What is an I Matter Lead Professional?

An I Matter School Lead Professional is someone who is taking the lead on the training of inhouse professionals and linked parents in relation to the importance of their own role and wellbeing in the all important adult-child relationship.     An I Matter Community Lead Professional is a professional, commonly a GP Safeguarding Lead or School Nurse or Community Practitioner who has an eye to the development of I Matter thinking acoss their own community patch

All children thrive when adult-child relationships are healthy but when working with vulnerable children these relationships can be very demanding and the unsupported adult can become drawn into dynamics with a child that are damaging for all parties.

An I Matter School or Community Lead Professional therefore has a key role in developing their own skills and insight and in supporting an environment within the whole school community that cares for adults so that they can care for children.

To take forward an inhouse development as a licensed I Matter School there must be senior leadership support and a minimum of two staff who have completed Foundation and Intermediate training and who are working together with a clearly defined action plan.

Training of a Lead Professional

At present the preparation for the  Lead Professional trainee role involves:


Foundation A and B

Link Professional

Intermedate A and B optional

Lead Professional Training

Lead Professiona training requires an application for a Trainee Lead Professional Licence wihch runs for a minimum of 2 years as part of a licensed school with an annual membershpi based on the numbers of pupils on roll.   The Trainees participate in a supportive Lead Professional learning network as they start to support other professionals and parents through the I Matter Training process in their own setting.  

Year 1

Term 1:  Covers essentials of good practice in the Lead professional role

Term 2:  Participants run study support for a small group of in house professionals

Term 3:  Participants run study support for a small group of parents

Year 2

They work with local partners to run a confident rolling programme building a community of support.

Lead Professionals are provided with resources and links to enable them to provide supported online learning within their own setting.

We actively encourage schools to take part in this training as a cluster in partnership so that local GP Safeguarding leads can work with school leads as part of Integrated Care Communities.

The Senior Leadership Role

An I Matter School or Community must have a sujpportive senior leadership team.   Headteachers should have usually done an awareness event and one day intensive as a minimum and the delegated senior should usually have completed Foundation A and B training as an absolute minimum.  GP safeguarding leads should have the support of their own community networks

The senior Leadership role is to ensure that the Pastoral Lead Professional has adequate support and that I Matter thinking is being embedded into the thinking of the whole school community.  They ensure that I Matter princniples are used to support staff, parents and pupils

The Pastoral Lead Professional 

This is usually an experienced member of staff who works actively to edudate and support staff and parents using I Matter principles so that they can be more effective in their own roles especially with vulnerable and challenging pupills

Link Professionals

I Matter Link professionals are staff who have completed foundation A and B training who are working alongside the Lead Professional in their own school, or service to provide I Matter Informed care to pupils and parents and staff.     They can include staff of all grades.

The main aim of the link professional is to support the Lead Professional in developing an informed shared language that is attuned to the needs of adults and children as they work towards adult-child relationship health and support for the foundations of social emotioanl development.  


How to Become an I Matter Lead Professional

We are committed to seeing significant changes in what is happening in our schools and communtiies and are therefore especially interested in working with those who are in a position to influence policy and practices in their own school or community.     The training encourages participants to work over an extended period so that there are many opportunities for putting theory into practice.  We are currently in the process of setting up a searchable directory.

Professionals can access awareness and Foundation training throughout the year on a rolling programme.  However the Lead Professional training runs on an annual basis.

How to Become an I Matter Trainer

I Matter Training beyond the school or service setting is delvered only by vey experienced I Matter Lead Professionals who have implemented an effective inhouse programme over time or worked across a cluster of schools who are implmenting these ideas.    They will have documented experience of supporting a minimum of 3 vulmerable children and families over an extended period using a wholistic developmental approach focussed on the confidence of a joined up home-school team.

The I Matter Trainers can run:

i) Short Insets: I Matter Introductions or

ii) Full day I Matter Intensives

iii) I Matter Action Planning days.

Characteristics of an I Matter School or Service

1) An I Matter school is one where the whole staff:

+  Are supported by an inhouse I Matter trained pastoral team with senior leadership support

+  Have a good understanding of the way in which children develop in the context of relationships with adults and the impact of ACES and trauma

+  Have a commitment to ensuring that all staff and new staff access training that informs about children's attachment and social emotional foundations

+  Are prepared for working with parents and staff and with children in a stress aware and attachment sensitive manner.

+  Are observant and skilled in working with children and with adults around issues of regulation, and skills maturation

+  Work with a range of resources to engage the wider school parent-carer community in a learning journey 

+  Work with older pupls on their understanding of their own role as attachment figures for younger peers

PLEASE NOTE:  The I Matter Framework was designed to help create an easy to access foundational training on which to build insight and good practices with professionals and parents who start with a very wide range of initial training.  To help a child no one person or organisation can work alone and so community based understanding and models of working are key to effective practice with hard to reach children and families.    I Matter is very complementary to other well respected models used in schools and services including 

+ Attachment Friendly Schools

+ The Thrive Approach

+ Family Links

+ Solihull

+ Triple P

The I Matter Framework is not seeking to replace other good practice,  The intention is to support a process of drawing good practice initiatives together into a more effective integrated whole and as foundation training for heads and directors, governers, teachers and teaching assistants, GP's, Paediatriatians, Social Workers, School Nurses, and Health Visitors and Community Workers and Police Officers. 

When adults are more understanding and confident and feel more supported in the role they have to play with children and and with other adults, then more children will thrive.  

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It's quite simple really - we offer resources and encourage people to take time to think and learn about what is happening around them..

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We carefully gather evidence of the impact of I Matter Training using a variety of formats and will be presenting more here very shortly.

Get Started: Learn why healthy adult-child relationships and healthy communities matter for mental health, positive behaviour and healthy child development at home and in school. Then.. Take Stock and Go for Results.


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