An Exploration of Nurture Groups in Secondary Schools: How They are Working in One Large Shire County in the South-East of England
The purpose of this research is to explore the structure and rationale of nurture groups currently running in secondary schools. Research in this area is limited and little is currently known about how these groups run. Thus this exploratory research examines the potentially highly varied approaches to nurture in Key Stage 3 in six schools across a large shire county in the south-east of England. A sequential mixed methods design was used to gather quantitative data about the structure of these
... structure of these groups and in-depth semi-structured interviews were carried out to gauge staff perception of the rationale behind them. The findings indicate that all participating schools have developed their own NG model in response to the needs of their most vulnerable pupils and the needs of the school organisation leading to great variation in the NG approach. Despite differences between the approaches, some aspects of the structure and rationale of secondary school NGs were consistently raised by participants as important considerations. The more complex organisational structures and needs of adolescent pupils require a more flexible and age-appropriate approach to nurture at KS3 and beyond. Further development of an appropriate model is required with a particular focus on developing communication systems, selection and assessment processes to monitor impact and embedding the nurture approach within the wider school context. This research has some potentially important implications for Educational Psychologists (EPs) with regard to supporting school transition work, delivery of training and implementation of appropriate intervention for pupils with Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties (SEBD) in mainstream settings.