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Schools can’t fix poverty, but a little empathy goes a long way

To build positive relationships with pupils, teachers must understand the impact of adverse childhood experiences

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It’s recruitment season in Scottish schools. At interview, we are likely to invite candidates to tell us about the skills and qualities that might make them the best person for the job. In among the answers citing great exam results, organisation and ability to meet deadlines, I’m looking for evidence of something else – something more valuable, more human.

More than anything else, adults in schools need to be able to build positive relationships with children and young people. It is a truism that we remember much more about how people made us feel than their words or actions. Those we are ...

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