CAT in Educational Settings


CAT is offered an a wide range of services for children, young people, their families and carers.  You can read more about this in our blog on Youth CAT.  Young people and staff in educational settings are also benefitting from the application of CAT ideas.

A Game of Two Halves

Our member Dr Nick Barnes is a young people’s psychiatrist working with children and adolescents in London, and more recently in the north of Scotland. From 2010 he has used CAT ideas in combination with footballing activities with young people (aged 11 – 16) at risk of exclusion from school.

Read more about A Game of Two Halves by clicking on this link.

Nick has also drawn on CAT ideas in his support of school communities where pupils have been affected by violence.

The Thriece Project

The Marino Institute of Education developed an educational  research project known as THRIECE (Teaching for Holistic, Relational and Inclusive Early Childhood Education).  This 26 month project began in December 2017.  A free conference in Dublin on the outcomes of this work marked the end of this project in January 2020.

It was funded as part of an Erasmus+ programme. Its Irish project leads were ACAT member and CAT Practitioner Dr Claire Regan, Dr Leah O’Toole and Professor Nóirín Hayes, alongside colleagues in Poland and Portugal.

The study investigated alternative models of early childhood education, using ways of teaching and learning which nurture relationships.  It had a focus on the family, educational and social systems in which a child exists. It included a CAT framework as part of its model.  Educational staff learned CAT techniques such as mapping to aid them in understanding and supporting relationships with children and parents which supported learning.

You can read more about THRIECE at this informative blog on the Early Childhood Ireland site, by Dr Claire Regan and Dr Leah O’Toole: Placing the Child at the Centre of Quality in Early Childhood and Primary Education

THRIECE created  a number of educational modules on THRIECE which are available through MIE.  These are licensed under a  Creative Commons licence (Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-Share Alike Licence –  You can access these through the dedicated THRIECE website at

Several of the audiovisual presentations feature the application of CAT approaches within the project, and the experience of staff in implementing these.  You can find these in Unit 3 of the THRIECE resources, and they include:

  • Relational Reflective Practice
  • Reciprocal Roles
  • Relational Reflective Practice Mapping

Follow THRIECE on Twitter at @ThrieceProject

Thanks go to Dr Claire Regan and Dr Leah O’Toole for helping develop and update information about THRIECE, particularly through their presentation to the Youth CAT SIG in June 2021.

CAT in Educational Settings by ACAT Public Engagement Team
CC BY-SA 4.0 

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