Disaster impacts on students and staff from a specialist, trauma-informed Australian school

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Children from disadvantaged backgrounds often experience high levels of traumatic stress, however, little is known about their experiences and the responses of their teachers following disasters. The aim of this study was to examine, from the perspective of teachers, the impact of a critical community-wide traumatic event on student and staff wellbeing, and student learning and teaching practices at a specialist school for disadvantaged and displaced youth in Australia. Eight school staff were interviewed, including administrative, teaching, and support personnel, with their responses interpreted using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Results focused largely on the impact of the event and the resultant relocation of the school on staff and student health, reduced opportunities for learning, changes to teaching and student engagement, and the strengths and limitations of the trauma-informed approach of the school. Implications for teacher education and school trauma-informed models are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-530
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Trauma
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


  • Children
  • Disadvantage
  • Disaster
  • School
  • Teachers
  • Trauma

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