West Midlands Regional Lead:

Michelle Salter & Jon Hickman

West Midlands includes: Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall, and Wolverhampton.

Local Authorities:

Birmingham Shropshire Walsall
Coventry Solihull Warwickshire
Dudley Staffordshire Wolverhampton
Herefordshire Stoke-on-Trent Worcestershire
Sandwell Telford & Wrekin

Regional Updates:

September 2023

The WMVS have initiated their TIAAS Pathway this academic year. This has been based upon the ARC Pathway and schools across the region are been recognised for their approach with a personalised certificate co-signed by ARC, the WMVS CiC Foundation and the individual Virtual School.

The Foundation also hosted their inaugural Designated Teacher conference in July at which trauma informed approaches were an integral theme from contributions by ARC Cahir, Andy Wright, and SmashLife.

ARC continues to support the growing and developing West Midlands Trauma informed Coalition. This is a West Midlands Combined Authority initiative via the Violence Reduction Partnership (VRP) being delivered by Barnardo’s and is engaging organisations and agencies across Health, Social Care and Justice System, and linking to Education.  There are currently over 130 members from across the region who are contributing to the strategic development.

They have introduced and are developing a ‘Community Of Practices’ which offers a digital platform for collaborative learning.

Dear West Midlands Trauma Informed Coalition members,

The Update and Innovate meeting is coming up!

On Tuesday the 5th of September, 15:00 – 16:30, all Coalition members are welcome to join together for the first of our Update and Innovate quarterly meetings, with the aim to provide updates on the Coalition activity, including consultation involvement opportunities, Community of Practice, insight into locality-based Network activity and *opportunities to share practice learning and successes. 

This month we will be hearing from the NHS Vanguard project about how they continue to seek to see trauma informed practice embedded across their services and locality, and more about how your organisation and service users can have your voice represented within the regional workforce learning and development framework!

To register your space for this online event please sign up through the Eventbrite link below:

West Midlands Trauma Informed Coalition | Update and Innovate Meeting Tickets, Tue, Sep 5, 2023 at 3:00 PM | Eventbrite

*If you would like a slot to share your organisational journey towards trauma informed care during one of our Update and Innovate meetings, please email lucy.cavell@barnardos.org.uk who can discuss this further with you.

Community of Practice Knowledge Exchange drop-in sessions are open!

Our monthly Community of Practice Knowledge Exchange drop-in sessions cultivate a space for reflective practice and collaborative learning across the West Midlands. If you are based in the West Midlands, give yourself permission, save the date, grab a cuppa and come and join us for an hour at:

-        14:00 on the 31st of August: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/88461541575 | Meeting ID: 884 6154 1575

-        10:00 on the 26th of September: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/86999927946 | Meeting ID: 869 9992 7946

Forum activity:

Can you share your wisdom? This month, our online Community of Practice forum questions are:

Trauma Informed Prison Services |“I am looking for any suggestions of an evaluation tool that could be used in a prison setting to evaluate services, prisoner experiences, after delivering Trauma Informed care training. Any advice, guides, or suggestions most welcome”

Supporting Refugees | “Looking for some direction/support/ideas please - our local partners are working with and supporting asylum-seekers.  We are worried about the lack of their understanding of trauma and the lived experiences these men have had and are looking to help organisations do better.  I would be really grateful to hear any experiences you have had and where resources/raising awareness/training etc have helped.  Many thanks” 

You can find our Community of Practice forum, resource bank and events page here: https://tinyurl.com/2p93ex3s I look forward to seeing you there!

Kind regards,

Lucy Cavell 

Senior Trauma Informed Practitioner | Barnardo’s 

July 2023

The Virtual Schools across the region have been hosting a range of conferences during this month with ARC supporting in many ways.

The WMCiC Foundation – a charity representing the regions VS – held their first Designated Teacher Conference drawing over 300 delegates from across the 14 Local Authorities. The programme were informed about the local, regional and national developments of the TIAAS Roundtable and the Call To Action campaign from ARC Chairman, Andrew Wright. There were also key note speakers from Stuart Guest, Head Teacher of Colebourne Primary School, who will soon become an ARC Learning Hub, Smash-Life and Louise Blackburn (Challenge Education) – all with a focus upon on our trauma-informed approaches. The conference was opened by a panel of experts who discussed how to support our most vulnerable learners in our schools. The panel were Matthew Cooke (Chair of NAVSH), Ian Herman (HMI Ofsted), Dr Neil Harrison (University of Exeter), Simon Wellman (???? Telford & Wrekin) and Andy & Matt Smith (Smashlife).

ARC also supported Virtual School/Education conferences in Dudley, Herefordshire, and Telford & Wrekin.

ARC are working closely with the West Midlands Combined Authority via the Violence Reduction Partnership in the Trauma Informed Coalition initiative led by Barnardo’s.

This focus programme are meeting on Tuesday the 5th of September, 15:00 – 16:30,  where all Coalition members are welcome to join together for the first of the ‘Update and Innovate’ quarterly meetings, with the aim to provide updates on the Coalition activity, including consultation involvement opportunities, Community of Practice, insight into locality-based Network activity and opportunities to share practice learning and successes.

May 2023

Upcoming events in the West Midlands Region:

Friday 9 June

Telford & Wrekin Virtual School Designated Teacher conference features relationship, role model & connection- featuring lived experience trauma informed programme.

Wednesday 15 June

WMVS Children in Care Foundation are holding an Annual Conference on Wednesday 15 June in Birmingham, featuring keynote speaker Mark Finnis as well as trauma informed practice workshops. This conference is free to attend and aimed at Virtual School staff within the West Midlands region, click here to register your place.

Tuesday 11 July

Herefordshire VS DT Conference ARC is taking place on Tuesday 11 July consisting of workshops and an ARC Timpson winner school sharing good practice.

Wednesday 12 July

The Dudley Education Conference, “Learning Needs – Needs Learning - Safeguarding the engagement and outcomes of all our learners“ is taking place on Wednesday 12 July at Dudley College of Technology featuring keynote speakers Steven Baker, Mick Simpson, Steven Russell and Lee Clulow as well as workshops to provide delegates with a wealth of information. Click here to register you place.

Monday 17 July

WMVS Children in Care Foundation are holding a regional Designated Teacher conference on Monday 17 July featuring keynote speeches from Louise Blackburn and SmashLife as well as hearing from Andrew Wright, ARC chair, and Stuart Guest, former ARC Timpson Award winner. Tickets are limited and are being allocated by the West Midlands Virtual Schools.

Wednesday 19 July

Dudley Virtual School are holding a free half day Post-16 Conference on Wednesday 19 July, 9am-12pm OR 1pm-4pm at Halesowen College. Open to all professionals from Education, Health, Social Care and the Criminal Justice System supporting and working with Post 16 young people. The conference will be focussing on attachment and trauma approaches. Click here to register your place.

March 2023

The West Midlands region hosted an official launch of their work on Friday 14 October at the Library of Birmingham. The event showcased the work of the 14 Local Authorities within the West Midlands, launching their TIAAS accreditation pathway, which follows the model offered by The Attachment Research Community. This includes the ARC Audit, ARC Pathway and ARC Matrix. The launch was attended by over 40 strategic and senior leaders from education, health and criminal justice settings and allowed colleagues to connect, learn and discuss everyday issues surrounding Attachment Aware and Trauma Informed Schools.

The TIAAS Regional Group agreed the details of a Regional Certification process for Education System Leaders across the West Midlands to use. The group included Virtual Schools, Educational Psychology Services, Local Authorities and others. The aim is to galvanise a joined-up, regional commitment to the promotion of trauma-informed and attachment aware approaches (or similar nurturing and relational based initiatives) within Education. Education System Leaders in each local authority can use this guidance to establish or maintain a pathway for education settings to follow in their own locality.

A TIAAS approach has been pioneered in some of the Local Authorities of the region, including Walsall and Birmingham. In these authorities the pathways have been built upon the research and evaluation work of numerous people.

The event began with an overview of the programme from Dudley Virtual School Head and ARC Chair, Andrew Wright, who introduced the TIAAS accreditation pathway to over 40 professionals working within the region, followed by ARC Patron, Sir John Timpson. Keynote speakers from the Trauma Informed Coalition, Claire Dhami, Ben Curtis Dr Alex Chard presented their findings from studies within the Violence Reduction Partnership and West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA). Dr Alex Chard presented the raw reality of punishing abuse and systemic attachment and trauma impacts upon the most vulnerable young people in society. The Rees Centre presented their key findings research of attachment and trauma awareness in schools, working closely with The Timpson Programme.   

Ian Thompson joined the event, virtually, to present his knowledge from the Excluded Lives Programme focussing on Experiences of School Exclusions: The impact on families and students. The launch event concluded with an presentation from WMVS CiC Foundation, and an overview of developments from within the West Midlands; followed by an hour-long panel discussion. Panellists included Head Teacher and adoptive parent, Stuart Guest, Head Teacher, Steven Powell, NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer in Public Health, Dr Joht Chandan and Head of Systems Change and Inclusion, West Midlands Combined Authority, Claire Dhami. 

The Secondary Launch took place digitally on 20th January 2023, with colleagues in the wider community invited to join the discussions and network in workshops throughout the day.

On demand content from the digital launch is now available to ARC members in the membership area.