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Weir announces 15 new nurture groups for primary schools

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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.

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