SEND News Roundup

At Axcis, we are thrilled to be associated with the National Autistic Society and nasen. Each month, we bring you the latest news highlights from our partners, so if you’d like to know what’s been happening with these great organisations and in the world of SEND, read on.

NAS News

Below you’ll find a list of some of the latest autism news, compiled by our friends at Network Autism. Each title is clickable and the link will take you to their website where you can find the full story.


Get the latest SEND news here with Axcis

  1. Study suggests autistic people at greater risk of being homeless
  2. Autism research grant to study health outcomes
  3. Tackling bullying could help reduce depression in autistic teens
  4. NHS standards to measure quality of care for autistic people
  5. Early autism interventions and neurodiversity
  6. Surf therapy for autistic young people
  7. Autism, ageing and masking
  8. Wristband aims to support autistic people
  9. National Autistic Society intervenes in school exclusions case
  10. Welsh report finds young disabled people are “hidden”

Nasen News

Below you’ll find a list of the latest SEND news from our friends at nasen. Each title is clickable and the link will take you to their website where you can find the full story.


  1. nasen and SeeAbility launch new mini-guide for SEND Professionals
  2. Off-rolling – Ofsted use data to investigate
  3. Online Forum Consultant
  4. Adoption UK launches its report, ‘Bridging the Gap’
  5. Damian Hinds speech has positive implications for SEND
  6. Nadhim Zahawi encourages SEND specialists across England to work together to improve outcomes for children and young people with SEND
  7. nasen has partnered with the Tes SEN Show 2018 to help provide two days of dedicated, educational and engaging SEN focus

Are you seeking work with young people with SEND?

Register with Axcis and become connected to a range of specialist and mainstream schools in your area for work.

Register with Axcis and become connected to a range of specialist and mainstream schools in your area for work.

If you’re not already registered with Axcis, but would like to seek a special needs teaching or support position, why not get in touch or register today and find out how we can assist you? We have offices nationwide and a team of expert consultants who have proven relationships with specialist and mainstream schools in your area.


Axcis Education Recruitment Achieves REC Audited Education Status

We have some great news!  We here at Axcis Education Recruitment are delighted to announce that we have achieved our REC Audited Education status.

Why does this matter to you?

After the Department for Education’s Quality Mark (QM) scheme ceased to exist in 2013, and after consulting with members, local authorities, teaching unions and school organisations, The Recruitment and Employment Confederation decided to offer REC Audited Education. This scheme builds on the legacy of the Quality Mark and has been designed with safeguarding in mind, ensuring agencies are carrying out the relevant checks when recruiting teaching and non-teaching staff.

Some of the areas covered within the audit are:

  • Data protection
  • Training and induction
  • Complaints procedure
  • Customer service
  • Diversity
  • Work seeker checks
  • Advertising
  • Dealing with clients


We are proud to be a REC Audited Education Recruiter. It goes right to the heart of providing schools, parents and governors with the best service possible. This accolade gives you the confidence and assurance that we adhere to the highest standards within the recruitment industry and education sector, as has always been the case but we proudly now have the “official” stamp. If you need to verify our presence (or anyone else’s) on the list of accredited recruiters, you can do so here.

Why use an REC Audited Education agency?

By using an REC Audited Education member, as an employer you know that:
  • They have demonstrated that extra level of compliance
  • The agency you are working with is one of the top 10% of agencies in REC membership that has demonstrated their professionalism
  • You know they have a recognised kite mark of excellence and have undergone specific checks within the education sector
  • You can be confident you are using an accredited supplier that is accountable to a professional body
  • They are helping to build the best recruitment industry in the world

Helen Hughes, Head of Vetting for Axcis has this to say about the award:

“Achieving Audited Education Status goes a long way to demonstrate our commitment to professional practice and safeguarding here at Axcis. We are hugely proud of this award, and of the fact that after the audit, we were informed that we had one of the  best assessments that they had ever done. This means that both our candidates and clients can rest assured that we put child safety at the heart of our business values.”

Need help with any vacancies?

If you have any outstanding SEND vacancies, with which you’d like assistance, why not get in touch with Axcis today? Just mail us your vacancy or contact details and we will put you in touch with your local consultant. All of our staff are SEND specialists with an in-depth understanding of the sector and the expertise to find you the perfect staff member. Plus you don’t pay for our service unless we find you someone you want to take on, so what do you have to lose? Give us a try today!


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Introducing our New Axcis Midlands Consultant

Axcis is continuing to grow as more and more schools hear about us and start using our services. As a result, our Midlands office has a new consultant – Aadam Din, so if you’re seeking work (or staff) in the Birmingham, Solihull or Warwickshire areas, why not get in touch with Aadam? Find out a bit more about him here.

We asked Aadam to tell us about himself:

Prior to joining Axcis, I spent over three years working in social housing and a further three in recruitment. I hold a current DBS certificate as well as a level two

Aadam Din

safeguarding qualification. In addition to this, I have gained experience working with children, teenagers and adults with a variety of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).


I feel that this combination of qualifications and experience puts me in an excellent position to select suitable staff for a range of SEND settings.


I am passionate about working closely with my candidates and clients alike. I take the time to really listen to their needs in order to make suitable matches. I understand the importance of stability in schools and endeavour to help the provisions I work with to find people with not only the right skills on paper, but also the right personality and team fit.


In my spare time, I love sports – especially cricket. I have set up charity games which have involved players at international level, and I have also been coaching a number of children with special needs to play cricket, which I thoroughly enjoy doing.


Would you like to work with Aadam?

Aadam covers the Birmingham, Solihull and Warwickshire areas for Axcis. If you are seeking work (or staff) in this location, then get in touch with Aadam today to see how he can help. Or if you’re seeking work in any other area, register online and we will put you in touch with your personal consultant in your local office.



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Candidate of the Term Summer 2018: Nominations

Who has been nominated and why for the Axcis Candidate of the Term Summer 2018 awards? Some of the lovely nominations we have received are listed here. Why not take a look?

Agnes, working for Axcis London

I would like to nominate Agnes, she is punctual hard working kind and very flexible with an excellent attitude.

Georgia, working for Axcis Liverpool

Georgia has supported Sam, a 6th form student with an EHCP during this academic year.  Sam had a history of difficulties prior to coming to us. Georgia has helped Sam immerse herself into 6th form and has given her the support she requires to be a valued member of the 6th form. Georgia has inspired Sam and equally Sam has changed as an individual. The support has been both academic and social. Georgia has instilled in Sam our 3 R’s – Respect , Responsibility and Resilience. Georgia quickly and efficiently integrated herself into our provision and is highly professional. She has produced a portfolio of evidence as a case study which is exemplary. For us, Georgia has been a wonderful TA to Sam and a credit to your agency.

Joel, working for Axcis London

Joel has been temping with us for quite a few years. He has worked on both our after school club and holiday playscheme services. Joel has been employed as a playworker, planning and setting up activities and working closely with the children and young people. He regularly supports children needing 1:1 support who have challenging behaviour or complex needs – Joel is great at understanding their needs and managing them accordingly. However, Joel also works equally well with groups of children and young people with less severe needs. He ensures that all children are integrated with one another, regardless of ability, background, age or ethnicity, and treats all children and young people with equal consideration and respect. In the school holidays, children are with us for a full day, and Joel helps to plan for more complex and challenging children.


His attitude towards the children is invariably mature and sensible, while also being imaginative, caring and creative. The staff here are very diverse, and his teamwork is exceptional; he always supports his colleagues, and has no trouble fitting in to whichever group of staff he is placed. He participates well in the daily planning, always contributing to the full, and displaying very well-developed communication skills. Joel is quick to learn and enthusiastic in his work, and is an exceptionally obliging, co-operative and pleasant colleague. He is very flexible and willing, and his interpersonal skills are very good indeed. We rely on the ingenuity and imagination of the staff in a very dynamic and changeable environment, and Joel always rises to the occasion with original ideas and new ways of dealing with situations and problems when required. The permanent staff have learnt an awful lot from Joel and he has become an integral part of the team.

Shaun, working for Axcis North Wales

We’d like to nominate Shaun for going above and beyond the call of duty and engaging in sports with the children at playtimes.

Simon, working for Axcis North Wales

We’d like to nominate Simon for working well with the team and children. Definitely recommend Simon. His enthusiasm is infectious. A breath of fresh air!

Saaraa, working for Axcis London

We’d like to nominate Saaraa, who has been doing teaching assistant work for us for going above and beyond for all pupils. Nothing is too much hassle. She is always wanting to learn and is a positive influence throughout the school.

Josh, working for Axcis North Wales

I would like to nominate Josh. He is a very pleasant member of staff who always is happy and smiling with both staff and pupils. I have copied below extracts from a recent reference the Headteacer provided for him:


“Josh has undertaken the leadership of our music curriculum and has built a thriving department from a very low starting point.  He has developed suitable medium and long term plans which meet national curriculum requirements, allow for KS4 accreditation and account for the learning needs of our pupils.  He invariably plans for individual progress, using available data and his own knowledge of pupils to ensure that needs are met and progress is maximised.  Music is now a popular curriculum option and Josh runs well-attended extra-curricular activities in a regular basis.”


“Josh has never failed to rise to any challenge we have set him.  A typical example is the way he was able to take over the teaching of English at short notice.  With little in the way of support, he produced units of work that enabled our pupils to make demonstrable progress and rekindled their enthusiasm for the subject.  He quickly became familiar and competent with the assessment requirement for the subject and was able to contribute to the reporting process.  He achieved this with the enthusiasm and good humour which typifies his approach.  During this period pupil engagement rose, attendance at English lessons rose, attainment rose and incidents of negative behaviour fell markedly.”


“I feel that Josh embodies our ethos and always responds to challenging behaviours in a compassionate, non-confrontational way.  He uses our policies and procedures very effectively to prevent negative behaviours and deescalate them when they arise.  Josh is adept at using our agreed scripts and contributes to a school-wide consistent approach.  During development and solution focussed meetings he always makes a contribution and is usually able to offer a potential solution to issues we have identified.  Every interaction he has with pupils or colleagues reflects our school values and mission.  He is passionate about the young people we care for and consistently ‘goes the extra mile’ to ensure that their needs are met.  His expectations are appropriately high and he is consistent in rewarding pupils when they are met, as well as resolving learning barriers when they are not.”

Mohamed, working for Axcis London

I nominate Mohamed for his dedication, reliability and excellent relationships with students.

Nominations are now closed

Nominations for Candidate of the Term Summer 2018 are now closed. However, if you have an Axcis contractor who has gone above and beyond the call of duty, why not get in touch with us to nominate them for next terms awards? We appreciate every nomination, and so do our candidates! Winners for the winter term awards will be announced soon – so watch this space!


Axcis Pleased to Announce Continued Partnership with National Autistic Society

Axcis are delighted to announce the continued partnership with The National Autistic Society for at least a further two years.

Mark Lever, NAS CEO (right) with Catherine Friel, Axcis Senior Director at a recent conference

Having worked closely with the  NAS for 8 years now  Axcis  is very pleased that the  partnership is set to continue. As part of this agreement, Axcis will continue to  sponsor Network Autism, the professional arm of the National Autistic Society, which provides invaluable resources, news, training and support to professionals working with autistic individuals in a range of settings. Axcis sponsorship will also be used for initiatives such as Schools Autism Awareness Week, which will be running in spring 2019, and MyWorld, which is a campaign which was launched several years ago and is intended to support autistic children at school by providing useful resources to education professionals with the aim of spreading good practice and autism awareness in educational settings.


As Paul Gold, Axcis Education CEO , explains:


Supporting SEND charities and our charitable partnerships are  very important to us at Axcis and our relationship with the NAS has been central to that. We are thrilled to continue our partnership with the NAS  and we look forward to continuing to help them to provide schools, and the wider community with some fantastic resources, support and other exciting initiatives in the coming years.


Mark Lever, National Autistic Society CEO, had the following to say about the continued partnership with Axcis:


We are delighted that Axcis Education has committed to a further two year partnership with the National Autistic Society. Over the last 8 years our partnership has been a great success and with their support it has allowed us to deliver transformational events, services and resources to professionals working with autistic people. Our partnership with Axcis is one of the National Autistic Society’s most valued and long standing and we are very much looking forward to continuing our work together over the next two years.


Find your next SEND job with Axcis

Axcis are the foremost suppliers of SEND staff to mainstream and specialist schools in England and Wales. We work with a range of candidates, from TAs and Teachers to Therapists and School Leaders. We would love to hear from you if you are looking to recruit any temporary or permanent SEND staff, or seeking employment in this sector.

Axcis July Giveaway: 3 Great nasen Books worth £70!

To celebrate our renewed partnership with nasen, as well as the fact that July brought us the much-anticipated event “nasen Live 2018”, we are giving away 3 fantastic nasen books worth £70 in our July Giveaway – find out more here including how to enter this FREE prize draw.

About the books

There are 3 books being given away (as one single prize). They are:


  1. Win these three great nasen books in the Axcis July Giveaway.

    Supporting Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders – This practical resource contains a wealth of valuable advice and tried-and-tested strategies for identifying children and young people with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD). This fully updated text describes the different types of difficulties experienced by pupils with ASD and helps practitioners to understand their diverse needs.

  2. Supporting Children with Dyspraxia and Motor Coordination Difficulties – Offering practical tips and strategies on how to meet the needs of children and young people with dyspraxia and other coordination difficulties in a range of educational settings, this book features timesaving checklists, templates and photocopiable resources to support professional development.
  3. Successfully Managing ADHD – Fintan O’Regan provides a user-friendly resource for busy teachers, showing them how to offer practical and effective strategies and models of good practice to practitioners, and signposting further sources of information.


About the Axcis/nasen relationship


The National Association of Special Educational Needs (nasen) is the UK’s leading organisation supporting those who work with or care for children and young people with special and additional educational needs and disabilities. Nasen supports all staff including SENCOs, leaders, teachers, governors and teaching assistants in meeting the needs of the pupils in schools and other settings through promoting education, training, and development.


Nasen also reaches a huge readership through their journals: British Journal of Special Education, Support for Learning, Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs and the magazine nasen Connect.


Axcis has been supporting nasen for a number of years and our relationship has gone from strength to strength. From sponsoring key events and exhibitions to contributing to publications and the SEND Gateway, a valuable online resource for SEND professionals, Axcis is pleased to be affiliated with an organisation doing such great work.

How to enter the Axcis Giveaway

If you’d like to be in with a chance of winning this great prize, why not enter our giveaway? all you need to do is follow THIS LINK and select how you’d like to enter. It takes just a few seconds and is entirely FREE of charge. So why not take a peek now and get yourself entered into this month’s Axcis Giveaway?

Register today and work for Axcis

If you’re not already registered with Axcis, but would like to seek a SEND teaching or support position, why not get in touch or register with Axcis today and find out how we can assist you? We have offices nationwide and a team of expert consultants who have proven relationships with specialist and mainstream schools in your area, so if you need work, why not register now?


Terms and Conditions are applicable to all giveaway entrants.

Is the current funding climate making schools choose between ethos and realism?

An SEMH school leader, Graham Chatterley has become a regular guest-blogger for Axcis. In this post, he discusses the budgetary pressures schools are under and how our most vulnerable children are often the ones who are at the highest risk of losing out as a result.


Graham Chatterley giving a presentation at a recent event

I recently read a brilliant article about exclusions and the damage they do in the long run. The link between poverty and mental health is clear for all to see and one in two pupils who get permanently excluded have a Mental Health Difficulty. Children in care are 10 times more likely to be excluded and children who qualify for free school meals are 4 times more likely to be excluded. So these children have had a very challenging start to life; they are angry, resentful, anxious and heaven only knows what other emotions, which puts them in a position where it is extremely difficult to regulate themselves and therefore challenging behaviour occurs.


The schools don’t care and so they are excluded, right?




I’m not saying there aren’t a minority of schools who think this way but the majority I’ve worked with are desperate to help, have an Ethos that is all about inclusion and ‘Every Child Matters’ but they are forced to make a choice! It’s head vs heart and when “your head” means peoples jobs and the majority of your students then compromises have to be made.
Working effectively with children with additional needs requires extra staff time, it requires help from outside agencies and it requires flexibility in their timetable. Therefore it requires a lot of flexible thinking but most importantly it requires funding. Give me a blank cheque and I will find a way for every child to have a specific education plan, social skills support, emotional literacy work and pastoral support plan to meet their needs. However blank cheques are a million miles from where we are at!


Funding being slashed year on year makes meeting the needs of challenging pupils harder and harder. These are children who often come from a home that has no money to meet basic needs. They go to a school that has less money year on year to provide the support the child requires. They therefore must look to outside agencies like CAMHs or Social Services for support. Yes you’ve guessed it, they also have been cut to the quick! We find ourselves looking for charities to try to find support and even then waiting lists are 6 months plus. I’m not saying that we have never had children in poverty before but the gap could be filled by schools and by outside services and currently all three are skint!


We are an SEMH school, we refuse to permanently exclude and it requires serious creativity to manage the most violent and aggressive behaviours at times, but we recognise that the child is not the behaviour – the child’s behaviour is a communication of their feelings and a result of their experiences – we cannot lose that ethos. We cannot punish that child for reacting to neglect or trauma or abuse exactly as they would be expected – but we are also teachers in a school and we have other children in the class to consider. We have targets placed upon us and despite having children with significant trauma needs, attachment needs, school refusers and children in crisis; we are still expected to get them GCSEs and are assesed against our mainstream counterparts.

In what world can taking a child’s attendance from 10% to 78% not be deemed success?

In an OFSTED world where it’s still not 90%.


These unrealistic expectations are a challenge to the ethos. Working with children who are sometimes violent challenges the Ethos. At the end of the day we are dealing with staff who are human beings and who do not go to work to be assaulted and who are hardwired to react in a certain way to being assaulted. The initial outrage and human need for punishment or exclusion is in every one of us. Especially when we are tired, stressed and feeling helpless.


The problem is, if we do exclude, we just confirm to the child what they already believe; that they are bad and they don’t belong! They then become more isolated and more vulnerable and all those precious pennies saved cutting funding to schools, CAMHs and Social Services end up getting spent later on the criminal justice system for a child that maybe could have been “saved” with the right intervention.


It is even harder for mainstream schools to be inclusive regarding behaviour. Until expectations and priorities change or funding is reintroduced, the inclusive ethos will wither and die. There are truly some amazing staff in mainstream schools. I regularly meet with Headteacher’s who are naturally incredibly inclusive and distraught when they have to exclude, but when a decision comes down to leaving 29 children unsupported or providing 2 to 1 for an angry and aggressive child it’s a near possible position. When TAs are in tears because they love a kid but can’t find a way to get through and been bitten or hit in the process. I know heads are raiding their own other budgets to try to find a way to support and exploring every avenue only to be met with dead ends. Site supervisors are finding the schools biggest store rooms and kitting them out as sensory rooms to try to desperately try to meet needs.


There is nothing to suggest that schools will be better funded any time soon, so what else could be done to help prevent exclusions? To start with we could move away from a system where everything is judged on academic progress. A system where realistically schools are punished not rewarded for being inclusive. We need to give recognition for attendance, engagement, reductions in aggression and allow for a flexibility in timetables that doesn’t make everything about what they are able to write down. Allow the school to work with that child’s interests and skills and not be worried that they haven’t done their spellings that morning and give the child that opportunity to have success rather than failure.


Let them show other children they have talents and are worth being friends with and give them that sense of belonging in the class. The only way to break the cycle of exclusion is to improve self-worth and stopping them feeling like an outsider. If we can convince them they have something to offer, if we can challenge their perception that they are worthless and we and the other children can show them that we like them. Then they just might feel it’s worth investing, even if the people holding the purse strings don’t.


Graham Chatterley


Are you seeking work with young people with SEND?

If you’re not already registered with Axcis, but would like to seek a special needs teaching or support position, why not get in touch or register today and find out how we can assist you? We have offices nationwide and a team of expert consultants who have proven relationships with specialist and mainstream schools in your area.



Introducing our new Axcis London Consultant

Axcis is continuing to grow as more and more schools hear about us and start using our services. As a result, our London office has a new consultant – Ebru Gursoy, so if you’re seeking work (or staff) in the Hackney, Tower Hamlets or Redbridge areas, why not get in touch with Ebru? Find out a bit more about her here.

We asked Ebru to tell us about herself:

Ebru Gursoy

I hold a BA in Creative Musicianship, majoring in teaching. In addition to this, I have worked as a SEND teaching assistant for children and young adults with a range of needs, including ADHD, ASD, SEMH and SpLD. I have also taught singing from KS1 through to KS5 in school and youth club settings.


I feel that this training and experience provides me with an understanding of what schools are looking for in their employees and I am determined to provide reliable, professional and experienced staff for the provisions I work with.


I’m very passionate about supporting SEND children in their settings because I have been caring for my mother who is completely deaf in one ear and partially deaf in the other since I was young. Children with special educational needs and/or disabilities are often some of the most vulnerable in our society and I want to help provide them with the best support to help them excel in their education and general life.


When I’m not working hard to support the schools I work with, I love to sing! I am proud to have done backing vocals for a number of artists such as Jessie J, Sam Smith and Justin Timberlake on shows such as The Brits, Alan Carr – Chatty Man and Graham Norton.

I have also worked for an education charity called Future First as an alumni Networker; contacting former students for interviews as well as doing assembly talks to current students about their career choices.


Would you like to work with Ebru?

Ebru covers the Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Redbridge areas for Axcis. If you are seeking work (or staff) in this location, then get in touch with Ebru today to see how she can help. Or if you’re seeking work in any other area, register online and we will put you in touch with your personal consultant in your local office.



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How do agencies work?

Have you thought about joining up with an agency but fear of the unknown stops you from going ahead and doing it? Find out all about how agencies work here, and decide if it’s the right employment route for you with our helpful guide.

What is an agency?

Could using an agency be the answer to your job seeking situation?

An employment agency is simply an organisation which puts jobseekers and employers together. They usually specialise in a particular profession/sector and use their expertise to help both candidates (the job seekers) and clients (the organisations looking to hire people) to find the perfect match according to their needs. This, in turn can take some of the stress out of the recruitment process for both parties.

How do you “sign up” with an agency?

The method for signing up with an agency can vary from company to company. Usually, the first step is to fill in an online registration form or email in your CV. A consultant from the company will then usually get in touch to find out a bit more about you and have a chat about what you’re looking for. They can then help to advise whether they are the right company for you or not (i.e. whether they are likely to be able to help you with your job search).

How do you know which agency is right for you?

This can be very subjective as there are so many agencies out there. However, you could try asking yourself these questions to figure out whether you want to go ahead and work for a particular agency or not:


  • Do they offer jobs in the sector and geographical location I am based in?
  • Did the consultant get in touch and ask lots of questions? Do I feel that they understand what I’m looking for and have taken a genuine interest in meeting my needs?

Do you have to “interview” with an agency to get work?

Interviews can be valuable for both parties. Credit Flickr.

Yes – most reputable agencies will ask you to attend a face to face interview as part of their registration process. This is a valuable step for several reasons, for example:


  • It allows you to ask lots of questions and get a better feel for whether they are the right agency for you.
  • It allows the agency to do the same – they are more likely to be able to help you effectively if they fully understand your background, skills and how you see your career moving forwards.
  • It allows the agency to complete any required compliance. For the vast majority of work, and temporary assignments in particular, they have a legal obligation to view various items of paperwork and have you complete appropriate forms at their end.
  • It also allows you to ensure that you fully understand how processes such as sickness absence/payroll etc. work before you begin any assignments.

Is there a charge for an agency finding me a job?

Not usually, no. If your agency says there is some sort of fee payable for finding your work, then you should probably consider looking into alternative agencies! However, there may be some small charges for various compliance checks. In the education sector, for example, most agencies will expect you to cover the cost of your own criminal records (DBS) check. There may also be charges associated with processing pay, so you should ensure that you are 100% clear on this side of things before you begin your first assignment.

Do agencies really pay out if you refer a friend?

Find your next SEND job with Axcis

Yes! For example, here at Axcis, you can earn up to £250 (in shopping vouchers) for successfully referring a friend to us for work. It’s in our interest to pay you for any referrals you make because we want you to keep making them – in fact, that’s why our scheme pays you more for each person you refer!

OK – I’m interested – what next?

It depends on what sort of work you’re looking for – the first step is always going to be finding an agency which suits your own needs/situation. If you’re interested in working with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) children in an educational setting in England or Wales, then we could well be the agency for you – feel free to take a look at our website, jobs pages or testimonials pages to help you to decide if you think Axcis is a good fit for you – and if we are, why not complete our online registration?

What is attachment disorder and how can we effectively support children with it?

What different types of attachment disorder exist, how can you spot it and what can you do as a teacher or member of school support staff to help children who have it in an educational setting? Find out here.

What is attachment disorder?

Attachment disorder can be defined in the following way:


Attachment disorder is a broad term intended to describe disorders of mood, behaviour, and social relationships arising from a failure to form normal attachments to primary care giving figures in early childhood. Such a failure would result from unusual early experiences of neglect, abuse, abrupt separation from caregivers between 6 months and three years of age, frequent change or excessive numbers of caregivers, or lack of caregiver responsiveness to child communicative efforts resulting in a lack of basic trust.  A person’s attachment style is permanently established before the age of three. A problematic history of social relationships occurring after about age three may be distressing to a child, but does not result in attachment disorder.

What are the symptoms of attachment disorder?

Symptoms may be varied and can be different between young children and adults. However, in general, the symptoms which may indicate an attachment disorder are as follows, according to The Counselling Directory:


  • Problems expressing anger – Children with attachment disorder may struggle to control and express their anger. They may express it through tantrums and acting out, or use passive aggressive behaviour. They can also hide anger under socially acceptable behaviours, like hugging too tightly.
  • Poor eye contact – Difficulty holding eye contact can signify a number of things with children. If seen along with other associated symptoms it could be a sign that the child is struggling with attachment.
  • A need for control – Often those with attachment difficulties feel a strong desire to be in control. They may go to great lengths to feel in control of situations and can become disobedient and argumentative.
  • Problems with self-monitoring – Self-monitoring is when we observe our own behaviour (either consciously or subconsciously) and recognise if behaviours need to change. For those with attachment disorder, this can become difficult.
  • Difficulty showing affection – When the attachment bond to parents is insecure (or not there at all) children often show little to no affection towards their parents.
  • Seeks affection from strangers – As a child with attachment disorder is/was unable to get ‘enough’ affection from their parents, they may seek it elsewhere. They may, therefore, act inappropriately affectionate towards strangers.
  • An underdeveloped conscience – Those with attachment disorder can act as if they don’t have a conscience, failing to show remorse or regret after behaving badly.


If you suspect an attachment disorder then the next step is to seek diagnosis from a professional. The child’s GP may be a good place to start, a child psychologist or the SENCO at your school.

What different types of attachment disorder are there?

Attachment Disorder can begin at a young age, often if a child is separated from their primary care giver.

Another great source of information is the website Kids Behaviour UK – they tell us that there are two distinct forms of Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), the most well known name for an attachment disorder. The inhibited form of RAD is characterised by a lack of expectation of care and comfort. The disinhibited form is characterised by a general and excessive familiarity, even with strangers. Sometimes the disinhibited form is also known as Disinhibited Attachment Disorder (DAD).

How can we support attachment disorder in the classroom?

There is an excellent article in SEN Magazine, written by Jennifer Jones who is a trainer and consultant at Inspired Foundations, a company providing a range of services to those living or working with looked-after, adopted or vulnerable children. In this piece, she gives various strategies for supporting children with attachment disorder in the classroom. A few of her suggestions are listed below, but the article goes into much more detail, so if you are working with such children, it would be a good idea to read it in full here.


  • A first step to helping these children is to recognise the behaviours and understand their causes. It is important also to remember that the children may be functioning at a lower emotional age than their chronological age due to their early experiences
  • Following this, we must also teach the child to recognise the feelings they are experiencing. One way to do this is by commenting, or wondering out loud, about the child’s behaviour. (See full article for more detail on this).
  • Giving a child strategies to use in times of stress will equip them for both their school experience and later life.
  • Teachers should consider how they organise the day so that routines help build a strong sense of security and familiarity.
  • Considering the content of topics is also useful and identifying any that might contain information or activities which may cause distress, such as drawing a family tree.


Would you like to support children with attachment disorder in the classroom?

Register with Axcis and become connected to a range of specialist and mainstream schools in your area for work.

At Axcis, we work with many schools who have children with attachment disorders on roll. We are always on the lookout for caring and compassionate people who are keen to support these children in their educational setting. Although knowledge or experience is useful, we also consider those who are looking to make the move into this sector, so if you’re interested, why not register online or get in touch with Axcis today to find out more?


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