Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

The Australian Educational Researcher




School of Education




University of Western Australia / Stan Perron Charitable Foundation Grant / Open Access funding enabled and organized by CAUL and its Member Institutions


Martin, K., Dobson, M., Fitzgerald, K., Madeleine, F., Lund, S., Egeberg, H., . . . Berger, E. (2023). International trauma-informed practice principles for schools (ITIPPS): Expert consensus of best-practice principles. The Australian Educational Researcher. Advance online publication.


Recognition that schools should be responsive to children who are impacted by adversity and trauma is burgeoning internationally. However, consensus regarding the necessary components of a trauma-informed school is lacking. This research developed expert-informed and internationally relevant best-practice trauma-informed principles for schools. A four-phase methodology included (i) identification of school-relevant trauma-informed practice programs, (ii) inductive thematic analysis of the main concepts underlying programs, (iii) phrasing of draft Principles and (iv) Principle revision and finalisation via a two-round Delphi survey with international experts. Excellent agreement by experts on the importance of all Principles was achieved (round 1 ≥ 86.4%, 2 ≥ 92.3%). The final ‘International Trauma-Informed Practice Principles for Schools’ (ITIPPS) include four Overarching (A–D) and 10 Practice Principles (1–10). Summarised, these include that the school: (A) is student focussed; (B) models compassion and generosity; (C) is understanding and responsive; (D) incorporates recognition of their First Nations peoples in the school’s ethos: (1) prioritises safety and wellbeing; (2) models positive relationships; (3) provides a positive culture and connects; (4) consults and collaborates; (5) supports vulnerable students; (6) teaches social and emotional learning; (7) provides trauma-informed practice training; (8) is predictable yet flexible; (9) identifies and nurtures strengths and (10) reflects, changes and grows. The ITIPPS provide clear guidance for education sectors, schools and other settings about appropriate learning environments for children and young people impacted by trauma. Research is now underway in Western Australian schools to pilot test the feasibility and impact of using the ITIPPS within a framework ( to establish trauma-informed schools.



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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.