Inclusive and Nurturing Schools Programme: six months in

14 July 2023

The transformational Inclusive and Nurturing Schools (INS) Programme, commissioned by the London Violence Reduction Unit, is now in its sixth month of delivery. The programme aims to keep children safe, supported, and thriving in school, tackle exclusions, and ensure children and young people have healthy relationship behaviours and attitudes. Nurtureuk’s INS Programme Manager Jenny Perry shares her thoughts on the programme so far.


We are now six months into the Inclusive and Nurturing Schools Programme working with 70 schools across seven London boroughs, alongside our colleagues from Tender Education and Arts. What a six months it has been!

Fifty schools across five boroughs have started their nurturing journey through the Inclusion strand, whilst an additional ten schools from one borough are well underway with their work on the Healthy Relationships strand. 

A fundamental part of this programme, and what is at the core of the nurturing approach, is relationships. Strong, healthy, secure and trusting relationships help pupils to feel safe, staff to feel heard, and provide a sense of belonging for all. 

Whilst a large part of my role as Programme Manager involves spreadsheets and Gantt charts, the beginning of each new programme gives me the great privilege of meeting with school senior leaders before they start. It is an opportunity to talk through the programme, answer any questions and, most importantly, listen to them talk with pride and hope about their schools, their staff and their pupils. Despite all that is going on around them and everything that they still have to wade through in this post-pandemic world, they are all realistic but optimistic about the future and they all, without exception, have placed their pupils and the school community at the centre of all they do. That is why they want to be part of the Inclusive and Nurturing School’s programme.

This has come at the perfect time” is a phrase I have heard over and over again from head teachers and inclusion leads. The Covid-19 pandemic, the current cost of living crisis, and a society that shares negativity and doom on social media at every opportunity, is having a huge impact on the social, emotional and mental health of our children, their families and our teachers. 

Nurture helps to tackle this by getting to the root of children’s social, emotional and mental health difficulties and provide schools with the help they need to deliver the right support. It improves attendance, behaviour and attainment and ensures every child is able to learn. It supports schools in strengthening the relationships they have with all members of the community. Through the Healthy Relationships strand of the programme, Tender Education and Arts aim to empower the whole school community to address sexual harassment and gender-based violence by providing education, training and guidance.

The INS Programme offers participating schools training on a range of subjects including the Boxall Profile® Online, resources, activities and enrichment days to support training or to use with young people in the classroom, expert-led networking opportunities, and bespoke consultancy so that we are meeting the needs of every individual school.