Forgotten Children: nurtureuk responds to Education Select Committee’s Exclusions report and calls for schools to #AspireNotToExclude

25 July 2018

As the Education Select Committee releases its report Forgotten children: alternative provision and the scandal for ever increasing exclusions, national charity Nurtureuk is calling for all schools to #AspireNotToExclude

Nurtureuk CEO Kevin Kibble gave oral evidence to the inquiry and stressed the importance of inclusion.  He told the Committee:

If the school has the right kind of nurturing ethos all the way through, there is a way of de-escalating a lot of the problems that end up with children being excluded at an earlier stage. With the right training for teachers and teaching staff and the right support, that can be achieved and is achieved in many schools”

Nurtureuk wants to end permanent exclusions in the UK through universal access to nurturing interventions for all pupils. The National Nurturing Schools Programme is a whole-school approach that upskills teachers to embed a nurturing culture to improve the mental health and wellbeing of all pupils and staff in a school.  Schools using the programme have seen a marked decrease in exclusions.  It builds on over 40 years of the successful use of nurture groups, the only intensive psychosocial intervention available full-time that allow students to remain a part of their mainstream class, that run in more than 2,000 schools nationwide. 

The success of nurturing approaches in reducing exclusions was hailed by Landsdowne Primary School Assistant Headteacher and SENCO Sarah Beaumont, who said:

 “Overall, since the first year the nurture group began we have reduced exclusions in our school by 84%. In 2017 we enrolled on the National Nurturing Schools Programme and as a result, from the start of this current academic year, we have achieved 3 out of 4 terms with no exclusions at all”.

CEO Kevin Kibble said:

“I welcome the findings of the inquiry, particularly recognition that “‘zero-tolerance’ behaviour policies are creating school environments where pupils are punished and ultimately excluded for incidents that could and should be managed within the mainstream school environment.”  We have seen the success of nurturing whole-school approaches and nurture groups in reducing and even eliminating the use of exclusions.  I have been invited to take part in Edward Timpson’s Exclusions review and will share the evidence of schools who have successfully used nurturing approaches to prevent the need for exclusions.   We are now calling for all schools to adopt a whole-school approach to wellbeing that aspires not to exclude”.

Nurtureuk’s written evidence to the inquiry here.

Kevin Kibble’s oral evidence to the inquiry here.