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Monday, May 29 2023


In the last Newsletter we discussed the protective behaviours students and adults use to protect themselves from stress in their life. In these next couple of essays, we will examine the concept of boundaries; what they are and how to control them.


Everyone has a sense of their self.  The extent this ‘self’ intrudes on the external environment in a physical self is relatively easy to experience.  We all have an understanding of our personal space.  When someone comes within that space our emotions change, our stress response is triggered.  If the intrusion threatens our safety (our homeostatic equilibrium) then we will be motivated to protect our ‘self’. If, on the other hand that someone is someone who we love, we still have an emotional shift when they come into our space but this is the result of us seeking that contact; a type of positive stress. 


These external boundary violations occur when others do things like:

  • Stand too close, or touch you in any sense without permission
  • Violate our rights to privacy (i.e. going into your bags, eavesdropping on conversations, etc.)
  • Exposing you to risk (i.e. Subjecting others to your illness or smoking in ‘no smoking’ area)


We also have a psychological sense of our ‘self’ and these boundaries are not spatial but we react in a protective manner when others are denigrating our position in the community or we will, or should have a positive sensation when our standing is celebrated.


Internal boundary violations are assaults on your psycho/social self by others.  This includes:

  • Yelling or screaming at you
  • Lying or breaking a commitment made to you
  • Calling you derogative names
  • Patronising or telling you what you should do
  • Addressing you in a sarcastic manner
  • Shaming you or your community


So these boundaries are the physical and psychological space between you and the outside world.  They define the outer limits of your physical and emotional sense and intrusions that cross this border trigger an emotional response expressed as stress. 


In the classroom, teachers have to be aware of their student’s personal physical and psychological space and understand that this ‘space’ will vary from student to student.  The illustration below indicates that point of intersection.


Simply put, effective boundaries control what is okay and what is not okay on how others treat you. 


In the last Newsletter we examined inappropriate behaviours to control stress levels under the heading of people addiction.  The use of such behaviours may protect you in the short term, at the point of your boundary but the following illustration shows how this action ‘to protect’ will build what could be called walls around you.  


As you can see, the walls do protect you but also entrap you; you are unable to move into the environment freely to get your needs met.


Types of Boundaries


This is when there is no real division between where you finish and the other starts.  These people have no real protection and are:

  • Easily exploited
  • Victimized by others
  • Have difficulty getting their own needs met



This occurs when people close their ‘self’ off from others for protection, always reacting in the same manner when stressed.  They will never understand how to deal with others in an appropriate way, to either reject unwanted advances or initiate connections.  These are the walls discussed above.



People can use a combination of soft and rigid depending on how the other person presents, that is:

  • If they are comfortable with the other person they have soft boundaries they will accommodate the other person. 
  • On the other hand, if the other person startles them then, they cut them out, put up walls.



These are the ‘goldilocks’ boundaries, not too soft and not too rigid but just right; an appropriate application of boundaries.  The person has enough of an understanding of their right to get their needs met.


The illustration above shows how you can be protected from physical and emotional abuse by being responsible for the things you do wrong, we all make mistakes and we accept appropriate consequences and protecting your ‘self’ when you are under threat.


The kids who are causing you trouble will inevitable have poor boundaries and many adults suffer that same incapacity but you can learn to apply effective boundaries following the steps outlined below.


Importantly it is the stress that causes you to behave.  Controlling this is important if you want to use boundaries to control your life. I use what is described as a relaxation response.  With practice I have developed a style of relaxation by counting from five to one in the following sequence:

  • 1. Relax the muscles in my head
  • 2. Relax the muscles in my neck and shoulders
  • 3. Relax my arms and fingers
  • 4. Relax the muscles in my stomach, lower back and buttocks
  • 5. Relax the muscles in my legs and feet, down to my toes


I do this slowly and after a period of training, when stressed I just count down from five to one.  I have placed an extended description of this technique in the resources section in our web site –


When you are calm you can use the following steps to learn how to deal with any situation.


  1. Ask the Questions
  • ‘What is really happening’?  Often this is not the immediate action that you observe, there could be other factors that got you to this place. 
  • ‘Who is responsible’?
    • If the answer is ‘me’ then I must take responsibility, take action to address the cause of the stress.
    • If not ‘me’ then I ask a further two questions:
      • ‘What is causing the incident’?
      • ‘What do I have to do to change this situation in the long run’?
  1. Take Action.

Assert you rights without threatening the other person.  You can use the follow script:

  • ‘When you …’
  • ‘I feel…’
  • ‘Because...’


The ‘when you’ step is the time to describe to the other person what the situation is, say for example if you are having trouble with their behaviour, you tell them ‘when you’ and describe exactly what they are doing that is causing the problem.  The ‘I feel’ allows you to let them know how their behaviour is upsetting you.  Don’t be afraid to tell them how you really feel and finally the ‘because’ gives you the opportunity to tell them what are the consequences of their behaviour. 


If the confrontation is more serious or the students are not engaging in the process of solving the problem, then a stricter approach can be:

  • ‘If you …’
  • ‘I will…’

This is when you can spell out that if they behave in a certain way you will deliver a set of consequences.  The decision on what to do is theirs but they will have no control over what happens next.


  1. Let Go

Sometimes even if you have done everything possible to contain of the other person or a class is out of control, using the right techniques and with the best intentions but things are still not working, it is time to seek help.


Letting go is a difficult thing to master, everyone wants to believe they control their life, this gives us our security but rationally we understand the only thing we can control is how we prepare for life and as life presents us with the inevitable challenges we respond in a way that we currently understand will get our needs met. 


Healthy boundaries are vital in taking control of your life.  Students who have been raised in chaotic families rarely have developed them but they can be learned; that is the same for teachers.

Posted by: AT 01:03 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, May 22 2023

The Impact of Elevated Stress

In the previous Newsletters we have discussed how stress is generated when we feel vulnerable because the conditions in our external environment pose a threat to our safety.  Further, we examined how this elevated stress impacts on our choices of behaviour in order to protect ourselves.  We also discussed how stress is needed not only to initiate behaviour but that stress allows us to learn new methods to deal with hostile external conditions in the future.  As can be seen from the illustration below, as an individual becomes more aroused their brain is said to ‘gate-down’.  Although the graph moves up from a state of calmness the neurological attention is moving down from the cerebral cortex, through the limbic system on to the midbrain/brain stem hence the phrase ‘gating down’.  

You can notice that we have moved from being able to consider a range of alternate behaviours when using our total brain into a condition of concrete thinking where we will only access behaviours that have worked before.  These issues have been covered in detail in two recent Newsletters, 228. Stress = Life - 1st March 2023 and 233. Gender Differences in Dealing with Early Childhood Trauma – 3rd April 2023.


In this essay we want to describe how people deal with this problem, first in a dysfunctional manner and then how to act in a way that will allow us to deal with future situations that echo the characteristics of the threatening environment.  In their early careers Margaret Paul and Erika Chopich presented a model of the different responses to threatening levels of stress; the following outline is founded in their work.


All addiction is an attempt to deal with painful stress which of course drives the need to return to homeostatic equilibrium.  Unfortunately, the use of any dysfunctional, protective behaviour in which you redirect your cognitive process or manipulates the cause of the threat or if you change the chemical composition of your brain without making a change to your behaviour condemns you to always being at the mercy of such situations.


These dysfunctional behaviours are shown in the illustration above, the people and activity addictions are the attempt to redirect the cognitive process of the perpetrator and, of course substances addiction is a well-known method of protection.


When you talk to substance addicts they almost invariably will tell you the first time they were ‘high’ on whatever substance they felt a sense of peace and personal power.  For kids with a history of abuse and that resulting sense of toxic shame it is no wonder the slide into addiction is easy.  Of course, the issue is that the more they use the drug of choice the more they will need of it.  Eventually, and this applies to all addictions the behaviour to protect themselves from stress becomes the source of future stress.


Activity addiction is not easily recognised as an addiction.  To understand the process that makes an activity an addiction is that whenever they feel stressed they will busy themselves with a distraction.  This is more easily illustrated in adults with the workaholic being the poster child of activities addiction.  Years ago when I was forming this model I was explaining it to a colleague.  When I mentioned activities addiction he exclaimed ‘that’s me’!  I had suspected that was the case and I continued on with ‘you don’t have to be that way’ to which he quickly replied, ‘that’s alright, I’m going to do my PhD’!  I had suspected this because of his frenetic approach to his work and the times he talked about the deteriorating quality of his marriage.  Needless to say, him achieved his PhD and lost his marriage.


This same addiction is seen right across society, from children being addicted to activities such as skateboard riding to becoming a fanatical football fan to some underserving team.  A word of caution, not everyone who has a consuming hobby, loves a particular team or spends most of their free time involved in a sport is an addict.  It is when they retreat from difficult situations they achieve that status, for that colleague, every time his wife wanted to address their problems he was ‘too busy’!


Finally we come to the people addiction and understanding the use of this type of protection will help you recognise what drives some of the behaviours of students. When being stressed by other people those choosing to protect themselves have a choice, they can try to control the other person or resist any attempts for the other to affect them

The types of people addiction are shown in illustration below.

The attempts to control the ‘other’ using overt behaviours can be summed up as ‘if you stress me, I will stress you back to a level you will leave me alone’!  They are, as the graphic indicates bullies; they threaten, use their friends to tease them or mock them to make them the centre of ridicule.  Eventually, the perpetrator will withdraw removing the source of the stress from the overt control addict.  This may work in the short term, the stressing behaviour of the adversary my cease but unfortunately when a similar situation arises the student will have to again be aggressive.


An alternate way to ‘control’ the stressful situation caused by another is to be so nice to them they will never attack you.  This is the covert method of people control.  Like the overt model the use of being a ‘best friend’ or ally is that you have to submerge your own need to avoid being exposed.


The final type of people addiction is that of resistance.  This is when a potential victim of ‘intimidation’ from others chooses to isolate themselves, refusing to accept any responsibility to whatever stressful situation exists.  They refuse to take part in organised activities, are absent a lot and isolate themselves.  However, there will be times when the resistors join forces and justify their behaviour with each other.


These acts of addictive behaviour are not just for the students, adults will also use these forms of control.  The selection of whether or not to be covert or overt depends on their perceived personal power in regard to the other.  It is more likely that a ‘boss’ that is feeling overly stressed will take on the overt role.  It is easier to bully those with less power.  Alternatively, those who work for an overt style boss might find it more comfortable using the covert techniques, ‘sucking up’ to make sure they are not their target.  The use of either control method disempowers the individual, the boss will lose the respect if their staff and those using the covert style will not be respected by fellow workers or skilled managers.


In the last illustration I have presented the student diagram as it applies to staff.

I’m sure we can all recognise these behaviours in our school staff.  Overt control teachers are those who put their students down, ‘why would I waste my time with this lot’.  Covert control teachers seek to be popular by letting their students ignore school norms, forgiving them for not handing assignments in on time.  What they don’t understand is that they are denying their student their right to learn about responsibility and in the long run they are never really respected.  Finally, we have those who sit up the back at staff meetings, reading the paper or talking amongst their allies.


I hope this information will help you identify those students and colleague’s dysfunctional behaviours not to condemn it but to let you approach them with compassion and understanding that these behaviours come from a faulty and toxic self-belief.  I have put a copy of Chapter 8 of my book ‘The Impact of Modern Neuroscience on Contemporary Teaching’ called Acting to Protect Yourself.


In the next Newsletter I will talk about how to deal with stressful situations in a healthy way.


Posted by: AT 01:50 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, May 15 2023

The Key is Stress Management


This is the first in the latest series of essays on the impact and importance of the levels of stress in the classroom.  In broad terms, stress is the process where the brain comprehends, and attempts to maintain, a person’s homeostatic status.  Of all the Newsletters we have produced those discussing the impact of stress on behaviour and learning far outnumbers any other topic.  Like all living things we humans are driven to survive and reproduce and when any situation in our environment either threatens or nurtures our existence we will act to deal with such a situation; we will behave!  This Newsletter will focus on that process focusing on homeostasis.


Homeostasis is the process by which the body maintains a stable internal environment despite external changes.  Our internal environment consists of our physical, social/emotional and intellectual world.  This three-part feature is embodied in the physical structure of the brain, often referred to as a triune brain shown below.

The brain’s only task is to regulate its behaviour in response to the external environment to retain homeostatic equilibrium. 

To maintain homeostasis at the physical level much of the processes are reflexive, that is they are achieved at an unconscious level; part of our genetic organisation.  These are things like breathing, maintaining blood pH and sugar levels.  The act of breathing to maintain our oxygen levels demonstrates the power a deficit can have on your behaviour.  Just try holding your breath for say two minutes and feel the growing urgency to address the disequilibrium.  The continual process of oxygen depletion and renewal demonstrates our need for continual adjust to the changes both in our bodies and the environment.


As well as this biological feature of the physical realm there is that of movement.  From the moment we are born we have to learn to move our body to sustain equilibrium.  Watch a new-born try to get their finger into their mouth.  Just like any lesson, through trial and error eventually a neural pathway will form, a behaviour is learned.


The social/emotional level involves the regulation of how our sense of self interacts with the community that is in our immediate environment.  The limbic system through structures like the amygdala and hippocampus regulates our stress levels.  When there is a perceived threat or danger, the limbic system initiates the "fight or flight" response, which triggers the release of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. When we perceive something in the environment that we need to address a deficit, say we are hungry, the stress response if not a product of a fight/flight response but one of seeking food in this instance and is driven by dopamine.

Once the threat or deficit is addressed the brain's homeostatic mechanisms work to restore the body to a state of equilibrium.


Finally, at the tertiary level is a treasure trove of memories that inform our behaviour in response to social cues, such as facial expressions and body language and environmental conundrums that may impact on our stability.  The prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for what is referred to as executive functions like decision-making and impulse control plays a crucial role in maintaining that equilibrium. 

Importantly, it is this tertiary section on which we want the students to be focused.  Teachers need to create a level of uncertainty related to the content of the lesson they are to deliver.  The resulting stress is expressed as curiosity!


The status of homeostatic equilibrium refers to a state where the whole body is safe and secure.  To achieve this the whole brain has to provide the energy to sustain those demands require to keep us alive.  However, the brain is incredibly energy-intensive consuming roughly 20% of the body's total energy, despite only making up 2% of its weight and that energy is vital in supporting our physical, social/emotional and intellectual needs. 


For example, when there is a deficit in say our social needs the resulting state of disequilibrium will demand that the brain adjust its energy consumption to focus on rectifying this problem.  Given that we have a finite energy budget, this focus on the social problem means there is less to service the other needs.  Overall, the distribution of the brain's energy is tightly regulated to support the diverse functions of different brain regions, and this regulation is critical for maintaining normal brain function and promoting overall health and well-being, that is homeostatic equilibrium.  The following illustration explains the consequences of different types of disequilibrium.

It is obvious which state is suitable to maximise the learning outcomes for our students.


It is a truism that kids learn best is a safe and secure classroom and this is why.  It is the teacher’s professional responsibility to, as much as possible produce an environment where the student’s social and physical needs are not under threat.  In reality classroom management is really stress management!

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Monday, May 08 2023

Early CHildhood Rejection

The drive to belong is arguably our species’ most powerful need.  As I have pointed out elsewhere, most believe that the determination to survival is primary but suicide refutes this and invariably suicide is a result of rejection.  It is in early childhood that we learn to attach, belong to others especially with early caregivers (parents) and rejection at this time has devastating impact on the development of their sense of self.  Understanding the impact early childhood rejection will help you, not only have compassion for these victims of rejection but assist you make those professional relationships that are critical in your classroom.


Parents can reject their child by:

  • Withholding Affection – If a parent does not show affection or emotional support the message to the child is they are not worthy.
  • Being Overly Critical – When parents consistently criticise their kids for their behaviour, efforts or appearance are again showing they are not considered worthy. 
  • Neglect - Emotional or physical neglect is a more passive way of rejection (see Newsletter 230 - Neglect 22 March 2023). 
  • Comparisons to Others – When parents compare their child to others, particularly siblings it is invariably that they are not as good as the other (however, if they overly praise their child that will have a different negative impact on the child).
  • Abandonment - In extreme cases, parents may abandon their children both physically and emotionally and this can have profound impact on their development.   

It is obvious that significant rejection whatever the form will lead to a sense of toxic shame as described in the last Newsletter.

MRI studies on rejection, even in the least threatening conditions show that when one is rejected the same areas of the brain are activated as they do when we experience pain – rejection really hurts.  In broad terms the changes are as follows:

  • The amygdala, that area processing fear and anxiety is activated leading to feelings of distress and anxiety
  • When a child is rejected their body releases stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline which increases heart rate, sweating, and muscle tension.  Continued elevated stress leads to permanent brain damage.
  • There is decreased activity in the prefrontal cortex, the brain’s executive and the effectiveness of decision making is reduced.
  • The link to physical pain is illustrated in studies that show that rejection can make a child more sensitive to physical pain.
  • Rejection can also lead to changes in the levels of certain neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine, which can not only affect mood and behaviour but also the ability to learn, make memories!

Overall, the physical and neurological changes that occur when someone experiences rejection can be significant and can have a profound impact on their emotional and mental well-being.


One field of study that is underpinned by rejection is that of attachment.  In general attachment is the emotional bond that exists between people.  It must be remembered, like all behaviours these are learned in childhood and how they are acquired will influence how effective they will be in later life.  Infants have a need to form an attachment in their first six months by being supported emotionally and socially, if not they are rejected.  The study of attachment throws up various descriptions of the styles and, in simplified terms those dysfunctional types can be summarised as:

  • Insecure – these children have a raised fear of future abandonment.  They find it difficult to trust others and struggle in isolation.
  • Avoidance – these children avoid making attachments in the future.  They will appear indifferent and unresponsive to other’s advances.
  • Ambivalent – These children are a mix of the previous two.  They vacillate between seeking comfort with others to pushing others away.


As I said at the outset, the drive to belong is powerful and these children, despite the injury inflicted on their ability to make functional attachments will still attempt to belong in their immediate community.  In the first instance, they will seek attachment, be that with other adults, teacher or older peers.  These may or may not satisfy their immediate need but they will try.  Their functional deficiency in attaching will make these kids vulnerable to exploitation.


Some kids, particularly those who have above average abilities may become very self-reliant and successful at school or in other activities.  This may be an attempt to let their parents see they are worthy of their attention.


The rejection makes them hypervigilant, always looking to avoid being rejected again.  This makes them suspicious of others and brings in their lack of trust in others.  If they are in a situation that reminds them of times when they were rejected they will retreat behind protective walls of behaviour that are designed to keep others out.  This can be things like aggression or being extra ‘nice’, anything to avoid opening up to any real meaningful attachment.


As Karen Bierman of Pennsylvania University points out children who have been rejected in early childhood have:

  • Low rates of prosocial skills, they find sharing or taking turns very difficult
  • High rates of aggressive and disruptive behaviours
  • Difficulty in attending to tasks and are impulsive
  • High rates of social anxiety


What to do when working with a student who has disrupted attachment?  It will be of no surprise that our philosophy gives a broad outline of how to help these students:

  • Structure – make sure your classroom is very predictable.  Students with rejection issues often have difficulty with transitions or changes in routine. It is important for the teacher to establish a consistent and predictable routine to help the child feel safe and secure.
  • Expectations – always reinforce the behaviour you expect from them.  Of course that is easy when they are doing the ‘right thing’ but when they are disruptive the rejection of that behaviour must not include the rejection of the child!  This is critical because their hypersensitivity to rejection makes it hard for them to make that distinction.   Remember we accept the child 100% while we reject inappropriate behaviour 100%.
  • Relationships – you can build professional relationships by understanding these kids really suffer a disability that is not of their making.  The way you are consistent, always welcoming them into your class despite what might have gone on in the last lesson and are persistently there for all studenst will allow them to start to trust you and that is the foundation to all good teaching practice!



Posted by: AT 11:27 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, May 01 2023

Toxic Shame

The ability to integrate our ‘self’ into our community is perhaps the most important skill an individual has.  All emotions are just a communication from our ‘self’ of how we are satisfying our needs.  When our behaviour is rejected by others we experience a particular emotion, shame which confirms the importance of belonging.  The fact that people take their own lives bears witness to the power of the underlying dynamic of rejection.

Shame is an emotion that we all experience at times. It's a feeling of embarrassment, self-consciousness, or guilt that can arise when we perceive ourselves to have fallen short of our own or others' expectations.  This is referred to as healthy shame, it is a signal that what we are doing is likely to lead to rejection.  It is a natural and necessary emotion that arises when we recognize that we have done something wrong or hurtful to ourselves or others.  It can motivate us to take responsibility for our actions, make amends, and strive to do better in the future

Healthy shame also reinforces our humanity. When teaching at a school for highly dysfunctional adolescents I used to claim I was a perfect human.  Of course, that got the reaction I wanted and so I followed up with the fact that no one could be perfect and so, not being perfect I was a perfect individual.  I used this because we are not and can never be perfect, we will do things that hurt others.  Not because we want to—we just make mistakes.  

This healthy shame also allows us to understand the imperfection of others, they will do things to us that are hurtful and will make us want to push them away. It is much easier to forgive them if we accept the imperfection in ourselves. If we never experience shame, then we are either God or the Devil. We are either divine or totally corrupt.

This is healthy shame and protects us from abusing our community and promotes our empathy for others, helps us be more tolerant of their mistakes.

The ability to recognise that our actions influence our acceptance or rejection from others is not instinctive.  Parents have to teach children through providing feedback when they behave in a manner others find repulsive and/or teaching them a better way to get their needs met.  Another important teaching device is to model the correct methods of satisfying their needs but not in a way that mistreats others.  More importantly they make the real distinction between the mistaken behaviour and the child, that is the child made a mistake they are not a mistake.

Young children are incapable of understanding they are not old enough or strong enough to complete some task set for them.  An example is asking a child to drink milk from a cup before they have the motor skill for such a challenge.  They will fail and, when this happens the child should be comforted and patiently taught to perform this act.  However, children from abusive parents are rarely taught this distinction. Young children are incapable of understanding they are not old enough or strong enough to complete some task set for them and when they make a mistake, like spilling the milk they are often verbally abused and in some cases physically punished.  They can only conclude that they are stupid, weak and useless; it’s their fault!  Toxic shame is not shame over what they have done; it is shame over what they are.

Children with toxic shame take this debilitating belief into school.  At any level learning consists of trial and error and so it is at school, there will be the inevitable errors.  To healthy kids a mistake informs them that this is not the right way to solve a problem.  For the child with toxic shame the mistake is confirmation that they are not the right person to be in the class. These students fear the unavoidable negative evaluation about their work and the resulting stress suffered will make any real learning impossible.  The inevitable failure reinforces their sense of shame, this toxic shame.

In a vain attempt to hide their shame from the world, these children develop behaviours that will protect them. From about the age of three, they learn to manipulate others. They develop an inner dialogue, a self-talk that takes on a self-destructive tenor as illustrated below:

  • “Just give in. It’s easier than getting into an argument.”
  • “You have to do what that person wants or there will be trouble.”
  • “It doesn’t matter. It’s not important anyway.”
  • “You should …”
  • “You shouldn’t …”
  • “You better …”

This self-talk, this belief system, combined with the feelings that come from deep in the mind, form a potent force in decisions about how to act. The feelings are powerful and almost automatic, particularly in times of stress.

Teachers play an important role in creating a safe and supportive learning environment for their students, including those who may be struggling with toxic shame. The following will help:

  1. Build positive relationships: Students who experience toxic shame may have difficulty trusting others and may feel like they are unworthy of love and acceptance. By building positive relationships and showing them that they are valued and accepted for who they are; they are not their behaviour. 
  2. Encourage success with your language, in previous Newsletters (Newsletter 76 -The Impact of language on Behaviour - 4th February 2019 and Newsletter 77 - 100 Ways to say “Well Done’ - 11 February 2019) offers plenty of techniques.
  3. Students with toxic shame will have a negative self-image and struggle with self-awareness. Teachers can encourage self-reflection by asking open-ended questions, providing opportunities for self-assessment, and helping students to identify their strengths and areas for growth.
  4. Teachers can help by emphasizing and celebrating students' strengths and progress, and by providing specific feedback that highlights their accomplishments.

These strategies are just another way of expressing our underpinning philosophy; provide all the students with a safe and secure environment that is structured, expectations are understood and positive professional relationships are fostered. 

Posted by: AT 11:30 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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John R Frew
Marcia J Vallance

ABN 64 372 518 772


The principals of the company have had long careers in education with a combined total of eighty-one years service.  After starting as mainstream teachers they both moved into careers in providing support for students with severe behaviours.

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