University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

‘It’s a struggle’ – the role of the school Health and Well-being Lead in supporting families in poverty

Lyndon, S., Solvason, Carla ORCID: and Webb, R. (2024) ‘It’s a struggle’ – the role of the school Health and Well-being Lead in supporting families in poverty. Journal of Poverty and Social Justice (JPSJ). pp. 1-20. ISSN Print: 1759-8273 Electronic: 1759-8281

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This paper explores one primary school’s response to addressing poverty experienced by children and families, within a post-covid context. It draws on a small-scale qualitative case study exploring the role of the Health and Well-Being Lead [HWBL] in a primary school in the Southeast of England. This study is born out of previous research funded by TACTYC which examined the contribution of Maintained Nursery Schools [MNSs] in low-income areas of England to Early Years Education and Care (Authors’ own, 2020a; 2020b). The most prominent finding from the previous research was how these nurseries not only supported the holistic education of the child but were also attuned to the wider needs of the family. Part of the findings included the need for a designated member of staff, funded by the local authority, who could be sent out to offer support to families as a preventative measure when they saw that “the wheels [were] getting wobbly” (Authors’ own, 2020a: 56); acting as a bridge between the home and the setting. The present research arose from an encounter with Katie (pseudonym) at a university conference, who was fulfilling a role in a primary school which was very similar to the one identified in the research with the Maintained Nursery Schools. Although Katie worked in a school, she was not a teacher, her background was in family support. This paper presents a case study focusing on Katie’s role as a Health and Well-being Lead [HWBL], within a primary school in an area of relatively low-income in a predominantly affluent market town. The research was unfunded and arose from a joint interest between the school where Katie worked and the researchers to explore the contribution that the role of the HWBL makes to the children and families at the school. It privileges the voices of the families and staff, including the ‘struggles’ families face, their resilience and innovation in addressing these, and how they are supported by the HWBL within the school context. Although the context has changed from early years (where the need for this role was originally recognised) to a Primary school; the role, with a focus upon care for the whole family unit, remains the same.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information:

This research was highlighted in an article on the University of Chichester website:

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: Policy and administration, Sociology, Policy and Administration, Social Work, Development studies
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Divisions: College of Arts, Humanities and Education > School of Education
Related URLs:
Copyright Info: © Authors 2024
Depositing User: Carla Solvason
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2024 10:37
Last Modified: 10 Jul 2024 12:21

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