Skip to main content

The HeaRT Project

About the project

Download report and key findings

This project, Transforming relationships and relationship transitions with and for the next generation: Healthy Relationship Education (HeaRE) and Transitions (HeaRT) is a partnership between the University of Exeter's Law School, Medical School, and Graduate School of Education. The work is concerned with transitions into and out of relationships across the life course and their impact on mental and physical health. We focused on how children and young people can develop the skills needed to have healthy relationships in the future, and how they might be supported to cope with parental relationship breakdown and future relationship transitions of their own.

In the HeaRE strand, we explored ways to co-develop messages and materials about healthy relationships together with young people which can be used in schools, based on the core attributes and key skills identified by the Shackleton project.

In the HeaRT strand of the programme, we focused on the impact of parental relationship breakdown on children and young people, in particular, the role of child-inclusive mediation in promoting better mental health and wellbeing outcomes for young people whose parents separate. We worked with mediation agencies, the Family Justice Young People’s Board and relationship experts, as well as interviewing both professionals and families who have participated in child-inclusive mediation.

In a final conference, the findings from the two strands were brought together to look at how relationship education and family justice processes can normalise relationship transitions, help give voice to young people and build appropriate skills to help them make healthy relationship choices and cope better with relationship difficulties – their own or their parents.

Research team

University of Exeter: Anne Barlow, Jan Ewing (HeaRT); Tamsin Newlove-Delgado, Simon Benham-Clarke (HeaRE)


The Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health (2019-2022) (£85,000)

Project website