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Title: Nurture groups in secondary schools : perceptions of children, parents and staff
Author: Garner, Jennifer
ISNI:       0000 0004 2701 5069
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2010
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With the rising prevalence of children with Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties (SEBD) in the secondary sector (Cooper & Whitbread 2007), many schools are establishing Nurture Groups (NGs), a government endorsed intervention (DCSF 2008; 2009; DfEE 1997; 1998; DfES 1999; 2002a). These were created by Boxall (1976) and are designed to emulate missed or deprived early childhood experiences. The intervention has been associated with Attachment Theory (Bowlby 1969; 1973; 1981). However, there is little research indicating that an intervention primarily targeted at infant schools can be applied effectively to secondary settings (Cooper & Tiknaz 2007; Cooke, Yeoman & Parkes 2008). Therefore, the main aim of this research was to explore how NGs are implemented into the secondary sector and whether they can be a beneficial intervention for children with SEBD. It examined the implementation of three secondary school NGs through the views of 17 secondary school staff and eight parents using focus groups, and six children who had attended the NGs through individual interviews. The data were then analysed using thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke 2006). Findings showed that secondary school NGs can be a valued resource and have benefits for those within them. However, they have a different emphasis from those originally devised by Boxall (1976). This was felt to be influenced by the age of the children and subsequent attachment needs. Therefore, practitioners need knowledge of adolescent development and attachment theory to implement NGs successfully. They also need to consider carefully methods of communication and dissemination of NG aims and practices to school and home. Educational Psychologists are strategically placed to help secondary school NGs, due to their knowledge of child development, attachment theory and psychological tools/techniques to aid communication. They could also play an important role in supporting NG staff to fulfil their pivotal and challenging role in the lives of these children.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.Ch.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available