more people we can help, the more rewarding and beneficial our work is.

“I would like to applaud all our staff and governors for their dedication and commitment – this award truly is a team effort.”

The Award functions as a quality mark for schools, demonstrating an organisations’ commitment to ensuring all staff have a good knowledge of the needs of children and young people who have experienced adversity, and of the strategies and resources available to meet such needs, with a view to promoting better learning and mental and physical health outcomes for all pupils.