Nurtureuk launch report on groundbreaking pilot in Parliament

On the 22nd May, nurtureuk launched its new report, called 'Now You See Us', on using the Boxall Profile to assess the social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs of every pupil in 25 primary schools.

Jon Cruddas, Member of Parliament for Dagenham and Rainham, opened the event by stressing the importance of early intervention for children in supporting positive outcomes later in life. For example, children’s social emotional wellbeing is a key factor in determining good mental health later in life.

Next Dr Florence Ruby, nurtureuk’s lead researcher for the project, outlined the key findings of the report. The report showed that assessing every child using the Boxall Profile helped teachers identify children with issues that they had previously been unaware of. The report also found that when children were identified and support was available, the number of children with social, emotional and mental health needs decreased by 23% in just 5 to 6 months.

Jane Taylor, nurture lead at All Saints Primary School Upton in Halton then spoke about her school’s experience of the pilot.

Taylor pointed out the particular benefits of the Boxall Profile Online, “We’ve used assessment tools before, and we’re used SEMH programmes before, but its innovation is to have such a detailed assessment tool which provides strategies that are specifically tailored to the targets it identifies.”

Taylor highlighted the positive outcomes nurture interventions had led to, saying that the school had seen fewer exclusions and internal exclusions since adopting them.

Toni Wheatley, nurture lead at William Bellamy School in Dagenham then spoke about how using the Boxall Profile had helped teachers spot pupils with previously ‘hidden’ needs: “It soon became apparent that we had invisible children. Girls and boys whose behaviour did not say there was a need ... but they soon became apparent.”

Using the Boxall Profile as the “emotional fingerprint of the child” helps the staff at William Bellamy target nurture interventions to support pupils. The school currently has a team of eight nurture staff and two dedicated nurture groups as well as providing other nurturing interventions to support 233 pupils in the school.

Closing the event, nurtureuk’s chief executive, Kevin Kibble thanked all the participant schools and teachers for investing their time and effort in the pilot. Without their commitment, the pilot would not have been possible.

With the evidence from this report, nurtureuk is now calling for the Boxall Profile to be used across all primary schools and for Ofsted to recognise the efforts schools make to learn and understand SEMH need.  

The report was covered in TES and Children and Young People Now. You can watch a video of Dr Florence Ruby talking through the recommendations from the report here