The Nurture Group Network is delighted to be joining the Fair Education Alliance (FEA) which is comprised of 70 of the UK’s leading organisations from across the education, charities and business sectors that are committed to tackling educational inequality. FEA’s aim is to work towards ending the persistent achievement gap between young people from our poorest communities and their wealthier peers by 2020.
The Nurture Group Network (NGN) has particular affiliations with one of the FEA’s key aims: to ensure young people develop the key strengths, including character, emotional wellbeing and mental health, they need to succeed in life. For over 10 years, NGN has worked to ensure that every disadvantaged or disengaged child has access to a nurturing intervention to equip them with the skills and resilience they need to make the most of learning and school. We do this by supporting the development of nurturing interventions in schools through training, resources and support; making the case for nurture in schools with policymakers and politicians; and we have an on-going research and evaluation programme to monitor evidence of outcomes.
By encouraging children to form attachments to loving and caring adults at school, nurture groups provide unconditional positive regard, thus providing a powerful mechanism for change. In this way, nurture groups have been proven to increase the educational attainment for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged students (Cooper & Tiknaz, 2007) including language and literacy skills (Hosie, 2013); effectively reduced school exclusions (Ofsted, 2011; Ofsted, 2009; Estyn, 2007), improve attendance (Cooper, 2011) and have shown to improve social, emotional functioning and mental health over time (O’Connor and Colwell’s, 2002).
Furthermore, NGN hopes to ensure young people develop key strengths they need to succeed in life through the use of the Boxall Profile. As a highly regarded diagnostic and assessment instrument by a large number of teacher and educational psychologists who have used it, the Boxall Profile is ideally placed to both assess children and young people’s strengths and enable practitioners to support their pupils needs.
NGN is looking forward to working with organisations such as Save the Children, Achievement for All, NAHT and Business in the Community among others to ensure that all children and young people develop key emotional wellbeing and mental health strengths and further support the FEA’s wider aim of ending the persistent achievement gap between young people from the UK’s poorest communities and their wealthier peers.