Introduction to the Programme
Nurtureuk have been commissioned by Kent County Council to support inclusion in schools by creating and celebrating a whole-school nurturing approach. This three-year programme will work with 300 mainstream primary and secondary schools across the county to develop their policies and practices to be more inclusive. The programme is bespoke to each school, and will celebrate what schools already do well, and champion schools to improve in areas that need it, with regular guidance and support. The journey is as big or as small as a school needs it to be to suit their needs and works to ensure that pupils, parents, staff and all other stakeholders understand the principles of nurture, and how they can contribute to a successful and happy school. We aim to support schools however they need it so that every child will have access to an education that accepts them for who they are and allows them to thrive both academically and socially.
What do schools get as part of the package?
Each school joining the programme will be enrolled in our National Nurturing Schools Programme (NNSP). The NNSP is an 18-month journey, with each school developing a bespoke whole-school approach to embed a nurturing culture. It supports Quality First Teaching and Learning and promotes healthy outcomes for children and young people, focusing on social and emotional needs and development alongside academic learning. Each school will also have access to our mental health assessment tool, the Boxall Profile® Online for the duration of the programme, with thorough Boxall Profile® training to support its use across the school. Schools will also receive attachment and nurture group training in how to set up and run a Boxall Nurture Group™, to nurtureuk recognised, and externally evaluated and accredited standards. All schools will have the opportunity to attend regular networking events to discuss best practice, and also attend expert-led webinars discussing topics most pertinent to the needs of Kent pupils, as voted for by schools. Schools will also receive publications and resources designed to support the development of their own bespoke approach, and support them on the journey to creating their own sustainable, bespoke nurturing approach. At the end of the 18-month programme, all schools will receive complimentary one year membership to nurtureuk, for continued support in creating a sustainable future.
Why is Kent County Council investing in nurturing approaches for the whole county?
Nurtureuk have been working with schools in Kent for a number of years to support inclusive education through a nurturing approach. A rigorous and broad look at what works to support vulnerable pupils in Kentish schools, coupled with the Timpson Review and the Department for Education's survey of mental health support in schools has led Kent County Council to recognise that nurturing approaches, with their rigorous evidence base, ground swell of support and outcomes in schools are a great investment to support inclusion in education. Their County Wide Approach to Inclusion or CATIE report, acknowledges the importance of nurture.
'There is significant research to show that a nurture approach to education has a significantly positive impact on improving social emotional skills, wellbeing, attendance, and the behaviour of children and young people who did not experience this good start. Nurture programmes are currently being delivered in a number of Kent schools through Virtual School Kent, Kent Violence Reduction Unit and in several STLS districts and Special Schools. There are also some schools who have undertaken nurture training independently, and recent consultation with schools and partners has identified a rich source of learning about how to maximise the value and accessibility of the offer. It has also identified strong support from schools and partners for the establishment of a countywide mainstream offer of training and support for wholeschool approaches to Nurture. Building upon the expertise and experience within schools and partners, we will seek to establish a complementary offer of accredited, evidence-based training and consultancy support to enable mainstream primary and secondary schools in Kent to implement a programme of Whole School Nurture, including provision and training in the use of a complementary accredited tool to measure pupil wellbeing.'
As a result of this report, a tendering process was designed which nurtureuk took part in. This six month process cuminated in nurtureuk being commissioned to lead this work for the county for the next three years.
We are now actively recruiting schools in Kent who would like to be a part of this programme. If you are from a mainstream primary or secondary school in Kent, please sign up to one of our briefing sessions below where you will find out more information and also have the opportunity to ask us questions about the programme.