An investment of up to £4 million will be invested in new and existing nurture groups across Northern Ireland.
The new Nurture Programme will include:
- The establishment of 15 new nurture groups in primary schools in the 2020/21 school year;
- A further existing 31 funded nurture groups which will continue to be funded by the Department of Education;
- A new 'Nurture Approach in Education Programme' will be made available to all education settings without a nurture group facility to avail of training and support;
- A Nurture Advisory Service will be established within the Education Authority.
The Minister said: “Today’s announcement is a significant investment in new and existing nurture provision within our schools. Nurturing is a key element in supporting our children and young people to make the best start in life and help to improve their educational outcomes.
“These units directly support children who are already having to face significant challenges in their young lives and these can be social, emotional or behavioural difficulties. Before Covid-19 struck I stated that this was a priority area for me and I am glad that I now can make this significant announcement and further investment.
“I want to thank all of the staff involved in nurture within our education settings for their support to date and I look forward to working with them in the coming months to deliver this important programme.”
The Department is now working with the Education Authority to progress the establishment of new nurture units within the current school year. Simultaneous to this planning, the Department is working through the business case process and, subject to approval, funding will be allocated to the Education Authority and relevant schools in due course.
Notes to editors:
- Education Minister Peter Weir will be at Carrick Primary School in Lurgan at 9.45am on Friday, 18 September and is available for interviews on this announcement.
- The new Nurture Programme will include:
- The establishment of 15 new nurture groups in primary schools in the 2020/21 school year. They are:
Elmgrove Primary School, 289 Beersbridge Road, Belfast
St Patrick's Primary School, Killyman Road, Dungannon
Holy Trinity Primary School, Derrin Road, Cornagrade, Enniskillen
Glenwood Primary School 4-22 Upper Riga Street, Belfast
St Oliver Plunkett Primary School, 452 Glen Road, Belfast
St Francis' Primary School, 28 Francis St, Lurgan
Bloomfield Primary School, Bloomfield Road South, Bangor
St Kevin's Primary School 446 Falls Road, Belfast
Ballykeel Primary School, 22 Crebilly Road, Ballymena
St Anthony's Primary School, Tullygally Road, Legahory, Craigavon
Christ The Redeemer Primary School, Lagmore Drive Dunmurry, Belfast
Millburn Primary School, Artillery Road, Coleraine
Abbots Cross Primary School 86 Doagh Road, Newtownabbey
Linn Primary School 70-74 Killyglen Road, Larne
Carrick Primary School, Lurgan Sloan Avenue, Lurgan
- A further existing 31 funded nurture groups will continue to be funded by the Department of Education.
- A new “Nurture Approach in Education Programme” will be made available to all primary, special, post-primary schools and Education Otherwise Than At School (EOTAS) settings from this year onwards. This will allow those schools without a nurture group facility to avail of training and support in nurture approaches for use in their schools.
- A Nurture Advisory Service will be established within the Education Authority to provide support services.
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