[Thesis]. Manchester, UK: The University of Manchester; 2014.
Background: Pupils with Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties (SEBD) are
a cause for concern in education and although Nurture Groups (NGs) have been found
to be an effective form of intervention for pupils displaying SEBD in primary schools,
limited research exists regarding NGs in secondary schools. A key piece of research
suggests that the implementation of a classic NG in a secondary school may be difficult.
This study aims to investigate how classic NGs are delivered and how the implementation
has been possible. Furthermore, it explores the effects of NG attendance for pupils.
Participants: Two secondary schools housing classic NGs were identified through the
Nurture Group Network (NGN). For each school, participants included a NG facilitator,
a member of Senior Management and a professional from an external agency. Pupils were
also recruited (6 from school 1 and 4 from school 2). Methods: A multiple case study
design with embedded units of analysis was conducted (Yin, 2009). Various data streams
were used including an initial questionnaire, observations, semi-structured interviews,
focus groups, and Boxall Profile for Young People (BPYP) data (Bennathan, Boxall &
Colley, 2010).Analysis/Findings: Observational and questionnaire data were analysed
using content analysis and interview/focus group data were thematically analysed following
full transcription (Braun and Clarke, 2006). BPYP data were analysed using descriptive
statistics. Conclusion/Implications: Findings reveal that classic NGs can be implemented
into a secondary school. Whilst numerous barriers exist to implementation (including
understanding, arrangements, engagement with others and having the necessary tools)
numerous facilitators also existed, the majority of which could be matched to barriers
(including engaging with others, having knowledge and skills that are respected, a
supportive environment and supporting pupil attendance by altering perceptions). Benefits
of the NG for individual pupils and the wider school were also found, some of which
include improved emotional well-being and positive inclusion into mainstream with
a sense of belonging. Negative effects to NG attendance were also found and are discussed.