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Embedding Trauma-informed Pedagogies in an Inclusive Learning Community

Project Context:

The burden of mental health difficulties and recognition of pre-existing trauma in diverse student populations has focused attention on the impacts of these experiences on learning and progression. Higher education institutions have an implicit duty to respond in ways that ensure inclusivity and belonging; in turn, supporting student achievement and raising awareness of these underrecognized issues.

Integration of trauma-informed approaches in UK higher education remains limited, representing both a deficit and timely opportunity. Drawing on approaches established in professional environments, research interest in trauma-informed pedagogical practice is developing internationally across social work, law, health care and education. Trauma-informed practice encourages knowledge integration into both policy and practice. More specifically, trauma-informed pedagogy aims to prevent re-traumatisation and vicarious traumatisation of individuals in the learning environment, together with enhancing empathy towards lived experiences of others.


In this WIHEA student co-created project, the project team explored the evidence-base relating to trauma-informed pedagogies, in order to develop transferable educator guidance. This guidance has been developed to support staff and students’ wellbeing, and to further embed inclusive practice and skills in self-care and well being. Co-creation approaches have foregrounded student voice and perspectives in design. This project relates to the strategic areas of Student Engagement and Inclusion and Curriculum Design and Development.

Project Team:

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Dr Helen Nolan

Associate Professor

Warwick Medical School

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Dr Elisabeth Blagrove

Associate Professor

Department of Psychology

Jessica Sinyor bio pic

Jessica Sinyor

MBChB Student

Warwick Medical School


Educator Guidance: Trauma-informed ApproachesLink opens in a new window

The linked educator resource is an interactive H5P book. Here users can navigate through a series of sections that explore;

  • aspects of trauma (including classifications, causes, prevalence and the underpinning science)
  • principles and strategies for accommodating learners’ experiences and needs in the learning environment
  • learner and educator wellbeing and selfcare

The resource can be accessed (and revisited) at any time and features a selection of links to additional information, should you wish to explore further.