A systemic evaluation of a nurture group in Scotland


Jenny Fraser-Smith and Kirsty Henry

Affiliation: Scotland, UK
Corresponding author: Jenny Fraser-Smith (email unavailable)
Published online on 30 November 2017

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Nurture groups are seen in a variety of school establishments and are considered an effective provision for children with additional social, emotional and behavioural needs. According to an HMIE report (2009) that reviewed the impact of nurture groups in primary schools in Scotland, providing a nurture group environment within a school allows children to integrate more effectively into the mainstream curriculum with reduced or no support in future years. Previous research in this area has considered the benefits and challenges pupils face when a school adopts the nurture group intervention. Embedded within these studies are aspects of school systemic processes that also impact on the success of a nurture group. This study takes a uniquely systemic perspective to evaluate a nurture group in a primary school in Scotland. Furthermore, a systemic evaluation will assist the best course of implementation for schools that may be considering the nurture group intervention. A solution-focused meeting was adopted to gather qualitative data and content analysis revealed 15 categories. Each category was discussed and during this process of analysis four key internal systems emerged: parental involvement, communication, selection process and training. This study highlights a number of systems that need to be in place for both the longevity and effective running of a nurture group.

nurture groups, evaluation, primary education


Jenny Fraser-Smith, Kirsty Henry (2016) "A systemic evaluation of a nurture group in Scotland", The International Journal of Nurture in Education, Vol. 2 Issue: 1, pp.37-44.