TheRelationalTeacher (cover)


At the Relational Schools, we are developing a sound and robust database of evidence that shows the vital importance of good relationships in the achievement of great student outcomes. This is, of course, something that all great teachers know instinctively. Our research has uncovered robust evidence showing the impact of relational teachers in the classroom.

We are committed to working with schools, academics, policy makers and key organisations to help improve the way relationships are formed and maintained between parents and the school, teachers and students, and among student groups.

In order to launch our research findings to the education community, we have commissioned a documentary, The Relational Teacher, and released a book to support the film.


This book, and the film that accompanies it, focus on teachers as they assess the impact of their relationships with the students they teach. They come to view their agency as professionals through a more developmental lens. The authors argue that the teacher who understands the relational dynamics of the classroom is able to have a broad and more complete understanding of each student as an individual, and to encourage the young people they teach to explore their own agency as member of the group, and their own relationship with the teacher and other staff.

The message is powerful. Its focus on the importance of the quality of human interactions between a teacher and the young people in their care is a million miles from the dominant paradigm of discipline and data-driven accountability. Moreover, the driving force behind Relational Schools – to build a stronger, more connected, and more compassionate society by starting with relationships in schools – is both compelling and urgent.

“I think you will be challenged by what you read and see, and that it will help you as you evaluate whether there is perhaps a difference between what you say are your top priorities and what actually goes on in your school. The book and DVD could provide a useful basis for a staff in-service training session.” – Hugh Bradby, General Secretary, TISCA


Based on our research, the Relational Teacher film documents the vital importance of teachers’ relationships with students in the achievement of great learning outcomes. Click to view the film trailer.




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