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The nurture team

We work across the county, with infant departments in schools to support children who show early signs of difficulties in school. We work with small groups of children and individual pupils.

The team

We are a highly skilled, experienced team of teachers and specialist learning teaching assistants (SLTAs) who have all undertaken the national nurture training. We have worked within schools in Derbyshire since 1999 to set up and run nurture groups, train staff and offer on-going support.

We also offer a range of training including the national accredited 3 day course.

Nurture group

A nurture group is a small group of 6 to 10 children/ young people usually based in a mainstream setting and staffed by two supportive adults. Nurture groups offer a short term, focused, intervention strategy, which addresses barriers to learning arising from social, emotional and or behavioural difficulties, in an inclusive, supportive manner. Children continue to remain part of their class group and usually return full time as soon as they are ready.

Group approach

Trained staff create an attractive, safe, structured environment usually within the context of a mainstream educational setting, with a number of areas and resources designed to bridge the gap between home and school. Building trusting relationships are core to the approach. The children are carefully selected according to their individual holistic profile of needs, identified using the Boxall Profile whilst also ensuring the establishment of a cohesive nurture group. Individual and group plans are then formulated, with all targets thoroughly discussed with all involved including the pupils themselves.

Staff then provide a variety of experiences, opportunities, approaches and resources to address these needs within a culture of trust, understanding and knowledge incorporating the 6 principles of nurture, with progress closely monitored.

Six principles of nurture group

  • learning is understood developmentally
  • the classroom offers a safe base
  • the importance of nurture for the development of well-being
  • language is a vital means of communication
  • all behaviour is communication
  • the importance of transition in the lives of children.


Janet Stuart - head of nurture team
tel: 01629 531476

Suzanne Meikle-Janney - team coordinator
tel: 01332 831316