What is known about the impact of nurturing approaches through a whole school lens?

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


    Nurture Groups (NGs) were introduced in the 1970s in the Inner London Education Authority in response to large numbers of vulnerable children starting school with emotional and behavioural needs (Reynolds, MacKay, & Kearney, 2009). They aim to close the gap for children who have not had essential early learning experiences allowing them to operate both socially and emotionally (Doyle, 2003). Despite a range of research on the impact of NGs (Binnie & Allen, 2008; Lyon 2017), less is known about whole school nurture, which involves applying the principles and practices of NGs across the whole school community. This literature review aims to investigate the current state of knowledge regarding the impact of nurturing approaches through a whole school lens. The review adopts a systematic approach employing a seven-stage framework (Petticrew & Roberts, 2006). A total of 146 papers are retrieved from the databases search, of which 61 are duplicate papers. Eighty-five papers are then screened using inclusion and exclusion criteria, resulting in thirteen papers for appraisal and synthesis. Findings from these papers suggest that nurturing approaches can have a positive impact on: pupils’ social, emotional and behavioural needs, pupils’ academic progress, pupils in the mainstream class/school, parents and home life, and the whole school. Additionally, it is suggested that the length of time a nurturing approach is in place has an impact on its effectiveness. NGs operable for more than two years have a greater impact on pupils than those in place for less than two years. Limitations and implications for future research are discussed. Few papers focused primarily on whole school nurture, the majority concerned NGs. More research is therefore needed on whole school nurturing approaches, specifically within in the secondary context. Better quality and more robust research is required in this field. Several papers had methodological weaknesses thereby limiting replication and raising questions regarding data quality and reliability.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationBook of Abstracts
    Subtitle of host publicationXVI European Congress of Psychology (ECP 2019) 2‒5 July, 2019, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow
    Place of PublicationRussian Federation
    PublisherMoscow University Press
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - 25 Jul 2019


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