Trauma-Informed Practice Professional Development


We aspire to build an education system in which all students can thrive academically, develop good physical, mental and emotional health, and gain the skills to live a fulfilling, independent life post-school.

Trauma-informed practice recognises student behaviour as communication and helps staff build their confidence so they can help students who have experienced trauma get ready to learn. Foundational training in trauma-informed practice is now available for school communities to request on MyPL.

Training is designed to help staff create a trauma-aware school community. Staff will develop an understanding of childhood trauma and its impacts on student learning and wellbeing so they can better meet students’ needs so that students can reach their full potential.

Two additional courses were made available to staff later in 2021, an Advanced Specialist and an Advanced Leadership course. These courses will enable staff to better support their students and to assist in the development of a trauma-aware school community.

Introduction to trauma-informed practice

Introduction to trauma informed practice

Foundation course development and pilot

Our foundation course ‘Trauma Informed Practice for Improved Learning and Wellbeing’ was piloted in 2019 and 2020 with over 1000 teachers, school leaders, student learning support officers and administration staff across NSW.

The department developed this training as part of our Disability Strategy commitment 1.3 to ‘Train school and departmental leaders in evidence-based approaches to support students with disability’.

To inform the development of the pilot program our team contacted schools who had previously completed trauma-informed professional development. We received 442 survey responses and held 52 in-depth interviews and documented our findings in the report ‘Trauma-informed practice in an educational context’ (PDF 330KB).

Respondents expressed an overwhelming desire to know more about the ways trauma impacts learning and how they can better support students with complex social and emotional needs.



Since Term 1, 2021, the Trauma-Informed Practice for Improved Learning and Wellbeing foundation modules have been delivered to Department of Education staff in schools and operational directorates across the state. The modules are being delivered by trained Department staff.

Each of the four 90 minute modules is NESA accredited.

Additional modules are currently in development.

To find out more contact:


  • Student management and wellbeing
  • Teaching and learning


  • Additional needs
  • Behaviour
  • Diversity and inclusion

Business Unit:

  • Inclusion and Wellbeing
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