I MATTER FOR SCHOOLS: Build Yourself Strong Foundations for Supporting Challenging Children in your School and Community 


In your school or community, what can you do when there are...?

More and more struggling and challenging children and less and less resource

Longer and longer waiting lists for help and more and more complex forms to fill to get the help you know is needed

More and more pressure on schools and services to achieve what sometimes feels impossible

More and more caring staff feeling excess workplace stress

It shouldn’t have to be this way


Though there is a lot more discussion of mental health in schools, is there nonetheless something BIG missing in practice with challenging children?   

Yes! We think so...

One BIG OVERLOOKED ISSUE is the significance of the health of the adult-child relationship for multiple outcomes.

The second BIG ISSUE: is the adults understanding (at school and at home) of children's social emotional development - and their own adult role.

So I Matter Training can help schools work into this key but complex area of education practice by providing pertinent and accessible training for staff and for parents, AND tools that help identify needs and track progress.

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The I Matter Framework aims to organise a lot of complex ideas into something helpful that ordinary professionals and parents can understand to support joined up thinking

Our communities are struggling when it comes to children.  In particular there is an urgent need to challenge an overly medicalised model of children's difficulties.   

What changes does this mean we all need to make do you think?   I hope we can support you on this fascinating journey!      Cathy

I Matter Framework Training Can Help Schools as it works at an intersection of staff and parent training


I Matter Training gets school and home thinking together


We offer resources to help you make a local joined up difference


We help support positive change tracking a longer term view


Children's well-being is important to us - we knew what we wanted but not how to get there.  I Matter Training is helping our school to pull many disparate needs and initiatives into an organised approach putting adult-child relationship health at the heart of our priorities and school development thinking 


Huw Davies, Headteacher - Ghyllside School


  • When it comes to working with challenging children and those with mental health concerns

    + Schools & parents want evidence based approaches but there is so much conflicting advice

    + Teachers can wonder why there are so many children being diagnosed with disorders

    + Waiting lists can be so long and your own staff can be feeling so stretched


    When it comes to supporting parents and carers

    + It seems to be so difficult to get the help that is clearly needed

    + Every initiative seems to be so short term

  • + Funding seems to be a constant problem

  • + The tools don't seem to fit the needs

The 12 Month Plan..or more.. or less.

So we are now developing this as a way forward - starting in the Kendal area - as we have seen that training in the I Matter Framework helps professionals and parents  work with others for something new in school, home or community setting

Step 1

Build a first small team that gets I Matter and can lead inhouse change

Step 2

Work with our tools to clarify issues, identify priorities and build skills

Step 3

Take a step by step supported approach to home-school wellbeing

"The information drawn together in I Matter Training is like gold dust for teachers and parents and carers of the challenging child.  I am loving the training and finding it so interesting!" - Foster Carer


About I Matter Framework Training 

The I Matter Framework is a carefully constructed psycho-educational training package based on an integration of decades of well-established evidence about what children need to thrive and why.  It was drawn together by Dr Cathy Betoin, a practising clinical psychologist, an experienced teacher and a parent, in response to seeing the challenges experienced everyday by practitioners and parents and carers who were looking for help for children and unable to access it.      

I Matter Training is carefully designed to help professionals and parents and young people find their way through the confusion and the fog that can be found in stressed and challenging relationships via a learning together approach that cements stronger local community relationships.

How Exactly Does I Matter Training Help Schools and Communities to Help Young People and Parents?

This is how the stages work in schools

1. A small cohort of your team (recommend minimum 2) learns the I Matter Framework via the Foundation A and B each focusing on a struggling child in their own setting.  Senior leaders are encouraged to attend an I Matter Foundation Intensive and follow-up

2. These professionals and their schools can apply to be Link Professionals-schools for other in-house professionals and for parents who are wanting to learn.   The licences enables a discount on subsequent training places

3. Some of your team can complete Intermediate training focussing on Thinking Developmentally.   These professionals can apply to become a Lead Professional enabling them to offer in-house study support to other professionals and linked parents and accessing an additional discount on the cost of training.

4. Lead Professionals can also train and become licensed to use our tools for understanding children's developmental needs and progress across the school journey.  They learn how these can be used to provide continuity and focussed priority planning and progress monitoring for children with additional needs in partnership with parents.

5. Experienced staff members with appropriate qualifications can apply for advanced practitioner training enabling you to develop your capacity to provide effective work with joined up home-school thinking

What people say

  • “This approach rebuilds the hope and confidence of professionals and parents by providing a language and concepts that we can all work together. It just makes complete sense ”

    GP Safeguarding Lead Kendal Integrated Care Community

  • “The I Matter model of dealing with the adults before the children is such a useful way to look at things and has turned the dynamics on its head for me. I realised my stress levels are having a huge impact on all of us as a family and learning to change this is starting to make a difference.”


  • “EVERY parent and teacher would benefit from this course. Parent carers are a group of people I would like to get this to. This would be a fantastic opportunity to bring a very isolated group of people together to improve the situation they are in. ”

    Carer support professional

  • “I am a HLTA but also a parent and foster carer. I work with primary aged children, have 3 teenagers, and foster toddlers! This course has been so valuable for each and every relationship I encounter on a daily basis. ”

    Higher Level Teaching Assistant and Foster Carer

  • “Thoroughly brilliant course. Has made an big impact on my own well-being which has meant that I have been more able to cope better with the expected and unexpected aspects of life in a calmer rational manner!! ”

    Key Stage 4 Leader and Parent

  • “The Headteacher and other staff now come to me. They are starting to spot the families who would be helped by some I Matter Training. I work flexibly - sometimes just with the parents and sometimes with the parent and child together.. We use the posters and I can see the moments when the pennies start to drop. This is a new way of working for us. I find it exciting to see the changes that happen. ”

    Teacher - Lead Professional

  • “The registration questionnaire really got me thinking. I realised how isolated I had let myself become and that this was not helping me or my child. I took action the next day and phoned a friend. I also made another follow-up appointment to speak with my GP. ”


  • “This course has been so much more than I expected it to be. I have learned so many things that have changed my understanding of myself and of my child. I have worked with many services before this but this has really made the difference. Now I know why I Matter ”

    Parent of complex child

You came into your role to make a difference - and this can help!

Contact us to discuss getting started.