Norman Lamb MP visits Norfolk Nurture Hub

25th January 2019

Today nurtureuk staff were delighted to welcome Norman Lamb, Member of Parliament for North Norfolk, to the Norfolk Nurture Hub for a discussion about supporting whole-school approaches to children’s’ mental health and wellbeing across Norfolk.

The Norfolk Nurture Hub is an innovative project launched by nurtureuk in January 2018 providing support and training for specialist teaching and education staff, outreach support for schools, and an alternative provision facility for pupils with social, emotional, and behavioural difficulties (SEBD) at risk of permanent exclusion. Currently in the final phase of its development, the Nurture Hub will soon provide a holistic support service catering to all aspects of support for children with SEBD, professionals, and families.

Since September 2018, the Hub has been delivering a programme of inclusion support services to teaching staff across Norfolk. The site currently runs a series of training and networking events, and provides resources, one-to-one support and consultancy services for schools in Norfolk.

From September 2019, the Nurture Hub will provide a groundbreaking alternative provision service for twenty children in Early Years (3-5) and Key Stage 1 (5-7). The alternative provision facility allows children to stay enrolled in their mainstream school, while attending a minimum of five half-day nurturing sessions per week at the Nurture Hub. Children will be selected to attend the Hub through assessment using the Boxall Profile, with the intention that they are fully transitioned back into their mainstream classroom within two to four terms, in line with classic Boxall Nurture Group practice. Locating the nurture provision within the Hub will make it available to children from schools who may not otherwise have the resources to set up their own nurture groups. Participating schools will also benefit from an array of other support services provided through the Hub, ensuring that when children are transitioned back into their mainstream school, they will go back to an environment where staff better understand their needs and are more equipped to support them.

Nurtureuk has chosen to pilot this holistic approach in Norfolk, which has one of the highest rates of school exclusion in the UK and has been identified as an Opportunity Area by the Department for Education. There is a waiting list of over 130 children for places at the Norfolk short-stay school behaviour provision, and in the past two years children as young as four have been permanently excluded from nursery and school. Our aim is to fill part of this gap and prevent children from being excluded from school at a vital time in their development.