Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) relate to a range of traumatic experiences in childhood that have demonstrable impact on future health, mental wellbeing and life chances.
Whether or not the child has memories of the traumatic event or circumstances evidence shows these experiences still have an impact on the mind and body, leading to health problems later in life. In effect, the trauma imbeds itself physiologically. Attainment levels at school and later in life are also affected.
Children who have suffered from ACEs are more likely to:
Though not restricted to any one set of demographics, ACEs are likelier to be experienced in areas of deprivation. Overcoming them is not impossible but is complex, requiring hard work and multiple involvement from agencies, government policy and communities.
Teachers are not expected to manage these themselves, however a supportive learning environment is particularly helpful for vulnerable children. Schools should have clear processes for children who are suspected of being, or who are, vulnerable to ACEs, including communicating with external agencies as appropriate.
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