The Annual Regional North West conference 2017

Thursday 27th April

The DW stadium, Wigan

9am – 4pm

£95+VAT per delegate


The Conference

It is more than 40 years since educational psychologist Marjorie Boxall decided something had to be done about the huge number of children being put forward for special schools in the Inner London Borough of Hackney.

She understood that these children were not ‘maladjusted’ or ‘educationally subnormal’, but had simply not had adequate emotional and social support from their earliest months to be able to deal with the demands of school life. And so nurture groups were born.

Since then thousands of children have benefited from spending time in small part-time groups in their schools and being given the experiences they missed in their early lives.

The Boxall Profile now underpins everything that nurture groups can achieve and groups are being set up in primary and secondary schools, in special schools and units in the UK and throughout the world.

Come and learn why nurture groups are achieving such acclaim from teachers, parents, pupils, educationalists and others.


Who should attend?

The conference is open to nurture staff, education staff, health staff, social workers, police, policy makers, family support workers and all who are interested in effectively supporting vulnerable children and their families.


Keynote speakers

John Timpson
Supporting Looked after children

John Timpson is the CEO of the high street shoe repair chain of the same name. He is also an author who has published many books on the topic of attachment theory. Throughout his life, John has fostered 90 children, and in addition to having three biological children, he and his wife also adopted two more. John discovered attachment theory when looking for ways to help the children he fostered. His experience and knowledge has led him to become a popular name among nurturers and pastoral support teams around the UK and beyond. In this keynote, John will look back at his own experiences, and offer his advice and hopes for looked after children in the future, and exploring what practitioners can do in schools to better support the needs of looked after children.

Kevin Kibble
The Queen's University Belfast signature project

Kevin is the Chief Executive Office of The Nurture Group Network. Previously Kevin was Chief Executive at Caspari Foundation, a charity providing educational psychotherapy for children and young people who need help to overcome emotional barriers to learning and development. With over 30 years’ experience in management, communications and marketing, 17 of which have been in the fundraising and the voluntary sector, Kevin is passionate about effecting change. This keynote will focus on the significant outcomes from the Nurture Groups Signature Project in Northern Ireland. Outlining the massive success of the setup of 20 Nurture Groups, not only in helping children to cope with social, emotional and mental health barriers to learning, but also in the increase in students’ academic achievement. Kevin will look at what lessons can be learned and how this impacts on schools.

Yvonne Monaghan
Nurturing Schools

Yvonne is Head of Consultancy at The Nurture Group Network, and has been working with children who exhibit social, emotional and behavioural needs for nearly 30 years within both primary and secondary special school settings. She was previously the coordinator for social, emotional, mental health and wellbeing (SEMH) for the targeted education support services working with and supporting mainstream and special schools in the Wigan Local Authority. Yvonne has been involved with developing and supporting nurture groups for many years, a passion that was inspired by Marion Bennathan’s keynote at a conference held 14 years ago. A few years ago Yvonne completed her MA focusing on the use of the six principles of nurture. This keynote will focus on the significant outcomes from the Nurture Group’s Signature Project in Northern Ireland. Outlining the massive success of the setup of 20 nurture groups, not only in helping children to cope with social, emotional and mental health barriers to learning, but also in the increase in students’ academic achievement. Yvonne will look at what lessons can be learned and how this impacts on schools.



Angi Franklin – LEGO BuildToExpress

LEGO® Education has been working with schools for more than 30 years. Its aim is to help practitioners to take a more progressive approach and to unlock their pupils’ interest in learning. LEGO® BuildToExpress (BTE) encourages pupils to express their thoughts and ideas symbolically, which is a more playful, creative and hands-on way of engaging pupils of all abilities. The method ensures a secure and non-judgemental process for solving problems, expressing personal feelings and breaking down barriers that can affect achievement in curriculum-based topics. 

Clare Reed – An introduction to nurturing talk @ primary

Clare Reed has over 20 years teaching experience, mainly in inner-city schools working across the Primary phase as a class teacher, language specialist, Science Coordinator, Learning Mentor Manager, Performing Arts Coordinator and Literacy Coordinator. Clare has been a Speech, Language and Communication Consultant since 2006.
Nurturing Talk @ Primary was developed and written by Clare Reed of Education Works Ltd in conjunction with Helen Stollery and Claire Eccleshall from The Nurture Group Network. It is a targeted and flexible intervention programme to develop children’s language and thought processes, helping them to talk effectively with other children and adults. It is designed to be used with children with social, emotional, behavioural and mental health difficulties, initially on a one-to-one basis but moving on to partner work and then being able to operate successfully in small groups. Each child will have a different time scale working with the programme depending on their personal needs and developmental stage.

Adele Wilkinson – New to nurture groups

Are you in the process of setting up a nurture group? Are you unsure of what you need to do or what it should look like? This workshop will give you lots of ideas and information about what your room should look like and how to create a safe and secure environment. It will also help you think about the structure of your day and what kind of learning activities you can use to support the children in the group and strategies for managing transitions in and out of the group and how to set targets and track progress. Filled with top tips and useful ideas to get you going and help you run your group confidently.

Carrie Thorne – The Boxall Profile and Beyond

The Boxall Profile and The Boxall Profile for Young People are invaluable assessment tools for any staff working with vulnerable children and young people from early years through to secondary. They provide a framework for systematic assessment of those who may be struggling with a range of social, emotional and behavioural issues in a school, alternative provision or community context. Its use will provide insights into what lies behind the difficulties, a guide to effective intervention, a structure for intervention programmes and the means to monitor and measure outcomes. It also encourages consistency of response from staff groups. Designed by educational psychologists, the Boxall Profile is arguably the best assessment tool available for profiling children and young people with emotional behavioural difficulties. With The Boxall Profile for Young People there is now a tool for secondary pupils and young people. This workshop will take delegates through what the Boxall Profile is, and how you can use it to create strategies to support children and young people. 

Robyn Dunn – Yoga in the Classroom

Yoga is an excellent tool to balance energy, aid mindfulness, support wellbeing and promote social, emotional and physical health in the classroom. Yoga can aid learning by instilling calm, and connecting students to their environment, increasing concentration and enabling them to retain information more effectively. It also relieves tension, anxiety and stress, promoting more mindful and rational thought, allowing students to open their minds to express themselves in more imaginative and creative ways. In this workshop, Robyn will show delegates how to use yoga in the classroom. Delegates will experience the benefits of Yoga first hand. We encourage delegates to bring their own Yoga mat or Towel. 

Gill Leigh - A whole school approach to Nurture

The National Nurturing Schools Programme is a programme that allows staff to develop personally and professionally whilst embedding a nurturing culture throughout their schools, enhancing teaching and learning, promoting healthy outcomes for children and young people. This is achieved by focusing on emotional needs and development as well as academic learning in a whole school environment. The programme is based on the six principles of nurture that have successfully underpinned nurture groups for over 40 years. Gill is the headteacher of Marsh Green Primary School in Wigan. During this workshop, Gill will talk to delegates about her schools experience with the National Nurturing Schools Programme. 

Catherine Armstrong - Moppy – Helping children to understand their emotions

Moppy is a colourful little character from a distant star. Every time he experiences a different emotion, Moppy changes colour.

Moppy stories are by Jane Asher and Gerald Scarfe and are an ideal context for helping children to understand their feelings and to empathise with others. These stories run alongside Jenny Mosley’s Circle Time and are a great resource for helping children to understand their emotions.

Resources will be available to take away.  


To register your interest, book your place or for more information, email