top of page

Teacher's Optimal Relationship Approach (TORA)

TORA Logo.png

TORA is an evidence-based universal approach to mental health and wellbeing in education settings.


TORA acknowledges the pivotal role teachers play in the lives of children and provides teachers with knowledge and skills to embed therapeutic qualities and playfulness into their daily relationships in school.

"The Teacher’s Optimal Relationship Approach (TORA) departs from the current landscape of mental health programs in schools, as it develops teachers’ skills to further enhance connection with children, to educate and support all children. The approach focuses on teacher skills development and reflective practice. This combination aims to build teacher confidence in their use of newly acquired skills" (Renshaw, 2023).

TORA Key Research Findings

The extensive research study, conducted 2014-2022, found TORA to be effective across multiple domains.

Improved Student-Teacher Relationships

Student–teacher relationships were positively impacted by the TORA. Overall, close, positive and effective relationships increased and problematic aspects of relationships such as dependency and conflict decreased.

Learning engagement increased

Child school engagement was positively influenced by the TORA. Problematic behaviours such as hyperactivity and conduct problems decreased and prosocial behaviours increased indicating that the emotional, social and academic classroom climate was more conducive to learning. Teachers reported overall positive shifts in student engagement.

Improved social, emotional, behavioural and wellbeing

Children’s social, emotional and behavioural characteristics were changed positively by the TORA. Socially, teachers assessed children as increasing in prosocial skills. Children’s internalised emotional difficulties decreased, as did behavioural difficulties including conduct problems, hyperactivity and externalised behavioural difficulties.

Download the TORA research study summary infographic!

bottom of page