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NAPCE News – February 2020

NAPCE News – February 2020
Making a positive difference to young people through pastoral care

Pastoral care in schools across the UK and further afield is proven to be critically linked to the academic and personal-social development of young people. NAPCE continues to support education providers in the process of pastoral care implementation and development. It is here that we share important news of our latest activities, events and best practice guidance. 

FEATURE ARTICLE: NAPCE Officer & teacher Victoria Bownes explores how sport & physical fitness can support young peoples’ mental health

With mental health issues in young people soaring, we look at how sport and physical fitness can keep mental health issues in check by providing focus, fitness, and opportunities to socialise.

The benefits of boosting your self-esteem through Sport & Physical Activity 

As we enter a new decade with great enthusiasm to achieve our own personal goals in schools, colleges and universities it is easy to focus ourselves fully on studying and not take time to engage in physical activity.

The benefits that sport can bring to us all has been of great discussion in schools over recent years with organisations making headway with interventions to enable sporting opportunities to be more accessible to young people.

By participating in sport, children are exposed to various mental, social, emotional, physical and educational benefits.

This can lead to benefits of better sleep patterns, reduce anxiety and promote healthier and happier students who have a much greater self-esteem enabling a positive learning environment for all.

With examinations on the horizon for many, we at NAPCE would like to encourage both students and professionals to embrace in physical activity as we strive to raise the profile that having greater self-esteem can reduce stress and enable everyone to reach their true potential.

There are several links below of physical activity suggestions that you might like to access:-

https://www.parkrun.org.uk/
https://www.yourschoolgames.com/taking-part/our-sports/
https://findarace.com/
https://www.runnersworld.com/uk/training/marathon/a29188825/london-marathon-2020/
https://www.nhs.uk/change4life/activities/sports-and-activities

Good Luck in reaching your own personal goal!

Victoria Bownes
NAPCE Officer

AWARDS: TES Sponsors “Member of Staff” Category at National Awards for Pastoral Care In Education 

The UK’s leading publication for the education sector has sponsored the first ever National Awards For Pastoral Care In Education.

The media organisation – once known as Times Educational Supplement – has sponsored the Pastoral Member of Staff Award and entries have been pouring in ahead of the closing date on March 2nd.

TES was founded in 1910 and now publishes a weekly magazine and runs a dynamic website delivering the latest news and insights to the teaching profession.

A spokesperson for TES said: “TES’s mission is to support and connect teachers and schools worldwide, helping them to improve children’s lives through education. It is an international provider of software enabled services to schools and teachers.

“With more than 13 million teachers in our online community and working relationships with 25,000 schools in over 100 countries, it has the scale to make a difference.

“Tes helps schools find the teachers they need; it brings new teachers into the profession through initial teacher training; it provides teachers with continuous professional development and tools to help them succeed in the classroom; it brings educators together online so they can share expertise and it provides them with vital news and information about education.”

A host of other influential organisations have lined up to support the first National Awards For Pastoral Care In Education which launched last year including the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), Blue Sky Education, The Thrive Approach and Taylor and Francis.

About the Awards and How to Enter

This is the first time ever an event has being organised to recognise the fantastic achievements across schools in the UK on pastoral care.

It has been created to provide much deserved recognition for the people and schools who are doing great work and to shine a light on good practice in pastoral care.

There are seven categories to enter in the NAPCE Awards.

Entry closes on Monday 2nd March, 2020.

NAPCE and UK Pastoral Chat are working in partnership to organise the first ever National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education under one awards ceremony which will take place in 2020.

You can enter the NAPCE awards now here: https://napceawards.wufoo.com/forms/zxzr4y71g2ofzi/

NAPCE is inviting nominations in the following categories;

  • Pastoral School of the Year
  • Pastoral Team of the Year
  • Pastoral Member of Staff of the Year
  • Pastoral Leader of the Year
  • Pastoral Development of the Year
  • Raising Awareness about Pastoral Care
  • Outstanding Contribution to Pastoral Care

Nominations are encouraged for awards in different categories from schools and educational institutions.

The Awards will be an excellent opportunity to share good practice in pastoral care and through the social media and websites of both organisations to raise awareness of where pastoral support is making a real difference in the educational experience of young people.

The awards will encourage new initiatives and ideas in pastoral care and will recognise the contributions being made to developing policy and practice in pastoral support.

This is an opportunity to recognise the impact the work of pastoral staff is having on the achievement and well being of young people. The decisions about prize winners in each category will be made by a panel of invited professionals who work in pastoral care.

There will be a prize of £100.00 for the school or institution for the winners of each category and individuals will also be recognised for their achievements.

The criteria for the NAPCE awards are;
Award Criteria

  • Pastoral School of the Year

A school that can demonstrate a commitment to pastoral care and support for learners that makes a real difference in the progress and personal development of young people in the school

  • Pastoral Team of the Year

A team that works in pastoral care and can demonstrate a determination to support young people to achieve their full potential and a positive impact on the young people they work with.

  • Pastoral Member of Staff of the Year

A member of staff who works in pastoral care and who always makes the extra effort to support young people to enable them to become effective learners and achieve success.

  • Pastoral Leader of the Year

Has a passion for pastoral care that is shared with colleagues to inspire and motivate them to make a real difference in the lives of the young people they work with.

  • Pastoral Development of the Year

A pastoral initiative or idea that has achieved positive outcomes and has improved the learning experience and future life chances, for young people.

  • Raising Awareness about Pastoral Care

An individual, group or organisation who through their actions have raised awareness about pastoral care or pastoral issues and encouraged positive improvements for the benefit of young people.

  • Outstanding Contribution to Pastoral Care

A person, group or organisation that has made a real difference for the benefit of young people in the area of pastoral care.Nominations for the NAPCE Awards are welcome from member schools and institutions and from schools and institutions that are not currently members of NAPCE.

The Awards Programme and partnership with UK Pastoral Chat is an exciting opportunity to raise the profile of Pastoral Care and give hard working pastoral staff and schools with positive approaches to supporting learners the recognition that they deserve.

Please be part of this process by sending your nominations.

Phil Jones
National Chair
National Association for Pastoral Care in Education

CONFERENCE: NAPCE’S flagship annual event for Pastoral Care professionals will take place in May 

 
Tickets for the NAPCE Conference 2020 in May are on sale now.

The headline theme for this year’s event – which is for people working in pastoral care roles in the education sector – is “Do all children and young people still matter in 2020? What pastoral care and support do children and young people need in the next decade?”

The Conference takes place on May 5th, 2020 at The Studio in Birmingham and will feature a programme of influential speakers and valuable workshops tuning into the headline theme.

Among the guest speakers already confirmed is Paralympic gold medallist Nigel Murray OBE, who is a legend in the sport of boccia who will deliver an inspirational address.

Feedback from delegates taking to social media at last year’s event included:

“It was really informative and lots of ideas to take back to school”

“Great update on national picture and progression and hurdles with mental health in schools and wider society” 

“It raised awareness about the importance of a whole school approach to mental health issues and well-being in schools” 

“The information given today can only help me and the staff I work with to support the young people we work with and each other” 

“Will be taking a lot away from today. Great to hear from speakers who have good knowledge and to talk to others in the same roles”

About this Event

The Children Act (1989) and the policy document Every Child Matters (2003) were heralded as major landmark legislation and policy initiatives that would transform the nature and delivery of education, social and health services for all children and young people. In thinking about the pressures, dilemmas and challenges currently facing those working with children and young people, this conference will ask all participants to reflect on one key question:

DO ALL CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE STILL MATTER in 2020?

The challenge for those participating in the conference will be to carefully consider evidence from research, practice and experience to develop a clear, concise and reasoned response to the question. To achieve this, we intend to bring together:

Key speakers and skilled workshop facilitators

Participants from different professional and academic backgrounds

Those who play an important role in developing policy and managing services for children and young people

NAPCE is an organisation that has managed to bring together a rich mixture of professional and academic personnel. It also houses its own internationally renowned academic journal – Pastoral Care in Education.

Tickets are priced at £25 for NAPCE members or £45 for non-members. There is an early bird discount offer of £30 for non-members on tickets  booked before 31st March 2020.

To book follow this link: napce2020.eventbrite.co.uk

MEDIA WATCH: A round-up of the latest news stories involving pastoral care in education

At NAPCE we work very hard to stay across the national and international news media to store and share the latest stories involving pastoral care in education on our own platforms.

In this regular feature for NAPCE News, we share with you a selection of the biggest stories hitting the headlines this month with the aim that some of these reported developments may provide useful context within your work as a strategist or practitioner of pastoral support.

Here is a summary for February 2020.

“Number of schools buying in counsellors for children almost doubles in three years” from The Independent

Read here: children-mental-health-schools-counsellors-funding-cuts-wellbeing-naht-a9311276.html

“Parents call for fewer laptops and tablets in classrooms amid concerns over screen time” from The Independent

Read here: school-laptop-tablet-screen-time-class-room-education-children-a9313416.html

“Parents of autistic children face waits of up to three years for diagnosis and support, charity warns” from The Independent

Read here: autism-diagnosis-special-educational-needs-parents-families-charity-a9281951.html

“Children battling mental health issues forced to wait up to 113 DAYS for NHS treatment in shocking postcode lottery” from The Sun

Read here: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/10995064/children-mental-health-issues-wait-days-nhs/

“English schools buying in mental health support has ‘almost doubled’ in three years” from The Guardian

Read here: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2020/feb/03/english-schools-buying-in-mental-health-support-has-almost-doubled-in-three-years

“Too many hours on social media is impacting learning of Scottish children, claims education expert” from The Scotsman

Read here: https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/too-many-hours-on-social-media-is-impacting-learning-of-scottish-children-claims-education-expert-1-5093616

“Education authority provide emergency support in schools over suicide rate” from BBC News

Read here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-51475699?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education&link_location=live-reporting-story

“Girl home-schooled due to lack of disabled toilets in Monmouthshire” from BBC News

Read here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-51447435?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education&link_location=live-reporting-story

“Students at Sheffield school benefit from pioneering pastors programme” from Sheffield Star

Read here: https://www.thestar.co.uk/education/students-sheffield-school-benefit-pioneering-pastors-programme-1758141

NAPCE News – January 2020

 

NAPCE News – January 2020. Making a positive difference to young people through pastoral care. Pastoral care in schools across the UK and further afield is proven to be critically linked to the academic and personal-social development of young people. NAPCE continues to support education providers in the process of pastoral care implementation and development. It is here that we share important news of our latest activities, events and best practice guidance. 

FEATURE ARTICLE: NAPCE Officer & School Counsellor Paula Spencer discusses managing GCSE exam stress & supporting students

GCSE Exam stress and student support It was interesting to read the article by Tim Roome and C.A. Soan; published in the recent edition of NAPCE’S quarterly journal Pastoral Care in Education ‘GCSE exam stress: student’s perceptions of the effects on wellbeing and performance.’

(Vol.37, NO. 4,297-315.  December 2019)

They explored the views of students who had recently taken GCSE exams, how they felt their GCSE experiences affected their wellbeing and performance, factors that contributed to or alleviated their levels of exam stress, and whether theories  relating to exam stress such as Achievement Goal Theory could be used to explain the individual differences in levels of exam stress. (p297)

Since the start of the school year in September, several year 11 students have self-referred to the school’s student counselling service to talk about their thoughts, feelings and concerns about year 11, before moving into further education. Teacher training days have focused on raising year 11 achievement and putting strategies in place to support different students both academically and emotionally.

Students who use the counselling service talk about their fears, anxieties, concerns and how the pressure of GCSEs affect them. One student explained  ‘GCSEs  are scary. Before GCSE year I didn’t have panic attacks, it’s a fear of failure, teachers tell us if we don’t get GCSEs we won’t get this job or that job, it is not okay to fail, this is the message we get a lot from teachers’.

Another student said ‘I can’t stand year 11, everything about it is horrible.  There is one subject that is driving me crazy, I hate this subject and the teacher, and this is the subject that stresses me out the most. The taster lesson made it seem that it was interesting.  In fact, the reality is starting to get to me, I am starting to panic about finishing course work and revision. Each subject comes with its own stresses, I am genuinely scared of failing, and I won’t even have the qualifications to work in McDonalds.  Then there are the constant reminders from teachers and counting down the weeks before the start of exams’.

One student told me that she had no worries about GCSEs for now ‘it just hasn’t hit me yet’. Others describe difficulty sleeping, those who sleep sometime talk about their dreams where they get exam results and have failed. Some put off doing course work and homework because they believe that they have already failed and will not do well, they are revising but not sure what they are revising, or not knowing how to revise.   Some students from different cultural backgrounds describe feeling anxious about parental and cultural expectations, not wanting to let their parents down, while others talk about wanting to do well because failure will impact on their career choices or where they continue their further education and A Level options.  While stress is a normal part of everyday life, the extra pressure caused by GCSEs clearly affects students mental and emotional wellbeing, some more than others.

The research by Roome and Soan highlighted ‘the need for school staff to provide support specifically  for students who have high levels of or are susceptible to exam stress….School staff would benefit from training to increase awareness of how they can contribute to or alleviate stress… Advice for students could be offered by school staff or specialist in mental health, such as educational psychologist…students should have an awareness of their goal mindset orientations and given strategies to cope with exam stress. (P311-312)

The students who use the counselling service often welcome the opportunities to say how and what they are feeling and what they are thinking. I work with each student to develop a range of individual coping strategies to help them deal with their anxieties. Sometimes this can involve working with parents who have their own anxieties, they too often feel helpless, they are not sure what strategies to use to support their child.

Anxiety affects performance and performance affects the future.

The organisations listed below provide information and strategies  to cope exam stress, the NHS site has a page for parents.

www.studentminds.org.uk

www.anxietyuk.org.uk

www.youngminds.org.uk

www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize

www.childline.org.uk

www.nhs.uk

Paula Spencer
NAPCE Officer & School Counsellor

AWARDS: Sponsors line up to support first National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education

A host of influential organisations have lined up to support the first National Awards For Pastoral Care In Education which launched last year.

Each of the four entities have put their name to one of the Awards for the scheme, which is a collaboration between NAPCE and UK Pastoral Chat.

Staff performance software pioneers Blue Sky Education will sponsor the Pastoral School of the Year category.

The award-winning company is celebrating its 20th anniversary inn 2020 and successfully continues to roll out its universal time saving software solution in schools across the UK.

The Pastoral Team of the Year accolade is being backed by The Thrive Approachwhich offers online and in-school training to help teaching staff to develop an education setting to engender healthy, happy children.

Their training model is supported by neuroscience and focuses on individual child development.

Taylor and Francis, one of the world’s leading publishers of scholarly journals, books, eBooks, text books and reference works, is sponsoring the Pastoral Leader of the Year award.

Taylor & Francis Group publishes more than 2,600 journals and over 5,000 new books each year including NAPCE’s quarterly journal Pastoral Care in Education.

The Raising Awareness about Pastoral Care Award is being supported by ASCL, the Association of School and College Leaders.

ASCL is the leading professional association and trade union for all school and college leaders.

They support and represent more than 19,000 school and college leaders of primary, secondary and post-16 education from across the UK.The team at ASCL works to shape national education policy, provides advice and support to our members and deliver first-class professional development.

Welcoming each of the four sponsors on board Chair of NAPCE Phil Jones said: “We are absolutely delighted that each of these four fantastic organisations is supporting the awards and we are very grateful for their support.

“The reaction to the first National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education has be very encouraging and to have such prestigious and credible organisations involved gives the awards even more of a boost.

“We have received some great entries so far but would like to receive many more so please encourage your school or team to get involved if you’d like to be in with a chance of winning one of these prestigious awards and the one hundred pound prize.”

If you work for an organisation that would be interesting in sponsoring the National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education please contact philjoneseducation@gmail.com

About the Awards and How to Enter

This is the first time ever an event has being organised to recognise the fantastic achievements across schools in the UK on pastoral care.

It has been created to provide much deserved recognition to the people and schools who are doing great work and to shine a light on good practice in pastoral care.

There are seven categories to enter in the NAPCE Awards and 11 under the UK Pastoral Chat scheme.

Entry for both sets of awards is separate, although the closing date for both is Monday 2nd March, 2020.

Both organisations will work in partnership to organise the first ever National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education under one awards ceremony which will take place in 2020.

You can enter the NAPCE awards now here: https://napceawards.wufoo.com/forms/zxzr4y71g2ofzi/

NAPCE is inviting nominations in the following categories;

  • Pastoral School of the Year
  • Pastoral Team of the Year
  • Pastoral Member of Staff of the Year
  • Pastoral Leader of the Year
  • Pastoral Development of the Year
  • Raising Awareness about Pastoral Care
  • Outstanding Contribution to Pastoral Care

Nominations are encouraged for awards in different categories from schools and educational institutions.

UK Pastoral Chat is inviting nominations for awards in the following categories;

  • SLT
  • Head of Year (Including Head of 6thForm)
  • Head of House/Head of Boarding
  • PSHE Lead
  • Nurse/ Counsellor
  • Pastoral Support Staff (including Learning Mentor)
  • Tutor/Classroom teacher
  • Unsung Hero
  • Guidance teacher
  • DSL/CP Co-ordinator
  • Governor

Details about how to make nominations can be found on the UK Pastoral Chat Twitter pages.

The Awards will be an excellent opportunity to share good practice in pastoral care and through the social media and websites of both organisations to raise awareness of where pastoral support is making a real difference in the educational experience of young people.

The awards will encourage new initiatives and ideas in pastoral care and will recognise the contributions being made to developing policy and practice in pastoral support.

This is an opportunity to recognise the impact the work of pastoral staff is having on the achievement and well being of young people. The decisions about prize winners in each category will be made by a panel of invited professionals who work in pastoral care.

There will be a prize of £100.00 for the school or institution for the winners of each category and individuals will also be recognised for their achievements.

The criteria for the NAPCE awards are;
Award Criteria

  • Pastoral School of the Year

A school that can demonstrate a commitment to pastoral care and support for learners that makes a real difference in the progress and personal development of young people in the school

  • Pastoral Team of the Year

A team that works in pastoral care and can demonstrate a determination to support young people to achieve their full potential and a positive impact on the young people they work with.

  • Pastoral Member of Staff of the Year

A member of staff who works in pastoral care and who always makes the extra effort to support young people to enable them to become effective learners and achieve success.

  • Pastoral Leader of the Year

Has a passion for pastoral care that is shared with colleagues to inspire and motivate them to make a real difference in the lives of the young people they work with.

  • Pastoral Development of the Year

A pastoral initiative or idea that has achieved positive outcomes and has improved the learning experience and future life chances, for young people.

  • Raising Awareness about Pastoral Care

An individual, group or organisation who through their actions have raised awareness about pastoral care or pastoral issues and encouraged positive improvements for the benefit of young people.

  • Outstanding Contribution to Pastoral Care

A person, group or organisation that has made a real difference for the benefit of young people in the area of pastoral care.Nominations for the NAPCE Awards are welcome from member schools and institutions and from schools and institutions that are not currently members of NAPCE.

Nominations can be made online via this link:

https://napceawards.wufoo.com/forms/zxzr4y71g2ofzi/

You can also enter by e-mail to NAPCE Base at admin@napce.org.uk or they can be sent by post to National Association for Pastoral Care in Education, (NAPCE), PO BOX 60005, Nuneaton, CV11 9GY, with the following information:

Award                          __________________________________________

Nomination                  __________________________________________
Support for nomination (maximum 100 words)

Nominated by _______________________________________________

Email contact _______________________________________________

The Awards Programme and partnership with UK Pastoral Chat is an exciting opportunity to raise the profile of Pastoral Care and give hard working pastoral staff and schools with positive approaches to supporting learners the recognition that they deserve.

Please be part of this process by sending your nominations.

Phil Jones
National Chair
National Association for Pastoral Care in Education

ARTICLE: Fabricated or Induced Illness  – A matter for schools? By Andrew Martin of Safeguarding Network

 

NAPCE recently teamed up with Safeguarding Network to publish a series of articles concerned with keeping children and young people safe in the school environment.

We are now delighted to bring you the second instalment, which focuses on the subject of Fabricated or Induced Illness.

Safeguarding Network was established in 2017  by John Woodhouse and Andrew Martin,  two social workers with more than 40 years combined experience working with children and young people.

The organisation is concerned with the increasing requirement on schools to fill the void left by decreasing social care budgets and the sparse support available for schools when responding to a matter not deemed to meet the social care thresholds.

Fabricated or induced illness: a matter for schools? By Andrew Martin

Why do I need to know about fabricated or induced illness (in 60 seconds)

Fabricated or induced illness (previously commonly known as Munchausen’s by proxy) is a lesser known form of physical abuse.  Although the illness is primarily a health issue, there are significant implications for schools.  Fabricated or induced illness is considered to cover a spectrum of issues, ranging from over anxious parents to parents who are deliberately harming their children for their own gain.

As professionals working with children and young people daily, staff in schools are in a prime position to identify inconsistencies in what they are being told about the needs of the child versus how the child is presenting.  Numerous Serious Case Reviews tell us that there is also a need for schools to maintain a respectful uncertainty and ensure that they challenge where necessary – including challenging the parent and health professionals, regardless of where they may be on the perceived hierarchy within the health system.

School staff are also best placed to hear the voice of the child – something which is often lost in cases of fabricated or induced illness.

Introduction

Due to the nature and levels of workloads that as professionals we must deal with daily, as soon as we see the word illness there is a natural response to classify that as a health issue and – at most – make a mental note to speak to the school nurse.  Therefore, to be considering fabricated or induced illness as an issue for schools we have to be aware that we may be pushing at a closed mental door. As we will see however it is something that we do need to be aware of.

Indeed, this sense of illness being a health issues is, in  some sense reinforced by the Department for Education.  If you search through Keeping Children Safe in Education 2018 for the term, or its shorthand of FII, you will find only one mention in the “Additional advice and support” section of Annex A, simply a link to the 2008 government guidance, Safeguarding children in whom illness is fabricated or induced.  Fabricated or induced illness is also briefly mentioned in Ofsted guidance for inspectors as an area where safeguarding action may be required to protect children and learners, but again little there is substance behind it.

Physical abuse

This lack of emphasis on fabricated or induced illness may be due to research suggesting that FII is a rare form of abuse.  The NHS cites a widely quoted study from 2000 which estimated the number of cases of FII at just 89 per 100,000 over a two year period. When compared to figures from 2016/17 for sexual offences against under 18’s which equate to around 500 per 100,000 in a one year period, this does show why it is considered rare.  However, as the research itself identifies, there are a number of caveats to the 89 per 100,000 figure, and there is consensus that the true figure may be higher.

Although not specifically referenced in the body of Keeping Children Safe in Education 2018, all staff should be aware of FII through its inclusion in the definition of physical abuse in Part one of the document:

Physical abuse: a form of abuse which may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child. (para 43, p.14, Part one, Keeping Children Safe in Education, 2018 – emphasis added)

Defining fabricated or induced illness

Most documents on FII do not provide a definition of fabricated or induced illness, instead talking about the ways in which it may occur.  The pan-London child protection procedures do however offer the following definition:

Fabricated or induced illness is a condition whereby a child has suffered, or is likely to suffer, significant harm through the deliberate action of their parent and which is attributed by the parent to another cause.

The deliberate actions of a parent or parents that tend to centre around them lying about or making up health issues fall into three main groupings:

  • Fabrication of signs and symptoms – this may include making up or altering past medical histories.
  • Fabrication of signs and symptoms along with falsification of hospital records / charts / letters and other documents. In some cases, parents may also go so far as to falsify specimens of bodily fluids.
  • Induction of illness through a variety of means, which may include poisoning and other ways.

You may hear people still refer to Munchausen’s or Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy – this term was replaced with the current fabricated or induced illness as Munchausen’s refers to a psychiatric illness and there was concern that this was meaning that parents who harmed their children in this way were being labelled with a psychiatric illness that they may not have.

EXAMPLE WAY IN WHICH PARENT PRESENTS UNDERLYING FACTORS LEVEL OF PARENTAL INSIGHT LEVEL OF RISK
1. Simple anxiety, lack of knowledge about illness, over interpretation of normal features of childhood that may in some cases be linked to depression in carer. Carer may be affected by issues such as inability to cope with other personal or social stresses, for example mental ill health. Carer can usually be reassured although likely to come back in the future. Seldom reaches level of significant harm
2. Symptoms are misinterpreted by carer or may be perpetuated / reinforced by the carer.  Carer may genuinely believe that their child is ill or have fixed beliefs about illness. The ‘illness’ may be serving a function for the carer and potentially older children (referred to as secondary gains). Carer can be difficult to reassure.  Carer and professionals may not agree on the cause of the symptoms and/or need to investigate further. Some risk of significant harm including emotional harm, impact on education or social isolation.
3. Carer actively promotes sick role by exaggeration, non-treatment of real problems, fabrication (lying) or falsification of signs, and/or induction of illness. There may be a history of frequent use of, or dependence on, health services.  The ‘illness’ may be serving a purpose for the carer or meeting their own mental health needs. Carer cannot be reassured, and their objectives are often diametrically opposed to those of professionals. High risk of harm, always because of over intervention and often severe.
4. Carer suffers from diagnosable psychiatric illness (e.g. delusional disorder) which leads them to believe the child is ill. The carer’s mental health is the primary underlying issue. Carer lacks insight into their involvement in the child’s reported illness. May be a risk of harm.
5. There are genuine unrecognised medical issues which become apparent after initial investigation around possible FII. Carer’s behaviour will usually be appropriate for the signs displayed by the child, although this may change if there are child protection interventions. Risk of harm due to delay in correct diagnosis and following child protection routes.

Whilst most of us can identify parents who fit the detail in example 1 (and not just in relation to medical needs), the greatest risk is presented by those parents who fit the detail in example 3.

Impact on schooling

Whilst research shows that the most severe and dramatic events are usually seen in children under the age of five, FII is seen in children of all ages (NSPCC, 2011).  Arguably, the reason for the greater severity in under 5’s is that FII requires acts to be done to children (either by the parent or by doctors) and therefore as a child gets older they are more likely to ask questions and start to challenge the “perceived wisdom” of the parent.  However, as identified by the NSPCC (ibid.) some children can become so indoctrinated in their “sick” persona that they may go on to simulate their own illnesses or start to act in a way that supports their parents’ position (as seen in this Serious Case Review).  Cases are also seen where the description of the child and their illness does not fit the child that is seen in school.

Any child’s medical needs can have an impact on their day to day schooling, however in cases of fabricated or induced illness, the impact is likely to be significant.  Schools may find themselves having to adjust premises, routines, etc. to ensure that they are compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and Equality Act 2010, and that they have staff who are trained in various medical procedures.  A child’s attendance at school may be severely disrupted due to medical appointments or having days off due to being unwell.  Cases often identify that the abuser can be highly manipulative and frequently well informed about the different features of the ‘illness’, meaning that they are very hard to challenge.

As a school there is therefore a need to be aware of patterns of absence (does your data manager / business manager regularly report any concerns?), and whether staff asking questions leads to increased absence.  Schools should also be aware of cases where there are multiple moves of school or the suggestion of home schooling for an ill child and should question what the reason for this may be. Evidence suggesting that this is part of the pattern when there are cases of fabricated or induced illness.

Respectful uncertainty

Respectful uncertainty was introduced as a concept by Lord Laming in his enquiry into the death of Victoria Climbié.

The concept of “respectful uncertainty” should lie at the heart of the relationship between the social worker and the family. It does not require social workers constantly to interrogate their clients, but it does involve the critical evaluation of information that they are given. People who abuse their children are unlikely to inform social workers of the fact. For this reason at least, social workers must keep an open mind. (para 6.602, p.205, The Victoria Climbie Enquiry)

For our purposes, the term “social workers” can be replaced by “professionals”.  This approach is key when considering cases of suspected fabricated or induced illness.

Serious Case Reviews demonstrate that often there is a mismatch between information being presented to one agency and information being presented to another.  Schools see the children for prolonged periods of time throughout the year.  During this time there can be significant differences between what the parents report as happening whilst the children are in their care and what the staff see daily.

Another term that can be applied here is professional dangerousness. The term is attributed to Tony Morrison (1990) and describes the process where the behaviour of professionals involved in child protection work means that they inadvertently collude with the family they are working with or act in a way that increases the dangerous dynamics that are present.  In cases of fabricated illness there is a risk that human nature will mean that subconsciously we do not want to countenance the idea that parents, and particularly mothers, would want to seek medical assistance that would harm their child.  For most parents, the natural response would be to only agree to what can be highly invasive procedures if they were convinced that they were absolutely necessary. Therefore if a procedure is being recommended and the parents are agreeing to it, it is natural to think it must be necessary.

Daniel Pelka

A lack of respectful uncertainty was seen in the case of Daniel Pelka.  Whilst the case is more commonly known for the alcohol misuse and domestic abuse in his mother’s relationships and the physical abuse of Daniel, there was also a lesser identified element of fabricated or induced illness present.

The Serious Case Review identified that although Daniel was only at school for two terms before he died, in that time there were concerns that he was scavenging for food in bins and craving for food (he was stealing food from other children’s lunchboxes and eating secretively).  When the mother was challenged about this she stated that he had a health condition and requested that the school supported her in making sure that he only ate what was in his lunchbox.  However, Daniel’s reported obsession with food did not match up to what staff were seeing in relation to his appearance – one member of staff telling the subsequent criminal trial that he appeared to be “wasting away”.  The Serious Case Review found that assumptions were “too readily made that his problems were medically based”.  The suggestion is that the mother was falsifying the health condition to cover up the abuse that was happening at home, and that she and her partner were inducing medical problems by force feeding him salt, with this being planned as a punishment if he was considered to have been eating too much.

Disguised compliance

Common themes which potentially evidence disguised compliance include the focus on improving one issue to deflect attention from other areas, being critical of professionals, and not engaging with services or avoiding contact with professionals.  In cases of fabricated or induced illness one or more of these traits is often seen, for example:

  • Parents will pick up prescriptions but then not give the medication to the child.
  • Telling health professionals that the child’s school is not supporting the care plan, whilst telling school that none of he health professionals are able to attend meetings.
  • Parents not agreeing to referrals being made or services being provided or agreeing and then withdrawing their consent / not attending.
  • Parents blocking access to the child or making sure that they are always present when the child is seen.

It is therefore important that we focus on the question “what does this mean for the child?”, and if we are concerned about something the parent is doing, are we concerned about significant harm?

Challenge

Alongside questioning what a parent’s behaviour means for a child, we also the need to feel able to challenge fellow professionals.  Within many systems there are hierarchies; however  safeguarding network are strongly of the view that there is no such thing as a hierarchy in safeguarding and child protection.  Very often it is the person who perceives themselves to be at the bottom of the hierarchy and believes that they have the least knowledge who has the most contact with the child and is best placed to know if there is something happening that is concerning.

In relation to fabricated or induced illness the power associated with the hierarchy within health can go across agencies, with other agencies deferring to the power and knowledge of others deemed to be “more experienced in these matters”.  For example, one Serious Case Review found that because the child was receiving medical care from a “centre of excellence” everyone involved relied on their skills to manage the treatment and concerns that were present in education and other health sectors were not flagged up because the involvement of the specialist service added a confirmation bias (e.g. when we want something to be true we will look for things that confirm it is true).  In this case the bias was that professionals did not want to believe that the mother was harming her children and the involvement of a specialist centre meant that the child must genuinely be ill.  No-one involved was questioning what they were being told and the situation had been manipulated by the mother.  This case review also found that the school had not made a referral to Children’s Social Care because they felt that on the basis of their concerns alone, the threshold for involvement of a social worker would not be met.  The review argued that the referral should have been made and then a discussion held.

Voice of the child

As with many other forms of abuse, evidence suggests that the voice of the child is often lost in cases of FII.  In one case that went to review the children stated:

  • Health professionals appeared very reliant on what their mother was saying, and they felt they “were not an important part of the conversation”.
  • One child knew they were having unnecessary treatment but did not feel that they had the opportunity to tell anyone.
  • Another child spoke of not wanting the treatment and being scared, but then feeling that it was OK because their mother was there.

Whilst some of these comments can be levelled arguably at health professionals, the child who did not feel that they had the opportunity to tell anyone was a school-age child and did attend school on a frequent basis.  Did he not feel able to approach school staff?  Perhaps he felt / believed he should not talk to school staff about his health issues?

In summary

Fabricated or induced illness is not as common a form of abuse as others we may see; however, there is often a significant impact for the child and their family and, in some cases the risk of harm is significant.  As non-medical professionals we may not feel able to challenge consultants and other medical professionals about specific health issues. However, as with other forms of abuse school staff will know the children they work with and will be able to identify if what they are told and what they see are not adding up.  This inconsistent information then needs to be followed up in the same way as other concerns are – and escalated if necessary.

A common message from Serious Case Reviews on this matter (including those mentioned in this article) is that where there are significant, ongoing medical issues the school should be in direct contact with the relevant health professionals to talk through the issues and any concerns, and professionals should not rely on the parents to convey messages.

For further information and advice on what do you do next, visit Safeguarding Network here: https://safeguarding.network/fabricated-or-induced-illness/

MEDIA WATCH: A round-up of the latest news stories involving pastoral care in education

At NAPCE we work very hard to stay across the national and international news media to store and share the latest stories involving pastoral care in education on our own platforms.

In this new feature for NAPCE News, we are sharing with you a selection of the biggest stories hitting the headlines this month with the aim that some of these reported developments may provide useful context within your work as a strategist or practitioner of pastoral support.

Here is a summary for January 2020.

“A school looking after its children – and their families” from BBC News

Read here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/stories-50843474

“Teenage girls self-harm three times as much as boys ‘because they tend to internalise problems and blame themselves more often'” from Mail Online

Read here: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-7807867/Nearly-three-four-14-year-olds-admitted-self-harming-girls-study.html

“‘I was angry I couldn’t even say the word’: UK teens refuse to be silent about periods” from The Guardian

Read here: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2020/jan/07/uk-teens-refuse-silent-about-periods

“Putting pupils in isolation ‘drives poor behaviour'” from BBC News

Read here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-51034121

“Schools in deprived areas become ‘dumping grounds’ for struggling children, Ofsted report suggests” from The Independent

Read here: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/ofsted-report-underperforming-schools-pupils-dumping-ground-deprived-areas-research-a9274091.html

“Social media data needed for ‘harm’ research, say doctors” from BBC News

Read here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-51134545

“Period poverty: Schools urged to order free menstrual products”” from BBC News

Read here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-51167487

“Exclusions for racism in primary schools in England up more than 40%” from BBC News

Read here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-50331687

NAPCE News – December 2019

NAPCE News – December 2019
Making a positive difference to young people through pastoral care

Pastoral care in schools across the UK and further afield is proven to be critically linked to the academic and personal-social development of young people. NAPCE continues to support education providers in the process of pastoral care implementation and development. It is here that we share important news of our latest activities, events and best practice guidance. 

FEATURE ARTICLE: A New Year Message from NAPCE Chair Phil Jones

As we approach the Christmas holiday and the new year, we can look back on what has been a busy year for NAPCE.In January we were partners with the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), in organising a successful Pastoral Leaders Conference.

I was invited to represent NAPCE as a keynote speaker and we had the NAPCE display in a prominent position for the delegates to visit and find out more about NAPCE.

It was great to have the opportunity to meet NAPCE members who were attending the conference.

In May for the first time for many years NAPCE organised its own conference in Birmingham exploring the important issues around mental health and well-being.

The speakers included representatives from Ofsted, ASCL and MIND as well as Professor Stan Tucker the journal editor and Professor Dave Trotman, also from Newman university and a member of the NAPCE Editorial Board.

The feedback form delegates was very positive and the conference provided an important opportunity to explore some important  issues about well-being and mental health.

In the summer NAPCE was pleased to be a partner in organising a pastoral care conference in partnership with UK Pastoral Chat.

The conference in Coventry had the title ‘Pastoral Care That Makes A Difference’ and it was an excellent opportunity for people with an interest in the pastoral work of schools to meet to share ideas and good practice.

NAPCE was very well represented amongst the speakers with Matt Silver, Jakub Malkowski, Paula Spencer from the National Executive Committee contributing with presentations.

These events are examples of how NAPCE is playing a more active role in the world of education and raising awareness of the importance of pastoral care and support in schools to enable young people to reach their full potential.

This is only possible because of the ideas and work of the National Executive who volunteer their time and expertise to support the work of NAPCE.

The reputation of NAPCE’s academic journal ‘Pastoral Care In Education’ continues to grow with the support of our publishers Taylor and Francis and the hard work of the editorial Board. NAPCE contributed to the consultation about the new OFSTED framework and we are pleased to see the increased focus on personal development and well-being.

The start of a new year is an opportunity to look ahead and NAPCE has some exciting plans for 2020.

On Wednesday 22ndJanuary NAPCE will once again be attending the ASCL annual conference for pastoral leaders.

We have been involved in the planning of the conference and it will explore important current issues for pastoral leaders.

The 2020 conference takes place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Birmingham and NAPCE will have a display at the conference.

Further details about the conference and how to book places are available on the NAPCE website https://www.napce.org.uk and the ASCL website  https://ascl.org.uk

Breaking news for this newsletter is that NAPCE will be organising a conference in 2020 in Birmingham on Tuesday 5th May.

The title of the Conference is ‘Does Every Child Still Matter? Pastoral Care for the Next Decade’.

Every Child Matters was a document published by the government in 2003 with their plans for the reform of childcare.

The issues that it raised are still relevant to professionals working with children and young people today. This is evidenced by the number of requests for downloads from the journal for articles written several years ago about the ‘every child matters’ agenda.

The Conference will explore, with the help of speakers from different backgrounds. how the needs of children and young people can be met with effective pastoral care and support in the new decade.

One confirmed speaker is Nigel Murray OBE a gold medal winning Paralympic athlete who will share his experiences about how to achieve your goals.

The 2019 NAPCE conference sold out several weeks before the event so NAPCE members and professionals with an interest or role in pastoral care and support are encouraged to book your places early.

Once again, the conference takes place at The Studio, conference centre, in Canon Street in Birmingham. More information and ticket details can be found by following the link https://napce2020.eventbrite.co.uk/ to the Eventbrite site.

Follow NAPCE on twitter @NAPCE1 for more details about confirmed speakers and updated information about the conference programme.

NAPCE is very excited to be working with UK PASTORAL CHAT to launch the first National Awards for Pastoral Care.

NAPCE is presenting an award and prize of £100.00 for each winning school in 7 categories. The Awards are being sponsored by important educational organisations and a panel of respected educationalists will be judging the entries.

You can find out more about the Awards by following NAPCE on Twitter.

The closing date is March 2nd and we hope that all members and as many schools as possible will make nominations to recognise and celebrate the important work that is being done in pastoral care.

I am also pleased to announce that NAPCE is working once again in partnership with UK Pastoral Chat to plan a conference in the summer. This will take place on Saturday 27th June 2020 and further details about this event will be announced soon.

Finally, I would like to thank all NAPCE members who have contributed to the work of the Association this year and to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Please contact NAPCE base at admin@napce.org.uk if you have any ideas for future activities or would like to be more involved in the work of NAPCE.

I look forward to meeting you at NAPCE events in 2020.

Phil Jones
National Chair, NAPCE
 

NEW EVENT: Tickets On Sale Now For NAPCE Conference 2020

Tickets are available now for NAPCE’s 2020 annual conference for pastoral care in education professionals which will focus on the fundamental question “does every child still matter?”
Following last year’s sell-out event, NAPCE Conference 2020 will take place on May 5th next year at The Studio Birmingham and it is expected to fill up very quickly.

The Conference will include a programme of special guest speakers, expert-led workshops and delegates will be challenged on the day to carefully consider the crucial theme “Does Every Child Still Matter? – Pastoral Care for the Next Decade”.

The first guest speaker has now been announced as British Paralympic gold medallist Nigel Murray OBE, a giant in the sport of Boccia.

The planned outcome is for guests to consider research, practice and experience to develop a clear, concise and reasoned response to the headline question.

To achieve this, we will bring together:

  • Key speakers and skilled workshop facilitators
  • Participants from different professional and academic backgrounds
  • Those who play an important role in developing policy and managing services for children and young people

As one of the world’s leading pastoral care support organisations NAPCE has a strong record in bringing together a rich mixture of professional and academic personnel alongside the production of our internationally renowned academic journal – Pastoral Care in Education.

The Children Act (1989) and the policy document Every Child Matters (2003) were heralded as major landmark legislation and policy initiatives that would transform the nature and delivery of education, social and health services for all children and young people.

In thinking about the pressures, dilemmas and challenges currently facing those working with children and young people, this conference will ask all participants to reflect on one key question:

DO ALL CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE STILL MATTER in 2020?

Tickets are priced at £25 for NAPCE Members and £30 on general sale is booked by 31st March, 2020. Tickets booked after this date will be priced at £45.

Ticket price includes lunch and refreshments.

To book click here: https://napce2020.eventbrite.co.uk

ARTICLE: NAPCE Officer Rebecca Head reflects on the role of pastoral education & PSHE in the 21st Century 

Pastoral Education and the role of PSHE in the 21st Century – 
A reflection

The term ‘Pastoral Care’ in Education has been examined, debated and is still being discussed within education’s ever-changing environment.

Pastoral Care in all its forms and perceptions continues to be at the heart, I believe, of education and I hope that continues moving forward.

As a pastoral leader and educator, I have always seen PSHE as the curriculum element of quality pastoral care.

At times, I felt alone in this view as others saw PSHE as a ‘poisoned chalice’, pink and fluffy and other more extreme views as having no place within a school environment.

Well, I am delighted to say, that view is changing.

The evidence continues to grow that correlates wellbeing and educational outcomes, the emotional and mental health of our students is now being taken seriously and senior leaders have started to recognise the positive influence that PSHE can have on wellbeing and the increased skills and knowledge that support our students.

Pastoral Care and PSHE are interconnected and now with the statutory status of PSHE, I hope the recognition of this subject continues to grow.

I have had the pleasure to teach PSHE for over 15 years as a teacher and as a former Adolescent Specialist Nurse for many more prior to converting to teaching.

As part of this, I have lobbied the Government for the statutory status, trained new teachers in pastoral care and PSHE delivery and trained senior staff and governors in the role and impact that effective PSHE can have on their students and schools.

PSHE and its contributions to pastoral care are beginning to be recognised, however still not enough.

PSHE, in my eyes, is the curriculum element of safeguarding that enables our students to develop the knowledge and skills to safeguard themselves.

Despite this and its new statutory status, training teachers are not given the time or the skills to deliver this subject effectively.

As a guest lecturer on a PGCE course, the cohorts had two hours over their year on PSHE, school curriculums continue to pay lip service to its importance and the delivery within schools can be at times below poor.

So where does this leave us?

We now have a statutory subject that contributes significantly to safeguarding and pastoral care, however in many cases a minimal budget provision in schools, untrained staff delivering poor quality lessons, and passionate staff who are not getting the support they need.

PSHE is safeguarding, it contributes to the wellbeing of our children and young people and it is pastoral care.

This acknowledgement needs to be embraced within all schools, quality lessons delivered, and staff given the adequate training and support they absolutely need.

Only then, can the real impact of PSHE truly be realised.

Rebecca Head
NAPCE Officer & PSHE Consultant

ENTER NOW: NAPCE launches awards event to celebrate pastoral care work in schools

NAPCE is delighted to have joined forces with UK Pastoral Chat to launch an exciting new awards scheme for pastoral care providers in the education sector.

This is the first time ever an event has being organised to recognise the fantastic achievements across schools in the UK on pastoral care.

It has been created to provide much deserved recognition to the people and schools who are doing great work and to shine a light on good practice in pastoral care.

There are seven categories to enter in the NAPCE Awards and 11 under the UK Pastoral Chat scheme.

Entry for both sets of awards is separate, although the closing date for both is Monday 2nd March, 2020.

Both organisations will work in partnership to organise the first ever National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education under one awards ceremony which will take place in 2020.

You can enter the NAPCE awards now here: https://napceawards.wufoo.com/forms/zxzr4y71g2ofzi/

NAPCE is inviting nominations in the following categories;

  • Pastoral School of the Year
  • Pastoral Team of the Year
  • Pastoral Member of Staff of the Year
  • Pastoral Leader of the Year
  • Pastoral Development of the Year
  • Raising Awareness about Pastoral Care
  • Outstanding Contribution to Pastoral Care

Nominations are encouraged for awards in different categories from schools and educational institutions.

UK Pastoral Chat is inviting nominations for awards in the following categories;

  • SLT
  • Head of Year (Including Head of 6thForm)
  • Head of House/Head of Boarding
  • PSHE Lead
  • Nurse/ Counsellor
  • Pastoral Support Staff (including Learning Mentor)
  • Tutor/Classroom teacher
  • Unsung Hero
  • Guidance teacher
  • DSL/CP Co-ordinator
  • Governor

Details about how to make nominations can be found on the UK Pastoral Chat Twitter pages.

The Awards will be an excellent opportunity to share good practice in pastoral care and through the social media and websites of both organisations to raise awareness of where pastoral support is making a real difference in the educational experience of young people.

The awards will encourage new initiatives and ideas in pastoral care and will recognise the contributions being made to developing policy and practice in pastoral support.

This is an opportunity to recognise the impact the work of pastoral staff is having on the achievement and well being of young people. The decisions about prize winners in each category will be made by a panel of invited professionals who work in pastoral care.

There will be a prize of £100.00 for the school or institution for the winners of each category and individuals will also be recognised for their achievements.

The criteria for the NAPCE awards are;
Award Criteria

  • Pastoral School of the Year

A school that can demonstrate a commitment to pastoral care and support for learners that makes a real difference in the progress and personal development of young people in the school

  • Pastoral Team of the Year

A team that works in pastoral care and can demonstrate a determination to support young people to achieve their full potential and a positive impact on the young people they work with.

  • Pastoral Member of Staff of the Year

A member of staff who works in pastoral care and who always makes the extra effort to support young people to enable them to become effective learners and achieve success.

  • Pastoral Leader of the Year

Has a passion for pastoral care that is shared with colleagues to inspire and motivate them to make a real difference in the lives of the young people they work with.

  • Pastoral Development of the Year

A pastoral initiative or idea that has achieved positive outcomes and has improved the learning experience and future life chances, for young people.

  • Raising Awareness about Pastoral Care

An individual, group or organisation who through their actions have raised awareness about pastoral care or pastoral issues and encouraged positive improvements for the benefit of young people.

  • Outstanding Contribution to Pastoral Care

A person, group or organisation that has made a real difference for the benefit of young people in the area of pastoral care.Nominations for the NAPCE Awards are welcome from member schools and institutions and from schools and institutions that are not currently members of NAPCE.

Nominations can be made online via this link:

https://napceawards.wufoo.com/forms/zxzr4y71g2ofzi/

You can also enter by e-mail to NAPCE Base at admin@napce.org.uk or they can be sent by post to National Association for Pastoral Care in Education, (NAPCE), PO BOX 60005, Nuneaton, CV11 9GY, with the following information:

Award                          __________________________________________

Nomination                  __________________________________________
Support for nomination (maximum 100 words)

Nominated by _______________________________________________

Email contact _______________________________________________

The Awards Programme and partnership with UK Pastoral Chat is an exciting opportunity to raise the profile of Pastoral Care and give hard working pastoral staff and schools with positive approaches to supporting learners the recognition that they deserve.

Please be part of this process by sending your nominations.

Phil Jones
National Chair
National Association for Pastoral Care in Education

NAPCE News – November 2019

NAPCE News – November 2019
Making a positive difference to young people through pastoral care

Pastoral care in schools across the UK and further afield is proven to be critically linked to the academic and personal-social development of young people. NAPCE continues to support education providers in the process of pastoral care implementation and development. It is here that we share important news of our latest activities, events and best practice guidance. 

FEATURE ARTICLE: Statutory Relationships and Sex Education: What should we make of school protests? Asks NAPCE’s Dr Max Biddulph

Statutory Relationships and Sex Education: What should we make of school protests? By Dr Max Biddulph

In the first major policy shift in the field for almost twenty years, in England and Wales the Department for Education (DfE) is introducing compulsory Relationships Education for primary pupils and Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) for secondary pupils from September 2020.

In the detailing of their intention, the DfE (2019) states that:-

“Through these subjects, we want to support all young people to be happy, healthy and safe – we want to equip them for adult life and to make a positive contribution to society”.

The last time Sex and Relationships Education was given an overhaul was in the early 2000s, so this is a long overdue revision given the shifts in societal values and impact that technology is having on many dimensions of daily life. In explaining the process of consultation, the DfE go on to say that:

“A thorough engagement process, involving a public call for evidence and discussions with over 90 organisations, as well as the public consultation on the draft regulations and guidance, has informed the key decisions on these subjects. The consultation received over 11,000 responses from teachers, schools, expert organisations, young people and parents – these responses have helped finalise the statutory guidance as well as the regulations that have been laid in Parliament”.

Interestingly, despite the fact that the new proposals contained in the legislation received support from the majority of MPs in its passage through parliament in April 2019, this curriculum change is proving controversial in some quarters as evidenced by the high volume of correspondence sent to parliamentarians and the protests outside school gates in Birmingham and Nottingham during 2019.

So although this scenario is predictable as historically researchers have conceptualised the field of RSE as a “contested area”, what should we make of this latest turn of events?

Firstly, it’s helpful to scrutinise the objections that underpin the protests which seem to centre on three key issues namely: the feeling that ‘control’ over what is taught has been taken away from parents, fears that RSE will sexualise ‘innocent children and young people’ and objections to the inclusion of LGBT content.

A second characteristic of the school protest phenomenon seems to be that there is a strong presence of individuals from certain faith groups e.g. Muslim community, and that although some parents and children can be found amongst those protesting, there are a significant number of ‘activists’ for whom faith is strongly aligned with identity.

The situation is further complicated by the fact that in the Nottingham protest, there was a counter protest of parents supporting the inclusion of LGBT content. Given the presence of persons of different ethnicities and faith over an issue that has sexualities at its core, I think it is important to examine at a deeper what is in process here.

The expression of identity through “what I am not?” Conservative Islam versus white secular liberalism? The assertion of deeply held values when they seem to under attack? Homophobia and transphobia?

As a former teacher of Sex and Relationships Education myself, I am supportive of statutory RSE as I see it’s potential to empower and don’t see it as contaminating knowledge, rather as a vehicle for learning protective behaviours.

I am speaking from a fairly privileged position of having researched in the field and delivered considerable amounts of professional development on the subject. I state this not because I want to patronise people with the opposing view but to point out that I have developed a nuanced over view and I think this is key to understanding the current impasse.

Writing in The Guardian (6.8.19), Colin Diamond, Professor of Educational Leadership in the University of Birmingham, raises questions about the way that the government has gone about the introduction of this curriculum change pointing out that ‘the DfE was unwilling to discuss how the guidance would play out in complex multi-faith, multi-ethnic schools and communities.

This was a dereliction of duty by ministers’. Historically the agents of dialogue and engagement with faith schools and communities were professionals in former LEAs or sexual health charities such as fpa, who developed considerable expertise and good practice in this area. Sadly both mechanisms are now gone, the former being replaced by academyisation and the latter a victim of austerity.

Diamond goes on to observe that ‘the protests are wrong and have been almost universally condemned for the use of homophobic slogans and harassment outside schools.

Yet some of the language used to describe the situation has also not been helpful. Those who ask questions about the teaching of LGBT awareness in primary schools are not all “homophobic”, or behaving as “bigots” or “extremists” – just some of the labels being thrown around. And neither is this solely a “Muslim issue”. The protests reflect wider concerns from some Christians and Jews too.

Digging deeper, we find communities who feel they have been backed into a corner and judged as not compatible with 21st century British values. Some mainstream Muslim school leaders in Birmingham (also) feel marginalised’.

So, the battle lines are drawn and in October 2019, the government  issued new advice to local authorities on dealing with protests outside schools over LGBT-inclusive teaching.

There is a lot at stake here including the wider project of pastoral care in education. RSE is part of the wider reform of PSHE and includes an important new initiative to support the mental well-being of children and young people.

Perhaps this is the avenue to find the common ground to begin a dialogue and Diamond helpfully steers us to UNICEFs ‘Rights of the Child’. This is an important moment in the story of RSE that is proving painful and damaging for people on all sides.

I hope some dialogue and reconciliation can begin soon.

Dr Max Biddulph
NEC Officer
National Association for Pastoral Care in Education (NAPCE)

ENTER NOW: NAPCE launches awards event to celebrate pastoral care work in schools

NAPCE is delighted to have joined forces with UK Pastoral Chat to launch an exciting new awards scheme for pastoral care providers in the education sector.

This is the first time ever an event has being organised to recognise the fantastic achievements across schools in the UK on pastoral care.

It has been created to provide much deserved recognition to the people and schools who are doing great work and to shine a light on good practice in pastoral care.

There are seven categories to enter in the NAPCE Awards and 11 under the UK Pastoral Chat scheme.

Entry for both sets of awards is separate, although the closing date for both is Monday 2nd March, 2020.

Both organisations will work in partnership to organise the first ever National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education under one awards ceremony which will take place in 2020.

You can enter the NAPCE awards now here: https://napceawards.wufoo.com/forms/zxzr4y71g2ofzi/

NAPCE is inviting nominations in the following categories;

  • Pastoral School of the Year
  • Pastoral Team of the Year
  • Pastoral Member of Staff of the Year
  • Pastoral Leader of the Year
  • Pastoral Development of the Year
  • Raising Awareness about Pastoral Care
  • Outstanding Contribution to Pastoral Care

Nominations are encouraged for awards in different categories from schools and educational institutions.

UK Pastoral Chat is inviting nominations for awards in the following categories;

  • SLT
  • Head of Year (Including Head of 6thForm)
  • Head of House/Head of Boarding
  • PSHE Lead
  • Nurse/ Counsellor
  • Pastoral Support Staff (including Learning Mentor)
  • Tutor/Classroom teacher
  • Unsung Hero
  • Guidance teacher
  • DSL/CP Co-ordinator
  • Governor

Details about how to make nominations can be found on the UK Pastoral Chat Twitter pages.

The Awards will be an excellent opportunity to share good practice in pastoral care and through the social media and websites of both organisations to raise awareness of where pastoral support is making a real difference in the educational experience of young people.

The awards will encourage new initiatives and ideas in pastoral care and will recognise the contributions being made to developing policy and practice in pastoral support.

This is an opportunity to recognise the impact the work of pastoral staff is having on the achievement and well being of young people. The decisions about prize winners in each category will be made by a panel of invited professionals who work in pastoral care.

There will be a prize of £100.00 for the school or institution for the winners of each category and individuals will also be recognised for their achievements.

The criteria for the NAPCE awards are;
Award Criteria

  • Pastoral School of the Year

A school that can demonstrate a commitment to pastoral care and support for learners that makes a real difference in the progress and personal development of young people in the school

  • Pastoral Team of the Year

A team that works in pastoral care and can demonstrate a determination to support young people to achieve their full potential and a positive impact on the young people they work with.

  • Pastoral Member of Staff of the Year

A member of staff who works in pastoral care and who always makes the extra effort to support young people to enable them to become effective learners and achieve success.

  • Pastoral Leader of the Year

Has a passion for pastoral care that is shared with colleagues to inspire and motivate them to make a real difference in the lives of the young people they work with.

  • Pastoral Development of the Year

A pastoral initiative or idea that has achieved positive outcomes and has improved the learning experience and future life chances, for young people.

  • Raising Awareness about Pastoral Care

An individual, group or organisation who through their actions have raised awareness about pastoral care or pastoral issues and encouraged positive improvements for the benefit of young people.

  • Outstanding Contribution to Pastoral Care

A person, group or organisation that has made a real difference for the benefit of young people in the area of pastoral care.Nominations for the NAPCE Awards are welcome from member schools and institutions and from schools and institutions that are not currently members of NAPCE.

Nominations can be made online via this link:

https://napceawards.wufoo.com/forms/zxzr4y71g2ofzi/

You can also enter by e-mail to NAPCE Base at admin@napce.org.uk or they can be sent by post to National Association for Pastoral Care in Education, (NAPCE), PO BOX 60005, Nuneaton, CV11 9GY, with the following information:

Award                          __________________________________________

Nomination                  __________________________________________
Support for nomination (maximum 100 words)

Nominated by _______________________________________________

Email contact _______________________________________________

The Awards Programme and partnership with UK Pastoral Chat is an exciting opportunity to raise the profile of Pastoral Care and give hard working pastoral staff and schools with positive approaches to supporting learners the recognition that they deserve.

Please be part of this process by sending your nominations.

Phil Jones
National Chair
National Association for Pastoral Care in Education

ARTICLE: In the aftermath of Anti-Bullying Week 2019, NAPCE have shared a practical classroom exercise to engage students in this difficult subject

 

As part of NAPCE’s support for Anti-Bullying Week 2019 (November 11-15, 2019) our Chair, Phil Jones, shared a collection of practical in-school activities to help students and staff explore and understand the line between bullying and banter.

Each of these scenarios have been created to engage young people in the thought process behind activities which could cross the line with an overall view to encourage contemplation and adjusted behaviour outcomes.

We encourage educators to adopt this practice session within a classroom environment and would very much welcome any reported outcomes send to admin@napce.org.uk

Bullying or Banter? Classroom activities to make a difference by Phil Jones, Chair of NAPCE

  • Organise the class into groups of 5 or 6 students.
  • Ask students to organise themselves into roles for example:
  • Chair (who organises the meeting)
  • Secretary (who records any decisions made)
  • Timekeeper (who makes sure that the team are on task to meet the deadline)
  • Ask the team to agree three rules for their discussion
  • Hand out the scenarios.
  • To add challenge and pace to the activity give the teams a deadline for completing each scenario.
  • Ask for feedback from each team on the decisions they have made when the deadline is reached for each scenario.
  • Give points to the team depending on the quality of their response and how well they explain their views. Perhaps a prize for the best team.
  • Extension activity would be to come up with five rules for preventing misunderstandings between bullying and banter.
  • Team can evaluate how well they worked together and how well they considered all the issues.

SCENARIO A 

A is a goalkeeper in a football team. A is a good goalkeeper and is respected for making important saves in matches. In one important cup match A makes three big mistakes which all lead to goals for their opponents and they lose the match 3 goals to two. As A come off the pitch some members of the team tell A that they were useless today and that it is their fault that they lost. In the evening A gets a text message saying that the team needs a new goalkeeper. A decides that they will not play football again.

  1. Was this banter or bullying?
  2. Is A being too sensitive?
  3. What could A do about the situation?
  4. What could anybody else do about the situation?

SCENARIO B

B is asked to go to a gig at a local nightclub by a group of friends from school. When B asks their parents, they say no because they think B is too young and they have heard rumours that there are drugs at this nightclub. B explains this to their friends, but they just respond by saying that B is ‘scared’ of their parents and that they should ignore them and just go anyway. Later, that evening one of the friends posts a picture of a chicken on social media with the question does anybody recognise this person?

  1. Is this bullying or banter?
  2. What could go wrong?
  3. What should B do?
  4. What could anybody else do to help resolve the situation.

SCENARIO C 

C has just started their first job working in an office. They are very nervous on their first day and do not want to do anything wrong. They are not sure what happens at lunchtime, so they take sandwiches in a Tupperware box. At lunchtime everybody in the office agrees to go out for lunch. Everybody starts laughing when they see that C has got their sandwiches out to eat. They make fun of C and say look at ‘Tups’, who cannot afford to buy a lunch and similar comments. They go out and leave C behind. In the afternoon everybody ignores C apart form a note which suddenly appears on their desk which says, “give some money now for starving workers’. C decides that they are going to give the job up.

  1. Is this bullying or banter?
  2. What has caused this situation?
  3. What could C do about the situation?
  4. What could anybody else do about the situation?

SCENARIO D 

D enjoys listening to classical music and does not like modern music. They have just started their first job after leaving school and enjoys having the money to be able to go out for meals. On a visit to a restaurant with their four closest friends form school a local rock band is playing. D makes a comment that the band is rubbish and the restaurant would be better to have a musician playing a violin. The friends laugh and say that he is not living in the real world and make comments about D being boring.  Later that evening D finds out from social media that his four friends are going to a rock concert and he has not been invited. D decides that he is going to tell his friend that they are unable to appreciate good music and he doesn’t want to see them again.

  1. Is this bullying or banter?
  2. How could this situation have been avoided?
  3. What could D do to improve the situation
  4. What could anybody else do about the situation?

The scenarios will encourage teams to consider different perceptions about situations and what is the intent of the people involved. They will need to think about how situations can be prevented form becoming a problem and how people need to use empathy and sensitivity to resolve them. The organisation of the activity will provide opportunities for students to learn how to work in teams, how to contribute their ideas and to develop their listening and communication skills.

MEDIA WATCH: A round-up of the latest news stories involving pastoral care in education

At NAPCE we work very hard to stay across the national and international news media to store and share the latest stories involving pastoral care in education on our own platforms.

In this new feature for NAPCE News, we are sharing with you a selection of the biggest stories hitting the headlines this month with the aim that some of these reported developments may provide useful context within your work as a strategist or practitioner of pastoral support.

Here is a summary for November 2019.

“Self-harm: Girls ‘more likely to end up in hospital'” from BBC News

Read here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-50211831

“Councils dealing with more children at risk of gang involvement and trafficking” from The Guardian

Read here: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/oct/31/social-services-see-30-rise-in-children-seeking-asylum

“Domestic abuse ‘biggest threat to child protection'” from BBC News

Read here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-50294046

“Bullying: Fifth of young people in UK have been victims in past year – report” from BBC News

Read here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-50370667

“Teen self-harm rates are dramatically down in Denmark – here’s why” from The Independent

Read here: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/teen-self-harm-rates-down-denmark-mental-health-suicide-a9181561.html

“Teachers ‘need more training’ to combat sexual abuse” from TES

Read here: https://www.tes.com/news/teachers-need-more-training-combat-sexual-abuse

“We are sleepwalking into a student self-esteem crisis” from TES

Read here: https://www.tes.com/news/we-are-sleepwalking-student-self-esteem-crisis

“Children who rarely eat breakfast secure lower GCSE grades than classmates, study finds” from The Independent

Read here: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/breakfast-school-gcse-grades-children-austerity-leeds-university-a9209131.html

“One in seven children develop a mental illness, claims new research” from The Independent

Read here: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/children-mental-illness-research-depression-anxiety-young-people-a9210926.html

“Sharp rise in pupil numbers in special schools
DfE figures show special school population has risen by 6 per cent in a year” from TES

Read here: https://www.tes.com/news/sharp-rise-pupil-numbers-special-schools

NAPCE News – October 2019

Making a positive difference to young people through pastoral care

Pastoral care in schools across the UK and further afield is proven to be critically linked to the academic and personal-social development of young people. NAPCE continues to support education providers in the process of pastoral care implementation and development. It is here that we share important news of our latest activities, events and best practice guidance. 

FEATURE ARTICLE: NAPCE Chair Phil Jones on the EEF’s “Improving Social and Emotional Learning in Primary Schools” Report

Social and Emotional Learning

On September 20th the Education Endowment Foundation, published a guidance report, “Improving Social and Emotional Learning in Primary Schools”.

Although aimed at primary schools, the report would be relevant to discussions in secondary schools, about how they develop the social and emotional skills of learners, especially with the increased focus on personal development in the 2019 OFSTED framework.

The report is a useful starting point for conversations between teachers and school leaders, about how to provide them with the social and emotional skills needed to become an effective learner and to prepare them for the demands of adult life.

An audit and discussion tool is provided along with the report to encourage teachers, leaders and governors to engage in discussions about social and emotional learning opportunities in their school.

The report was produced by the Education Endowment Foundation and the Early Intervention Foundation. The Education Endowment Foundation is an independent charity supporting teachers and school leaders to use evidence of what works and what does not work to improve educational outcomes, especially for disadvantaged children and young people.

The Early Intervention Foundation is a research charity and ‘What Works Centre’, established in 2013, to champion and support the use of effective early intervention to improve the lives of children and young people at risk of experiencing poor outcomes.

The report draws on a recent review of the evidence about social and emotional learning conducted by Manchester University, along with a wider body of evidence and expert input.

In addition to the evidence review, a survey was commissioned into what primary schools in England are currently doing to support children’s social and emotional development.

The report recognises that much of the evidence regarding social and emotional learning is focused on intervention programme but also recognises that there is also a need to consider, how social and emotional skills can be developed from everyday teaching practices.

In the foreword to the report the Chief Executive of the Education Endowment Fund, Sir Kevan Collins, recognises the important role teachers have in supporting the social and emotional development of children and young people.

“With the right support children learn to articulate and manage their emotions, deal with conflict, solve problems, understand things from another person’s perspective, and communicate in appropriate ways”.  Sir Kevan Collins

He recognises the time pressures that teachers face to develop social and emotional skills and that few teachers receive support on how they can develop social and emotional skills in their mainstream teaching.

“This is a missed opportunity because when carefully implemented social and emotional learning can increase positive pupil behaviour, mental health and wellbeing and academic performance” Sir Kevan Collins

The report defines social and emotional learning as;
“The process through which children learn to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships and make responsible decisions. Five core competencies are identified from the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL), that are widely used internationally.

  1. Self-awareness
  2. Self-management
  3. Social awareness
  4. Relationship skills
  5. Responsible decision making

Each of these competencies have identified skills associated with them. The report supports the case for social and emotional learning in schools with evidence that shows the impact it can have on a young person’s life.

It argues that developing social and emotional skills results in improved outcomes at school and in later life. Some of the examples of benefits given are, improved academic performance, improved attitudes, behaviour and relationships with peers and reduced emotional distress.

Some of the long- term benefits of developing social and emotional skills include, improved life satisfaction and well-being, labour market success and good overall health.

The report points out that most of the evidence about the benefits of social and emotional learning to date, is from the United States and schools need to consider their own context when making decisions about how to develop programmes and approaches to teaching and learning in their own schools.

The report offers six evidenced based recommendations to support social and emotional development for children and young people. These are;

  1. Teach SEL skills explicitly.
  2. Integrate and model SEL skills throughout everyday teaching.
  3. Plan carefully for adopting a SEL programme
  4. Use a SAFE curriculum: Sequential, Active, Focused and Explicit
  5. Reinforce SEL skills through whole-school ethos and activities
  6. Plan support and monitor SEL implementation.

More guidance is given for each of these recommendations in the report. The guidance for teaching SEL skills includes;

  • Use a range of strategies to teach key skills both in dedicated time and in everyday teaching.
  • Self-awareness: expand children’s emotional vocabulary and support them to express emotions.
  • Self–regulation: teach children to use self – calming strategies and positive self-talk to help deal with intense emotions.
  • Social awareness: use stories to discuss others’ emotions and perspectives.
  • Relationship skills: role play good communication and listening skills
  • Responsible decision-making: teach and practise problem solving strategies.

The report can inspire NAPCE members engaged in research to explore issues raised by the teaching of social and emotional learning, to inform future practice.

The report suggests areas where more research is needed, especially in examining how to implement it in English schools.  It will support NAPCE members looking to develop good practice in pastoral support in schools, with inspiration to plan effective learning experiences that encourage the academic progress and personal development of learners.

It encourages staff in pastoral roles, to reflect on how they can develop social and emotional skills to support the personal development of learners.

It will be useful as a guide for planning PSHE programmes and intervention programmes, that develop skills and attitudes to support learners through their education and prepare them for their adult lives.

It will encourage  staff in pastoral roles, to reflect on the role of the tutor in interacting with learners, to help them make sense of their educational experience and to give them the vocabulary to express their feelings and emotions in a positive way that inspires them to achieve their full potential.

The report encourages leaders and teachers in schools to consider new approaches to pastoral support that might be more effective in supporting the personal development of learners and improving outcomes.

An approach to a focus on self-regulation, could be to teach learners about techniques involving Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). A PSHE programme could include visualisations to enable learners to set ambitious and positive goals.

Learners could be trained in how to use positive self-talk, to motivate themselves to respond to challenges and a be resilient in their determination to achieve success.

The use of case studies in PSHE programmes, can provide opportunities for learners to reflect on the qualities and attitudes, that enable human beings to succeed in their lives and to be aware of other people’s view and feelings about situations.

Role play and drama can be included in PSHE programmes to enable children and young people to explore different feelings and emotions and to develop the communication and listening skills that are important for building positive relationships.

Responsible decision making, can be encouraged by providing learners with opportunities to experience leadership roles in school. Learners who take responsibility in leadership roles in schools, need to be trained and supported through the process to ensure that they develop the skills and attitudes that help them develop as positive and confident people.

Learning experiences that involve problem solving are important for developing social and emotional skills. One example that I used very successfully in schools was a ‘Young Apprentice Competition’ ,where learners in teams were presented with different challenges that required them to use their social skills to make decisions about the best solutions and then use their communication skills to present them to judges.

Working under time constraints and competing with other groups certainly focused their energy and ensured that they learnt valuable skills, from their experience about working in teams and making decisions.

Improving Social and Emotional Learning in Schools is a very valuable guidance report, that will inspire all educationalists interested in developing effective pastoral support in schools to reflect on their practice and inspire them to explore how they can plan learning experiences, that encourage personal development and academic achievement.

Phil Jones
National Chair
National Association for Pastoral Care in Education (NAPCE)

Resources
“Improving Social and Emotional Learning in Primary Schools”, published by Education Endowment Foundation and Early Intervention Foundation, September 2019

ENTER NOW: NAPCE launches awards event to celebrate pastoral care work in schools

NAPCE is delighted to have joined forces with UK Pastoral Chat to launch an exciting new awards scheme for pastoral care providers in the education sector.

This is the first time ever an event has being organised to recognise the fantastic achievements across schools in the UK on pastoral care.

It has been created to provide much deserved recognition to the people and schools who are doing great work and to shine a light on good practice in pastoral care.

There are seven categories to enter in the NAPCE Awards and 11 under the UK Pastoral Chat scheme.

Entry for both sets of awards is separate, although the closing date for both is Monday 2nd March, 2020.

Both organisations will work in partnership to organise the first ever National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education under one awards ceremony which will take place in 2020.

You can enter the NAPCE awards now here: https://iainnapce.wufoo.com/forms/zxzr4y71g2ofzi/

UK Pastoral Chat is inviting nominations for awards in the following categories;

  • SLT
  • Head of Year (Including Head of 6thForm)
  • Head of House/Head of Boarding
  • PSHE Lead
  • Nurse/ Counsellor
  • Pastoral Support Staff (including Learning Mentor)
  • Tutor/Classroom teacher
  • Unsung Hero
  • Guidance teacher
  • DSL/CP Co-ordinator
  • Governor

Details about how to make nominations can be found on the UK Pastoral Chat Twitter pages.

NAPCE is inviting nominations in the following categories;

  • Pastoral School of the Year
  • Pastoral Team of the Year
  • Pastoral Member of Staff of the Year
  • Pastoral Leader of the Year
  • Pastoral Development of the Year
  • Raising Awareness about Pastoral Care
  • Outstanding Contribution to Pastoral Care

Nominations are encouraged for awards in different categories from schools and educational institutions. The Awards will be an excellent opportunity to share good practice in pastoral care and through the social media and websites of both organisations to raise awareness of where pastoral support is making a real difference in the educational experience of young people. The awards will encourage new initiatives and ideas in pastoral care and will recognise the contributions being made to developing policy and practice in pastoral support.

This is an opportunity to recognise the impact the work of pastoral staff is having on the achievement and well being of young people. The decisions about prize winners in each category will be made by a panel of invited professionals who work in pastoral care.

There will be a prize of £100.00 for the school or institution for the winners of each category and individuals will also be recognised for their achievements.

The criteria for the NAPCE awards are;
Award Criteria

  • Pastoral School of the Year

A school that can demonstrate a commitment to pastoral care and support for learners that makes a real difference in the progress and personal development of young people in the school

  • Pastoral Team of the Year

A team that works in pastoral care and can demonstrate a determination to support young people to achieve their full potential and a positive impact on the young people they work with.

  • Pastoral Member of Staff of the Year

A member of staff who works in pastoral care and who always makes the extra effort to support young people to enable them to become effective learners and achieve success.

  • Pastoral Leader of the Year

Has a passion for pastoral care that is shared with colleagues to inspire and motivate them to make a real difference in the lives of the young people they work with.

  • Pastoral Development of the Year

A pastoral initiative or idea that has achieved positive outcomes and has improved the learning experience and future life chances, for young people.

  • Raising Awareness about Pastoral Care

An individual, group or organisation who through their actions have raised awareness about pastoral care or pastoral issues and encouraged positive improvements for the benefit of young people.

  • Outstanding Contribution to Pastoral Care

A person, group or organisation that has made a real difference for the benefit of young people in the area of pastoral care.Nominations for the NAPCE Awards are welcome from member schools and institutions and from schools and institutions that are not currently members of NAPCE. Nominations can be made online via this link:

https://iainnapce.wufoo.com/forms/zxzr4y71g2ofzi/

You can also enter by e-mail to NAPCE Base at admin@napce.org.uk or they can be sent by post to National Association for Pastoral Care in Education, (NAPCE), PO BOX 60005, Nuneaton, CV11 9GY, with the following information:

Award                          __________________________________________

Nomination                  __________________________________________
Support for nomination (maximum 100 words)

Nominated by _______________________________________________

Email contact _______________________________________________

The Awards Programme and partnership with UK Pastoral Chat is an exciting opportunity to raise the profile of Pastoral Care and give hard working pastoral staff and schools with positive approaches to supporting learners the recognition that they deserve.

Please be part of this process by sending your nominations.

Phil Jones
National Chair
National Association for Pastoral Care in Education

ARTICLE: Knowledge dispels fear – children & young people’s mental health by Andrew Martin of Safeguarding Network

 

For the first time this month, NAPCE is delighted to team up with Safeguarding Network to publish the first in a series of articles concerned with keeping children and young people safe in the school environment.

Safeguarding Network was established in 2017  by John Woodhouse and Andrew Martin,  two social workers with more than 40 years combined experience working with children and young people.  

The organisation is concerned with the increasing requirement on schools to fill the void left by decreasing social care budgets and the sparse support available for schools when responding to a matter not deemed to meet the social care thresholds.

And to mark our collaboration, Safeguarding Network – which has a large number of valuable resources on subjects affecting the safeguarding of children – is offering a £20 discount off the first term of subscription (£79 instead of the normal £99).

For those joining in the half term, your membership will be extended until the Easter term for the one price.

To take advantage of this offer use the code ‘NAPCE’ when taking a subscription through their website here https://safeguarding.network
 
In this first article Andrew Martin offers insights and advice into dealing with mental health matters in schools from a safeguarding perspective.

Knowledge Dispels Fear – Children & Young People’s Mental Health

Why you need to know about children and young people’s mental health (in 60 seconds)

Mental ill health and specifically children and young people’s mental health is an emotive subject.  Often staff will avoid talking about mental health with both peers and the young people they work with because of fear of the unknown.  This stigma however serves to isolate the young person further at a time when they need help and support the most.  On other occasions a young person may be seen as having behavioural issues and work is done with them to address this as opposed to recognising that the behaviour is linked to and an expression of mental ill health .

By reducing the stigma and helping children and young people to develop social and emotional resilience we can reduce the impact of mental ill health on individuals.  By providing staff, children and young people with the knowledge to talk about mental ill health, we can reduce the fear response that is triggered when faced with unknown situations and instead focus on the needs of the individual.

Some groups of children and young people are more vulnerable than others, however the pressures of the school system (for example transitions and national examinations) can lead to the most emotionally resilient child developing mental ill health.  Social media and modern technology are also cited as cause of mental ill health and so it is important that these areas are considered in the wider curriculum and as potentially affecting the many, not just the few.

Introduction

Time to Change, a collation of charities working in the mental health arena, published a blog in July 2018.  The author, aged 15, stated they had recently been told by one of their classmates that “they didn’t want to be involved with someone who self-harms”.  The author goes on to set out that self-harm is addictive, and in a similar vein to smokers and drug users the author describes self-harm as a stress relief, anger release as well as serving other purposes.  However, the issue is that the people who are potentially best placed to help are those who do not want to or feel unable to.

Mental health is a difficult subject for many people, young and old alike.  Yet mental ill health is common, with it estimated that 25% of people will experience mental ill health at some point in their lives.  In an average classroom of 30 children this means that on average between 7 and 8 children will have a period of mental ill health in the life that is ahead of them. NHS data (2016) builds on this suggesting that at least three children in every class (one in ten aged 5-16) has a diagnosable problem (e.g. conduct disorder, anxiety disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or depression), with half of these children having an established mental health problem by the time they are 14 years old.  The same report reinforces that children experiencing these conditions are more likely to have poor outcomes upon leaving school.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (2018) highlight that this is an increasing issue, particularly amongst girls.  They summarise that:

“Although data are insufficient to estimate trends for diagnosed mental health disorders, reported mental health problems have increased five-fold over the past 20 years and will increase a further 63% by 2030 if current trends continue.” (p.4)

Stigma

Stigma can be seen in different ways, for example “a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality or person” (Oxford Dictionaries), or “a negative set of beliefs that a group of people have about something” (YMCA, 2016). Essentially however it is negative thoughts attached by an individual or group of people to a certain situation / presentation.  In this case the certain presentation is mental ill health.

Figures about the impact of stigma vary.  Ditch the Label cite an oft-quoted statistic that 9 out of ten people with mental ill health report the negative effects of stigma and discrimination and consider this to be directly linked to their mental state.  This statistic appears to have come from research undertaken in 2006 by the Mental Health Foundation which puts the issue of stigma in relation to mental ill health succinctly thus:

stigma projects the fear and anxiety felt by members of the general population onto the person with the diagnosis. People with a diagnosis do not really carry a mark that sets them aside. (p.2)

More recent research by the YMCA (ibid.) specifically looking at stigma faced by young people suggested that the figure was lower at around 1 in 3 (38%) of young people with mental health difficulties experiencing the negative impact of stigma.  A third of those reporting difficulties stated that they experienced stigma at least once a week.  This research highlighted that the majority of stigma was experienced in schools and around half of young people stated that the source was their own friends.

It is however clear that, regardless of the statistics, there is a significant stigma present in relation to people with mental ill health.

Behavioural issues or mental ill health?

As well as the stigma that comes with mental health issues, there is also the question as to whether we are correctly recognising issues as they develop in the classroom.  As asked by a recent BBC article (2018), are these children with problems or problem children?  It is well known that as children develop and grow, they develop awareness and understanding of not just the world around them, but also their changing emotional responses to what happens to them directly and indirectly.

How a child responds to challenging situations is individual to them and caught up in both sides of the nature / nurture argument.  There is a growing body of research over the last two decades (e.g. Glaser, 2000) evidencing that brain development, even at the point where the child is still in the womb, can be negatively impacted on by stress and adverse childhood experiences (e.g. being abused, witnessing domestic abuse or parental drug and alcohol abuse). This can then lead to poor stress management in later life – nurture clearly influencing nature.  This coupled with experiences in school, at home and amongst a young person’s peer group means that for some feelings around not being able to cope with stress and worry develop into something more enduring and persistent.

When faced with difficult or unknown situations a common and automatic response is the fight or flight response (explained in this video).  For those who choose to fight, this can lead to labels of disruptive behaviour.  Acting out can also be a way of avoiding stigma by hiding the true issue behind something else.

Research from the US (2018) suggests that difficulties in managing developing emotional may not solely be impacted on by negative stress inducing experiences as a child grows up, but also by what has been termed helicopter parenting.  Such behaviour can include “parents constantly guiding their child by telling him or her what to play with, how to play with a toy, how to clean up after playtime and being too strict or demanding.”  The research showed that the constant presence of the parent impacted the development of impulse control and consequently a child’s emotional regulation.

As set out in government issued guidance it is therefore important that schools fulfil the role that they have in enabling pupils to be resilient and develop good mental health.  However, on the other side of this it is equally important that it is recognised when a child or young person is suffering from poor mental ill health and that they are supported.

Reducing the stigma

As well as considering how to support children and young people to develop social and emotional resilience, there is a need to reduce the stigma around mental ill-health.  It is here where, as suggested by the title of this article, knowledge dispels fear.  Many of the behaviours associated with mental ill-health are seen as taboo subjects, things that should only be addressed with the young person by people who have proper training, e.g. psychiatrists and psychologists.  The fear is that if you have not had the proper training then you are going to make things worse.

Let us consider self-harm.  Research by the Mental Health Foundation (2012) suggests that at least 1 in 15 young people self-harm, this translating into two children / young people in every classroom.  The research paper argues that this is a high statistic that makes self-harm relatively common amongst school age children, before pointing out that there are many myths and misunderstandings in relation to self-harm.  In a handout the Samaritans identify 5 of the more common myths about self-harm, including that it is attention seeking behaviour.  As the handout identifies, people who self-harm are more likely to do it in private without attracting the attention of others.

Another misconception is that self-harm is primarily cutting, however it can also include burning, scalding, scratching, hair pulling and inducing illness amongst other things.  Often however, self-harming behaviour is the exact opposite of attention seeking behaviour. If, for example, the mode of choice is cutting, then it is likely that the individual will cut themselves and clean themselves up in private and either wear clothing that covers their cuts or cut themselves in places that are not generally visible to others.

Another common myth in relation to self-harm is that people who do it want to kill themselves – often however self-harm is a way of coping with what is going on and preventing the person from spiralling out of control and ending up in a place where the only option is to take their own life.  The fear of loosing this outlet is often what stops young people from talking about the fact that they are self-harming.

In the same vein as when disclosing abuse by another person, if a child or young person discloses that they have self-harmed the response they get will determine whether they open up or look to continue to hide it. Research shows that young people want “empathy, care and concern for their injuries, time and support, as well as encouragement to talk about the underlying feelings or situations that have led them to harm themselves.” (p. 30, Mental Health Foundation, 2012)

It is therefore important that these myths are debunked wherever possible, both with staff and pupils alike. Equally there is a need for staff to be clear about when to refer on for example if a child is expressing suicidal ideation.

Self-harm and thoughts of suicide can however be seen as the higher end of mental ill health issues.  Action for Children identified that of the 5,000 15-18 year olds that they spoke to, 33% reported that they were struggling with some aspect of their mental health, with common problems including:

Feeling depressed
Difficulty sleeping
Inability to shake negative feelings
Struggling to ‘get going’
Problems focussing
Feeling like everything is ‘an effort’
The challenge is therefore how to ensure that your staff are aware of children and young people who may be experiencing difficulties and ensuring that they feel empowered to have what they may see as a difficult conversation.

As with other areas where you may have concerns, conversations may be difficult for two reasons.

Not knowing how to start the conversation – it is not possible to have the answers to everything, or the knowledge to be able to solve every problem, however as the Samaritans set out, focusing on feelings may be what’s needed instead of trying to solve the problem instantly.
Personal impact – talking to someone about their mental health and associated feelings, reasons, etc. may be too close to home for some people and therefore it is better to avoid it than have to deal with it. As identified by this Anna Freud Centre resource, supporting the wellbeing of staff is just as important as supporting the mental health and wellbeing of the pupils.
Any approach therefore needs to be multi-faceted – empowering staff, debunking myths and providing staff and pupils with knowledge about mental health and mental ill health.

High risk groups

As with all areas in relation to safeguarding there are cohorts of children and young people who are more at risk of developing poor mental health.

In responding to data for England released by NHS Digital in November 2018, the Anna Freud Centre stated:

Everything we know from the evidence tells us that the increase in mental health problems and the detail behind today’s figures can’t be reduced to a single cause. What we do know is that these figures confirm that overwhelmingly and consistently poor mental health has been linked to social pressure and deprivation. It shows that children living in households with the lowest income are about twice as likely as those living in the highest to have a disorder.

The Care Quality Commission (2018) identify the following groups as being more vulnerable to poor mental health:

Children who experience multiple complex life events, such as parental mental illness, substance misuse, poverty, neglect, abuse, domestic violence and sexual exploitation;
Children and young people with disabilities, neurodevelopmental and long-term conditions
those in the criminal justice system (these include the children of parents who are prisoners);
refugee and asylum-seeking children;
lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) children and young people;
looked after children, care leavers and adopted children and young people;
bereaved children and young people;
young carers.
It is not however only these groups that can experience mental ill health – there are certain points in a child’s education that can impact on the most emotionally resilient child, for example transition to another school and national exams (SATS, GCSEs, A-Levels, etc) and therefore we need to ensure that all are mentally well, not just the high-risk groups. Nuffield Health go so far as to suggest that schools should have a Head of Wellbeing, citing the positive effects on the staff and student body of a pilot study in one secondary school.

Other factors can also impact on children and young people’s mental health.  The Office for National Statistics (2018) shows that at least 1 in 10 children reported that they are “often” lonely, going up to around 1 in 5 of those living in a city.  The data also shows that girls are often more likely to feel lonely than boys. One of the recommendations young people make to combat loneliness is to increase positive use of social media.  The emphasis here needs to be on the word positive, as the Centre for Mental Health issued a briefing paper in September 2018 looking at the impact of social media on young people’s wellbeing, identifying how fear of missing out, jealousy and addiction to social media can all have a negative impact on a young person’s mental health.  The Chief Medical Officer has also warned of the danger of social media on children’s mental health – citing evidence that shows that children who spend more than 3 hours using social networking websites on a school day are twice as likely to report high or very high scores for mental ill-health.

The multi-agency response to children living with mental health issues has been set as one of the key themes of a joint targeted area inspection (JTAI) in summer 2019.  These see Ofsted along with other inspectorates looking at how well agencies work together to protect children.

Mental health and safeguarding

So when does child mental ill health become a safeguarding matter?  Ofsted (2018), in their guidance for inspectors, are clear stating:

Safeguarding is not just about protecting children, learners and vulnerable adults from deliberate harm, neglect and failure to act. It relates to broader aspects of care and education, including:

children’s and learners’ health and safety and well-being, including their mental health (para 11, p.6)
The guidance is therefore clear that there is a responsibility on schools to protect the mental health of pupils – in this case the matter falling under the wider context of safeguarding.

The majority of Safeguarding Children Boards (or their replacements) have some form of a threshold document.  Within this it is likely that the issues discussed in this article will feature and will indicate that some level of additional help or support is required.  For individual pupils there will be a need to determine where they fall on any threshold matrix, factoring in what else you know about the child and their circumstances – the contextual information will be important in helping to understand what the underlying factors are.

As with other safeguarding matters:

Ensure that your staff are equipped to recognise mental ill health and know how to respond, with clear recording of all steps and decisions taken.
Act early where there are concerns – you may be able to support the young person in school without needing to refer on, but know your limitations.
Where there are concerns the impact of mental ill health, for example persistent self-harm or prolonged inability to cope, follow your safeguarding policy and refer on as appropriate.
Unless you consider there to be significant risk of further harm by doing so, you should involve parents / carers in your decision-making.
If other agencies are involved, hold them to account and be clear about your expectations of them.
If necessary, follow the safeguarding partnership escalation process in your area, advocating for your children and families. Record and track this as a school.
If there are gaps in service provision, work with colleagues in other schools to establish the extent of the issue locally and escalate it to your local partnerships.
Ultimately, if a child or young person is expressing suicidal ideation it is important that you get advice and support urgently – many young people who go on to take their own life have previously told a professional about their intention.

Conclusion

Against a backdrop of shrinking services and increasing needs there are still areas which remain difficult to talk about and essentially run the risk of becoming off limits.  Mental health is one of these areas, however as we have seen, knowledge dispels fear.  Debunking myths around mental health and ensuring that staff are equipped with the knowledge around approaching mental health issues and how to have difficult conversations are key.  Contextual safeguarding is instrumental in helping to identify children and young people at risk of deteriorating mental health and, where possible early intervention to help children and young people develop appropriate social and emotional skills.

MEDIA WATCH: A round-up of the latest news stories involving pastoral care in education

At NAPCE we work very hard to stay across the national and international news media to store and share the latest stories involving pastoral care in education on our own platforms.

In this new feature for NAPCE News, we are sharing with you a selection of the biggest stories hitting the headlines this month with the aim that some of these reported developments may provide useful context within your work as a strategist or practitioner of pastoral support.

Here is a summary for October 2019.

“Prince William backs anti-cyberbullying app which intervenes when children try to send nasty messages” from Daily Telegraph

Read here: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/royal-family/2019/09/17/prince-william-backs-anti-cyberbullying-app-intervenes-children/

“Sadfishing: Social media trend threatens teenagers’ mental health, report warns” from The Independent

Read here: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/sadfishing-what-problem-sympathy-social-media-mental-health-children-a9126811.html

“Vulnerable pupils bullied online over ‘sadfishing'” from TES

Read here: https://www.tes.com/news/vulnerable-pupils-bullied-online-over-sadfishing

“The simple three Cs approach to managing behaviour” from TES

Read here: https://www.tes.com/news/simple-three-cs-approach-managing-behaviour

How are schools supporting pupil wellbeing in boarding environments? From Independent Education Today

Read here: https://ie-today.co.uk/Article/how-are-schools-supporting-pupil-wellbeing-in-boarding-environments/

“Support for children with special educational needs ‘in crisis'” from The Guardian

Read here: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2019/oct/04/support-for-children-with-special-educational-needs-in-crisis

“Wolverhampton school ‘a real treasure’, say inspectors” The school’s pastoral care was considered to be outstanding while its religious education promoted “a deep understanding of diversity and respect” from Express & Star

Read here: https://www.expressandstar.com/news/education/2019/10/07/wolverhampton-school-a-real-treasure-say-inspectors/

“Instagram rolls out new feature to help fight bullying” from CNN

Read here: https://edition.cnn.com/2019/10/02/tech/instagram-restrict-mode/index.html

“NHS opens clinic to help child addicts of computer games” from The Guardian

Read here: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/oct/08/nhs-opens-clinic-to-help-child-addicts-of-computer-games

“School bans parents from using phones in playground to stop them ignoring their children” from The Independent

Read here: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/mobile-phone-ban-parents-playground-wigan-school-leigh-wendy-cathie-a9148806.html

“Student mental health: ‘You’d seek help for a broken leg'” from BBC News

Read here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-49996940/student-mental-health-you-d-seek-help-for-a-broken-leg

“Mentally ill students risk academic penalties for missing classes” from The Guardian

Read here: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/oct/14/mentally-ill-students-risk-academic-penalties-for-missing-classes

“Worse than violence: Cyberbullying study exposes huge cost of digital abuse on teens” from Sunday Post

Read here: https://www.sundaypost.com/fp/cyberbullying-worse-than-violence-biggest-study-exposes-cost-of-digital-abuse-on-teensresearchers-reveal-how-scots-youngsters-suffer-alone-as-social-media-tormentors-hound-them-to/

“One in eight schools do not have library and poorer children more likely to miss out, study finds” from The Independent

Read here: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/school-library-reading-poorer-children-books-funding-cuts-austerity-study-a9158601.html

NAPCE News – September 2019

NAPCE News – September 2019
Making a positive difference to young people through pastoral care

Pastoral care in schools across the UK and further afield is proven to be critically linked to the academic and personal-social development of young people. NAPCE continues to support education providers in the process of pastoral care implementation and development. It is here that we share important news of our latest activities, events and best practice guidance. 

THIS MONTH’S FEATURE ARTICLE: “The Importance of the Student’s Voice” by NAPCE’s Jill Robson

I was interested to read Professor Stan Tucker’s Editorial in the June 2019 edition of “Pastoral Care in Education”, in which he considers the recent youth protests on climate change and the issues of children’s rights and empowerment.

He asks an important question, “When we talk of the importance of “listening”, of “enabling” of “facilitating”, of “empowering”, are we willing to accept within such discourse the right of a child to take action if/when they believe adults are failing to respond to their needs, perspectives or ambitions.

This is an interesting point, as a teacher of over 30 years, I was always an advocate of student voice and established and developed Student Councils in several of the schools in which I worked, often with opposition from colleagues, who did not share my views on extending the democratic process to students.

My legitimisation of the process always extended to quoting Article 12 of the United Nations Declaration on the rights of the child, which states that children have the right to have views and be consulted on issues which affect them.

In today’s world of instant access to information via the Internet, there are numerous resources available to teachers and pastoral staff on how to set up and run democratic student councils, but my concern, based on my own experience and discussions with school staff is that often the school or student council is still seen as a peripheral or add on activity.

Even in schools where students are involved in staff appointments and other strategic decisions, the views of students are not always given due consideration, unless they reinforce the accepted view.

I have recently been involved, as a governor of an SEMH school, with their school council.  The students are at the school, as they found it difficult to cope in mainstream schools, however their ability to discuss and present their views and contribute positively on all school issues is incredibly impressive and has reinforced my view on the importance of student voice for all young people.

I believe that students are an underused and undervalued resource in many schools and that their opinions, contributions and actions are essential components in the drive for school improvement.

If we are going to use their views to shape policy and actions however, we need to be prepared for them to voice concerns and opinions and to take action that isn’t always in agreement with the organisations existing philosophy and practice.

At a time in our country’s history when the democratic process is constantly under discussion and so many voters do not participate in elections,  it is essential that we encourage all young people to express their views, and that we give those views and consequent actions, due respect.

Jill Robson
National Executive Committee
NAPCE

AWARDS: NAPCE joins forces with UK Pastoral Chat to launch the National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education 

NAPCE is delighted to have joined forces with UK Pastoral Chat to launch an exciting new awards scheme for pastoral care providers in the education sector.

It was announced at our conference in May that NAPCE had plans to promote good practice in pastoral support and recognise the work that is being done to develop good quality pastoral care, through the launch of the NAPCE Awards.

Since May we have been in discussions with UK Pastoral Chat, who have a similar interest in recognising good practice in pastoral support, about working in partnership for an awards programme.

So, we thought it made perfect sense for both organisations to work together in partnership to create the first ever National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education.
 
Both NAPCE and UK Pastoral Chat will have their own categories for the awards and will manage their own process for entry, finalists and selection of awards winners.

Of course, working in partnership means the Awards instantly becomes a much bigger event, with a bigger audience and we’re going to be combining our energies and expertise to organise an awards programme that significantly raises the profile of pastoral care in the educational world.
The closing date for all categories (both NAPCE and UK Pastoral Chat awards categories will be Monday 2nd March, 2020.

The finalists of the inaugural National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education will be invited to attend a ceremony in 2020 and we’ll be announcing details of the event shortly.

UK Pastoral Chat is inviting nominations for awards in the following categories;

  • SLT
  • Head of Year (Including Head of 6thForm)
  • Head of House/Head of Boarding
  • PSHE Lead
  • Nurse/ Counsellor
  • Pastoral Support Staff (including Learning Mentor)
  • Tutor/Classroom teacher
  • Unsung Hero
  • Guidance teacher
  • DSL/CP Co-ordinator
  • Governor

Details about how to make nominations can be found on the UK Pastoral Chat Twitter pages.

NAPCE is inviting nominations in the following categories;

  • Pastoral School of the Year
  • Pastoral Team of the Year
  • Pastoral Member of Staff of the Year
  • Pastoral Leader of the Year
  • Pastoral Development of the Year
  • Raising Awareness about Pastoral Care
  • Outstanding Contribution to Pastoral Care

Nominations are encouraged for awards in different categories from schools and educational institutions. The Awards will be an excellent opportunity to share good practice in pastoral care and through the social media and websites of both organisations to raise awareness of where pastoral support is making a real difference in the educational experience of young people. The awards will encourage new initiatives and ideas in pastoral care and will recognise the contributions being made to developing policy and practice in pastoral support.

This is an opportunity to recognise the impact the work of pastoral staff is having on the achievement and well being of young people. The decisions about prize winners in each category will be made by a panel of invited professionals who work in pastoral care.

There will be a prize of £100.00 for the school or institution for the winners of each category and individuals will also be recognised for their achievements.

The criteria for the NAPCE awards are;
Award Criteria

  • Pastoral School of the Year

A school that can demonstrate a commitment to pastoral care and support for learners that makes a real difference in the progress and personal development of young people in the school

  • Pastoral Team of the Year

A team that works in pastoral care and can demonstrate a determination to support young people to achieve their full potential and a positive impact on the young people they work with.

  • Pastoral Member of Staff of the Year

A member of staff who works in pastoral care and who always makes the extra effort to support young people to enable them to become effective learners and achieve success.

  • Pastoral Leader of the Year

Has a passion for pastoral care that is shared with colleagues to inspire and motivate them to make a real difference in the lives of the young people they work with.

  • Pastoral Development of the Year

A pastoral initiative or idea that has achieved positive outcomes and has improved the learning experience and future life chances, for young people.

  • Raising Awareness about Pastoral Care

An individual, group or organisation who through their actions have raised awareness about pastoral care or pastoral issues and encouraged positive improvements for the benefit of young people.

  • Outstanding Contribution to Pastoral Care

A person, group or organisation that has made a real difference for the benefit of young people in the area of pastoral care.Nominations for the NAPCE Awards are welcome from member schools and institutions and from schools and institutions that are not currently members of NAPCE. Nominations can be made online via this link:

https://iainnapce.wufoo.com/forms/zxzr4y71g2ofzi/

You can also enter by e-mail to NAPCE Base at admin@napce.org.uk with the following information:

Award                          __________________________________________

Nomination                  __________________________________________
Support for nomination (maximum 100 words)

Nominated by _______________________________________________

Email contact _______________________________________________

The Awards Programme and partnership with UK Pastoral Chat is an exciting opportunity to raise the profile of Pastoral Care and give hard working pastoral staff and schools with positive approaches to supporting learners the recognition that they deserve.

Good luck!

Phil Jones
National Chair
National Association for Pastoral Care in Education

Article: “Cyberbullying – What schools and teachers can do” by internet security company ESET

The dramatic and, often dangerous effects of cyberbullying is an issue we cannot afford to ignore.

The impact of cyberbullying has widely and regularly been reported in the media and too often we are seeing the results being a serious effect on the mental health to young people, sometime even leading the suicide.

At NAPCE we are committed to sharing information about cyberbullying, in terms of evidence, case studies and effects.

We also seek regular advice on how, as education providers, we can support our young people and each other with instances and circumstances of cyberbullying.

Earlier this month we discovered a summary of advice on the issue from award. winning global internet security company ESET.

Here is the article, written by Cecilia Pastorino. It was published on the ESETblog welivesecurity on August 23rd, 2019.

Cyberbullying: What schools and teachers can do

These days, the internet is woven into people’s everyday lives, and children’s lives are no exception. For all its benefits, the technological evolution has also brought, or magnified, some problems, and cyberbullying is one of the most pervasive threats that youth face online. In fact, when a kid starts to be bullied at school, the harassment usually continues on social networks, messaging apps, and elsewhere on the internet. Educational institutions may think that the issues of the digital world lie outside the scope of schooling or that they don’t warrant scrutiny. However, online abuse and harassment often have a bigger impact on the victims than in-person bullying – and yet they may be ignored until it’s too late.

Importantly, on the internet everything can become more powerful. A social media post can reach hundreds or even thousands of people in a matter of minutes and before you know it, all those people may be talking and expressing opinions about the post or image. The impact of abusive content on the victim is magnified when there’s an increase in the number of people seeing, liking, sharing, and/or commenting on the post. Indeed, if the content has gone viral, it’s impossible to stop or delete it, even if the aggressors come to regret their actions.

On a related note, the sense of decreased inhibition afforded by screens and social networks due to the sense of anonymity may make many kids feel empowered enough to say and do things in the digital world that they would never do in the physical world.

Against this backdrop and as way to encourage a proactive approach in tackling cyberbullying and other types of online harassment, here are four principles that every school and teacher can apply in order to deal with this problem:

1. Educate students to be good digital citizens

Since the digital world is part of our real lives, the rules that apply on the internet should be the same as those we are already familiar with in the physical world. When teaching kids about respect and social conventions, it’s important to include the realm of the internet and ensure that they are also taught how to behave and communicate through digital media.

Subjects like civic education and citizenship should go beyond traditional boundaries to touch also on ethics, morality and respect in the digital world. Team exercises and activities are another powerful way to get groups to work together as one. The purpose of such activities is to get all the members of the class to work together toward a common goal, using all their individual strengths and valuing each person’s abilities to complete a task.

2. Prioritize awareness-raising over banning

Awareness is very powerful, not least because it changes social perceptions. Rather than creating panic over the use of technology or spreading misunderstandings, awareness allows a positive atmosphere to emerge.

Many schools choose to ban the use of technology, which can actually backfire in that pupils and students will use their phones on the sly. Young people identify with technology and adapt it to fit into their daily lives. That’s why it’s important to show students how they can use technology for the common good, such as to share knowledge or to support one another. Furthermore, by bringing technology into the classroom, teachers can focus on its ethical use.

3. Collective solidarity in reporting cyberbullying

A report by the Safe2Tell initiative found that, in 81% of cases of bullying at school, some group of students would have known about an attack, but would have decided not to report it. In most of these cases, the silence is mainly due to the fear of becoming the next victim or of facing punishment by adults. In these cases, children need to know that the problem is not technology, but rather people using it for the wrong ends. Promoting free-flowing dialogue and providing a space for listening also contributes to children knowing who to turn to if faced with abusive behavior.

On the other hand, online abuse can, and should, be reported on the platforms themselves. All social networks have the option to report posts, comments and even profiles that harm or harass someone. This is the only way to eliminate abusive content on social networks, because after a series of reports are received, the post or profile is deleted. These reports are completely anonymous, so there is no need to fear retaliation.

4. Dialogue: the basis for all support

Students need to know who they can reach out to before a problem arises. And in this area, trust is the key to open a dialogue. A recent survey (in Spanish) found that 25% of children and teenagers believe their elders know less than they do about technology. This perception makes them feel that their online problems are played down and not understood. What happens on the internet is viewed by children as very serious. Their digital identities are essentially the same for them as their real-world identities. For that reason, if a student approaches a teacher or other responsible adult with an online problem, the teacher needs to take it as seriously as a similar real-world issue and seek out the resources to deal with it.

It’s important to remember that while youngsters know a lot about how technology is used and how it works, adults have more real-life experience. With this in mind, exploring topics like technological risks, safety on the internet and appropriate online behavior are vital to encouraging dialogue. And it’s essential to break the silence around bullying and cyberbullying, by talking about instances of cyberabuse and their solutions. In doing so, teachers need to be clear and empathetic and to communicate openly with their students.

In conclusion, if we view digital communication as part of each person’s own little world, we can apply these thoughts expressed by Eleanor Roosevelt:

Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home – so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm, or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.

MEDIA WATCH: A round-up of the latest news stories involving pastoral care in education

At NAPCE we work very hard to stay across the national and international news media to store and share the latest stories involving pastoral care in education on our own platforms.

In this new feature for NAPCE News, we are sharing with you a selection of the biggest stories hitting the headlines this month with the aim that some of these reported developments may provide useful context within your work as a strategist or practitioner of pastoral support.

Here is a summary for September 2019.

“Poor pupils nearly twice as likely not to pass maths GCSE as richer peers, analysis reveals” from The Independent

Read here: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/gcse-results-day-2019-maths-english-pass-poor-students-a9071741.html

“Pastoral care tips for the new academic year” from Independent Education Today

Read here: https://ie-today.co.uk/Blog/pastoral-care-tips-for-the-new-academic-year/

“Children without bed of their own or enough clothing struggle at school, report warns” from The Independent

Read here: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/child-poverty-school-attendance-food-banks-clothes-bed-buttle-uk-a9090006.html

“Almost one in five children have contemplated suicide because of bullying at school, a new study of 1,003 students has revealed” from The Independent

Read here: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/school-suicide-children-bullying-anxiety-back2school-a9088341.html

“‘My pupil was expelled for breaking a teacher’s fingers. I have to help him” from The Guardian

Read here: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/sep/09/pupil-expelled-breaking-teachers-fingers-help-tutor

“Teacher: Depression and anxiety threatened to kill my career. So I came clean about it” from The Guardian

Read here: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/sep/10/depression-and-anxiety-threatened-to-kill-my-career-so-i-came-clean-about-it

“Facebook and Instagram tighten rules on self-harm images” from The Guardian

Read here: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/sep/10/facebook-instagram-tighten-rules-self-harm-images

“Off to ‘big school’? Some pupils need extra support, says Ofsted” from BBC News

Read here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-49661576

“Top teacher warns on mental health time bomb over autism training from News Letter

Read here: https://www.newsletter.co.uk/education/top-teacher-warns-on-mental-health-time-bomb-over-autism-training-1-9069439

“The BBC is launching a new app to try and help the wellbeing of young people online” from BBC News

Read here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/49738120

“Bullying behaviour often emerges in childhood, and the consequences for victims can last a lifetime. But what makes a child become a bully?” from BBC News

Read here: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20190913-why-some-children-become-merciless-bullies

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