Research: Story Links

logo-storylinks-newStory Links

Story Links works with individual  pupils and their parents. Research shows it  improves parental engagement, pupils’  reading skills and emotional wellbeing.

2014 Waters, T. (British Journal of Learning Support)

Story Links: working with parents of pupils at risk of exclusion in British Journal of Learning Support Vol. 29, No 4 pp 298-318


Summary:This paper presents the results of the evaluation of the 20-month Story Links project delivered by the University of Chichester in collaboration with the Centre for Therapeutic Storywriting and funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA). The findings show a significant increase in parental involvement in their child’s learning and improvement in both pupils’ behaviour and pupils’ attitudes to learning following the Story Links intervention.


2010 Waters, T. (PhD thesis, Soton)

The Use of Therapeutic Storywriting to support Pupils with Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties


Summary: This PhD by Publication provides a commentary on 5 published research papers and covers both Therapeutic Storywriting Groups and Story Links. The last two published pieces explore the Story Links parent-partnership model which uses therapeutic storywriting to include parents of individual pupils who are at risk of exclusion because of their extreme BESDs and who also have poor reading skills. The fourth paper is a piece of practitioner research and a case study of Story Links work with an individual pupil at risk of exclusion and his parent.  The final and major piece of research included was part of a 20-month Story Links project funded by the TDA and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.  The findings contribute to an understanding of how parents of pupils at risk of exclusion – often a hard-to-engage parent group – can be facilitated to support the learning and emotional well-being of their child.


 2010 Waters, T. (Book chapter, US)

Story Links: Using Therapeutic Storywriting with Parents and Pupils at Risk of Exclusion. Chapter in: Ficksman, M. and Adelizzi, J. (eds) The Clinical Practice of Educational Therapy. New York: Routledge. p201-214.


Summary: This chapter details the use of the Story Links intervention with an eight-year old pupil at risk of exclusion and his mother. The theoretical background draws on Bowlby’s concept of attachment, Bion’s theory of containment in order to facilitate thinking, and Schore’s idea of sharing of metaphor in order to facilitate attachment.


2009 Waters, T. & Simons, H. (University of Chichester, University of Southampton, funded by Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and the Training and Development Agency for Schools)

TDA Story Links Summary Report

TDA Conference Story Links PowerPoint 

Summary: This report and Powerpoint is a summary of the full 2010 report below. Both were presented to a TDA Research and Development Award conference in Manchester in 2009.


2010 Waters, T.  (University of Chichester, funded by Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and the Training and Development Agency for Schools)

Story Links Programme Evaluation: the impact of a parent partnership intervention that uses therapeutic story writing to support pupils at risk of exclusion (Full Report)  

Summary: An evaluation of the impact of the Story Links intervention delivered by a cohort of educational professionals on the emotional and social well-being of the pupil; parental engagement with their child’s learning; rates of exclusion; reading skills; and pupil engagement with learning. It adopts a case study approach, and uses both qualitative and quantitative measures.