Supporting children with challenging behaviour through a nurture group approach

Document type
Corporate author(s)
Great Britain. Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (England)
Date of publication
12 July 2011
Education and Skills, Children and Young People
Social welfare
Material type

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This survey examines the use of nurture groups and related provision in a small sample of 29 infant, first and primary schools. Nurture groups are small, structured teaching groups for pupils showing signs of behavioural, social or emotional difficulties, particularly those who are experiencing disruption or distress outside of school. The survey considers what makes nurture group provision successful and evaluates the impact on the pupils and their families.

Between November 2010 and March 2011, inspectors visited 29 schools to explore their use of nurture group provision. In most of these schools, between five and 10 pupils attended the nurture group at any one time. Among the survey's findings are that when the nurture groups were working well they made a considerable difference to the behaviour and the social skills of the pupils who attended them. All the schools visited judged the success of the group in terms of the pupils’ successful reintegration to their main class. However, ensuring that the pupils made progress in their academic learning often did not have as high a profile as the development of their social, emotional and behavioural skills. Among the recommendations are that schools should ensure that all intensive interventions enable pupils to make academic as well as social and emotional progress.

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