Skip to Content

NAPCE May Conference 2019 – A Report

Conference- “Facing the Challenges of mental health and well-being in schools. Let’s talk about it!”

May 8th, 2019, Birmingham

Summary of Analysis of Evaluations from Delegates

Delegates completed a questionnaire to provide feedback at the end of the conference. There were 85 delegates at the conference. The responses to the evaluation show that delegates came from a wide range of backgrounds including primary school teachers, secondary school teachers, headteachers and leaders in secondary schools, non – teaching pastoral staff in schools, people working in higher education, people working in teacher training and organisations that included the Wildlife Trust, BBC Bitesize and Aston Villa Foundation. Speakers came from Birmingham Educational Partnership, Newman University, Ofsted, ASCL, Mind, Squirrel learning, Compassion Matters, Newman Health and Well-being, and NAPCE. In addition, displays were provided by the Thrive Approach and Services for Education

Delegates were positive about the experience they had at the conference and about how they had benefited from attending.  The comments show that delegates found the conference useful and that the information that was shared with them and the understanding they developed, would have a positive impact on their future work

  • 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
  • Lots of information to think about and incorporate into our academy
  • I learnt so much and it gave me time to start formulating my thoughts so I can start preparing my action plan
  • Very informative, Thought provoking and inspiring
  • So much knowledge to take back home to think about and share at work
  • 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
  • Helped me to focus on the national picture not just my school setting. Gave me time to think and network with others.

One theme that emerged from the conference was the importance of a whole school approach to promoting mental health and well-being in schools.

  • Raising awareness about the need for a whole school response to emotional well being
  • It raised awareness about the importance of a whole school approach to mental health issues and well-being in schools.
  • It has helped me to think about the importance of a whole school approach
  • Learning new approaches to developing a whole school approach.

Delegates appreciated the different information presented, with speakers focusing on current practice, national issues and developments, research and ideas and strategies to respond to the challenges that schools face.

  • I thought the balance of information was good
  • Great update on national picture and progression and hurdles with mental health in schools and wider society
  • Range of ideas to take back to school and implement
  • Lots of information to think about and incorporate into our academy
  • Made connections between different models of pastoral care and current practice learnt about the most up to date evidence and policy

Delegates were positive about the knowledge and understanding they gained from the speakers and workshop leaders. Without exception all the speakers and workshop leaders were mentioned as being the highlight of the conference by different delegates.

  • Wide range of speakers all relevant to theme but providing different perspectives
  • The speakers created a whole picture of what we need to strive for. It all fitted together
  • Each speaker contributed to my understanding and each one had a highlight. A Valuable day
  • The wide range of speakers that brought different perspectives to the table
  • Different speakers from different areas of expertise
  • I found all the speakers and the workshops to be of great interest

Delegates feedback about the venue for the Conference, The Studio in Birmingham was very positive. They liked the location especially because it was close to the station and the food and facilities. There were a few comments about it being difficult to get to central Birmingham by car for a 9-00am start.

  • Excellent regarding room and food. Busy getting into central Birmingham for 9-00am
  • Great venue and food
  • The venue was perfect for the event
  • Excellent venue, nice food, great location
  • Very accessible. Clean tidy and fabulous hospitality
  • Amazing venue. Good facilities, good food, quirky design and excellent location close to the station

Delegates were positive about NAPCE’s organisation of the event. Suggestions for the organisation of future conferences included, providing more time for delegates to discuss issues and share good practice and to ask questions and make comments. The responses show that delegates valued the opportunity to network and share ideas and good practice with other delegates.

  • Nothing needs to be done to improve the conference. all was excellent
  • The organisation of the conference was very thorough
  • Arrange further conferences they are excellent
  • I thought the balance of information was good and at a very reasonable price.
  • NAPCE is addressing important areas and kept the conference interesting
  • The organisation of the conference was all very clear, and the conference fulfilled its aims effectively
  • More discussion time, but I did appreciate the breadth of content and appreciate time constraints
  • Provide time for delegates to talk and discuss. To comment and ask questions after each presentation
  • More time to talk in workshops
  • Workshops to be more interactive. More practical ideas and strategies
  • More practical ways and strategies that we can use for our pupils e.g. signs of mental health issues, various types of condition and ways to support
  • Opportunities for networking and sharing free resources, as schools do not have the money for lots of these things
  • Opportunities to share good practice on tables
  • Maybe more resources or an information sheet on where to find support

Delegates made some suggestions for issues and topics that could be explored in future conferences.

  • More about strategic approaches in school
  • Mental Health strategies to use in the classroom
  • Working with pupils with SEND
  • Supporting disaffected/alienated pupils
  • Case studies and best practice as group discussions
  • Use of pupil premium funding to support pastoral care. Links between pastoral needs and wider SEND needs
  • Relationships with parents
  • Managing pastoral care in a digital environment including social media
  • Developing Pastoral teams. Good practice models.

Delegates made the following general comments about their experience at the conference.

  • I really enjoyed the day and found it to be wholly engaging
  • Enjoyable and informative day. Thank you and very good value for money
  • A useful and stimulating day
  • I found it all very useful and well planned. A valuable day
  • Thank you for a very positive day
  • Fantastic day Very appropriate that the conference related to mental health. I have felt very valued and left the venue feeling very much looked after. Thank you
  • An enjoyable and useful day
  • Well done to all involved it was fantastic
  • Brilliant Day. Thoroughly enjoyable and informative

Thank you to all speakers, workshop leaders, organisers of displays, staff at The Studio NAPCE members and all delegates for your contribution to the success of the conference.

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

Summary of the response by the National Association of Pastoral Care (NAPCE) to the OFSTED consultation on the proposed new Inspection Framework to be implemented from September 2019.

Proposal 1: Introduction of ‘Quality of Education’ Judgement

We propose the introduction of a new ‘quality of education’ judgement built around our working definition of the curriculum. It will focus on a provider’s educational intent, implementation and impact.

Inspectors look at teaching, assessment, attainment and progress under the current inspection framework, and they will continue to do so, but these considerations will contribute, viewed in the context of the provider’s curriculum, to a single quality of education judgement.

In short, we propose to take a holistic approach to considering the quality of education rather than artificially separating the leadership of the curriculum from teaching, and separating teaching and the use of assessment from the impact this has on the outcomes that learners achieve. This will de-intensify the inspection focus on performance data and place more emphasis on the substance of education and what matters most to learners and practitioners.

This will encourage a greater focus on the experience that young people have at school. The Association welcomes this because it will encourage schools to consider all the experiences, they provide for their students through the curriculum to broaden their educational experience, support their personal development and prepare them for taking an active role in society in the future.

Proposal 2: Separation of Judgements

We propose to judge ‘personal development’ separately from ‘behaviour and attitudes’ to enhance the inspection focus on each and enable clearer reporting on both.

This approach recognises the very different elements in focus. We believe that the behaviour and the attitudes learners of all ages bring to learning is best evaluated and judged separately from the provision made to promote learners’ wider personal development, character and resilience.

We support the increased focus on Personal Development as a step in the right direction and believe that will encourage schools to value the work done by staff, to promote the personal development, well – being and resilience of learners.

It will encourage all schools to consider the well – being of staff and students to ensure their readiness to learn and the opportunity to reach their potential.

The Association will continue to explore opportunities to recognise and celebrate good practice in Pastoral Care. The focus on personal development proposed in the new framework will support this process.

Proposal 3: Early Years

NAPCE did not respond to this proposal

Proposal 4: Increasing Short Inspections from One day to Two days

Currently, section 8 inspections of good schools (or ‘short inspections’) last for one day. We want to ensure that there is opportunity to gather sufficient evidence while on inspection to confirm that a school remains good under the new criteria. Therefore, we are proposing to increase the time for which the lead inspector is on site to two days.

We welcome this proposal because it will ensure that schools focus on the personal development of learners. It will mean that inspectors have the time to enable them to make sound judgements about all the educational experiences that are provided for academic achievement and personal development.

Proposal 5: On-site Preparation

We propose that Ofsted will provide formal notification of the inspection no later than 10am on the day before the inspection. We then propose that the lead inspector will arrive on site no earlier than 12.30pm on that day. The lead inspector will use this time to talk with senior leaders in order to gain an overview of the school’s recent performance and any changes since the last inspection.

We would welcome any developments in the process that enables improved communication between inspectors and the school but have concerns that this would put additional pressure on school staff as they prepare for the inspection visit. An inspection is a stressful experience for school staff and leaders must allocate time to supporting colleagues with their preparation including their emotional wellbeing.

Proposals 7 and 8 are specific to non-association independent schools.

Proposal 7: Quality of Education Criteria

We propose that inspectors should normally use the non-specialist curriculum as their primary source of evidence in assessing the extent to which non-association independent schools meet the quality of education criteria.

NAPCE did not respond to this proposal

Proposal 8: 

To provide parents, school leaders and the DfE with better information, we are proposing to recognise and acknowledge sooner where schools have improved or declined, for example by bringing forward a standard inspection.

To what extent do you agree or disagree that where non-association independent schools have been found to improve or decline at an additional inspection, Ofsted should provide up-to-date judgements about the school’s current performance?

NAPCE did not respond to this proposal

Proposals 9, 10 and 11 are specific to further education and skills

Proposal 9: 

We propose to reduce the types of provision that we grade and specifically report on.

NAPCE did not respond to this proposal

Proposal 10: 

We are proposing to refine our short inspection model for further education and skills providers.

NAPCE did not respond to this proposal

Proposal 11: 

We are proposing to extend the timescale within which we should inspect providers judged to require improvement from ‘normally 12 to 24 months’ after the last inspection to ‘normally 12 to 30 months’ after the last inspection.

NAPCE did not respond to this proposal

Phil Jones
National Association for Pastoral Care in Education

April 3rd 2019


For 37 years the National Association or Pastoral Care in Education has been leading the discussion on pastoral care in schools across the UK and further afield.

We are now pleased to release our latest National Guidance (2018) document to deliver a clear framework for professionals working in pastoral care across the education sector.

Pastoral Leadership

Effective pastoral leadership with a clear purpose and direction

  • Develops an ethos which promotes learning, academic achievement and personal development.
  • Encourages learning experiences that meet the needs and raises the aspirations of learners.
  • Establishes clear goals for supporting the academic progress and personal development of learners.
  • Provides opportunities for learners to develop social skills and personal qualities to prepare them for their future lives.
  • Implements guidance and support strategies to raise achievement
  • Evaluates how effective pastoral support is and plans actions to improve provision.
  • Plan and provides appropriate training and professional development opportunities for staff engaged in pastoral support.
  • Manages the provision of high-quality tutoring to encourage and motivate learners to achieve their full potential.
  • Implements pastoral systems to identify barriers to learning and appropriate strategies to overcome them.
  • Develops effective communication between all parties involved in the education of learners.
  • Provides a safe and stimulating learning environment that supports the personal development of all learners.
  • Ensures early intervention and support for individual learners when it is required.

Pastoral Outcomes

Achieves pastoral outcomes that support and promote learning

  • Learners are motivated to improve their knowledge, understanding and skills in relation to prior attainment.
  • Learners through their behaviours and attitudes, contribute to establishing a positive environment for learning.
  • Learners understand how they can be effective learners, make good academic progress and promote their own personal development and welfare.
  • Learners take advantage of opportunities and learning experiences provided by the school and they are enthusiastic about learning and positive about their academic achievement and personal development.
  • Learners are confident about responding to challenges they face in their education.
  • Learners can work effectively with other people and are developing the skills needed for future employability.
  • Learners know how to access support to enable them to achieve their full potential.

Effective Pastoral Teams

Develop pastoral systems and structures that ensures a shared commitment to supporting learners in their education, personal development and well – being.

  • Have a common purpose to support learners in achieving their full potential.
  • Understands the needs of learners and how to ensure an appropriate balance between challenge and support.
  • Develops effective links between all staff and other professionals who contribute to the education of individual learners.
  • Are involved in the development and evaluation of pastoral systems and strategies to meet the needs of all learners.
  • Demonstrate and promote an enthusiasm for learning which inspires and motivates learners.
  • Develop a culture with high expectations for achievement and an awareness of the importance of well – being.
  • Through effective tutoring and guidance, challenge learners to achieve their full potential in their academic progress and personal development.
  • Form effective partnerships with parents and carers to support learners in their academic progress and personal development.
  • Are aware of appropriate resources and contacts to support learners
  • Recognise and celebrate the achievements of individuals and groups of learners and use these opportunities to motivate all learners.
  • Use sanctions and rewards to reinforce expectations of all learners and provide clear boundaries to ensure a safe learning environment.
  • Support the academic progress and personal development of learners by using available data and evidence to inform tutoring and guidance.

Skills, Knowledge and Understanding of Staff

Staff have the knowledge, skills and understanding to be effective in providing a positive learning environment and effective support for learners, to enable them to take full advantage of the opportunities provided by their education.

  • Take responsibility for remaining fully informed about developments in pastoral care and in education that have an impact on the support of learners in school.
  • Have a clear knowledge and understanding of the requirements of safeguarding.
  • Are aware of the statutory and non – statutory requirements for pastoral support in areas such as attendance and careers.
  • Are aware of how tutoring and providing guidance supports learners.
  • Know how to develop learners key skills and promote spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development.
  • Know how to prepare learners for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life.
  • Know how to support learners in developing the knowledge and understanding to keep themselves safe and look after their own well-being.
  • Are fully informed about current policies and developments in education that have an impact on the support of learners.
  • Ensure that all pastoral staff develop their skills and expertise through appropriate training and sharing of good practice.
  • Are aware of the data and evidence that can be used to inform the support of individual learners to enable them to achieve their full potential.

Phil Jones

National Chair of The National Association for Pastoral Care in Education (NAPCE)

November 2018

Inspired and developed from

“Standards for Pastoral Leaders. An exemplification of National Standards for Subject Leaders”, Chris Watkins, Kevin Buckle, Alan Dodds, NAPCE, 2000.

The National Association for Pastoral Care in Education (NAPCE), is an independent registered charity with no links to any government or other organisations. The aims of NAPCE are;

  • To support and inform those who have a professional concern for pastoral care;
  • To promote the theoretical study of pastoral care in education;
  • To disseminate good practice in pastoral care in education;
  • To promote the education, training and development of those engaged in pastoral care;
  • To liaise with other organisations who have similar objectives

NAPCE May Conference on Mental Health in Schools – Tickets Now Available

Tickets for the NAPCE May Conference 2019 are available now

The event will be held on May 8th, 2019 at The Studio Birmingham and the theme is “Facing the challenges of Mental Health and Wellbeing in Schools, Let’s Talk About It”.

A host of influential and inspirational key note speakers have been lined up and the event will include four special workshop sessions with experts for the sharing of knowledge and practice around the subject.

The event is aimed at people with a pastoral role within an education environment and delegates can now reserve places.

Promoting mental health and wellbeing is a challenge faced by all schools and professionals who work with young people.

This conference brings together the latest research and ideas to support all professionals in finding ways to support the personal development of young people to enable them to achieve their full potential in the 21st century.

Tickets, priced at £40 (£20 for NAPCE members), includes the full conference, lunch and refreshments and can be purchased here

The National Association for Pastoral Care (NAPCE) produced a special edition of the international journal ‘Pastoral Care in Education’, in August 2018 with the title ‘Facing the Challenges of Mental Health and Well-being in schools.

This presented the latest research and ideas from around the world on how to promote mental health and well – being and NAPCE is going to continue this important discussion at the Conference.

The event will be important to people with an interest in the future of education and how to meet the needs of young people.

This issue is relevant to all educationalists, at a time when the government is exploring how to improve mental health and well being in schools, how to provide appropriate training and to ensure that this is effective when there are constraints on budgets.

Delegates will have the opportunity to contribute to this discussion by attending the conference and to develop a greater understanding about how schools can improve the mental health and well-being of young people.

The Conference Programme

9am – Arrival. Tea or coffee and a selection of pastries

9.20am – Phil Jones Chair of NAPCE, ‘The importance of pastoral support in schools’

9.40am – Tim Boyes CEO Birmingham Educational Partnership, Key Note Speech

10.20am – Professor Stan Tucker and Professor Dave Trotman; Messages from Research: Schools, Pastoral Care and Mental Health.

11.00am – Tea or coffee & snacks

11.20am – Jonathan Jones HMI, Specialist Advisor for SEND. Ofsted views on the Schools role in Improving Mental Health.

12.00pm – Anna Cole, Association of School and College Leaders, Parliamentary and Inclusion Specialist. The Headteacher’s Perspective on the Challenge of Improving Mental Health in Schools

12.45pm – Two course lunch

1.25pm – Karen Mellanby, Director of Networks and Communities, MIND How to assess and respond to Mental Health needs in Schools.

2.00pm – Workshop Session

2.45pm – Tea or coffee & cookies

3.00pm – Workshop Session

3.45pm – Conference Close: Phil Jones Chair of NAPCE


Workshop One with Maria O’Neil, UK Pastoral Chat on Working Together with Parents to Safeguard Young People’s Digital Wellbeing

Workshop Two with Celina Bennett, Educational Consultant on Using the SUMO Principles in Schools and how this can improve a Child’s Mental Health and Well-being

Workshop Three – Melanie Glass, Development and Delivery Manager, for Newman Health and Wellbeing at Newman University Birmingham on Smashing the Stigma around Mental Health. training for staff and pupils and how it can support mental health and well – being in schools

Workshop Four – Catherine Harwood,Director of Whole School Wellbeing on School Provision for Mental Health and Wellbeing

Just what is Wellbeing?

Just what is Wellbeing? With calls for wellbeing to be put on the curriculum. NAPCE looks to break down the word wellbeing. We felt a reminder and de-construction of the word adds a little clarity so that we can address its components.

The dictionary definition of Wellbeing: ‘the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy’. In our environments the current priorities are child protection, free school meals, healthy living and inclusive school environments. Both physically and psychologically, students must have their needs met so that they are ready to learn efficiently. The state of wellbeing in our environments that we are part of/control are shaped by psychological, biological and sociological factors. Each play a part in the shaping of those within it. So from whole school planning, to lesson design, bear in mind these three factors- we can have an influence on each.


Mental wellbeing describes your mental state – ‘how you are feeling and how well you can cope with day-to-day life’.

Ryan and Deci see the basic components of psychological needs as competence, autonomy, and relatedness (think ‘CAR’ ????). The level of each clearly varies in relation to developmental stages in life (bear in mind that autonomy can still be given if it has a good structure). Having an understanding of these components allows us to develop a framework for living and learning that is intrinsically motivated- self-determined.

To put it in context, we will use the well known ‘learning through play’ and an example of watching my five year old nephew last week. The child has relatively free choice how they interpret the stick (high jump pole, freeze ray, telescope etc.), they relate to their interests and become curious into the capabilities of the stick (just how much does it bend before it snaps?). I would say whilst playing high jump outside for two hours, intrinsically driven to beat the 52cm record set by himself just moments earlier, he was ‘comfortable, healthy and happy’ but also resilient in his attempts to beat nobody other than his own expectations.

Suggestion: Question your planning to see if those you are planning for a CAR to drive them forward.


Biological Wellbeing: ‘the physical (external and internal) health of the body’

This area needs a little less explanation but is not to be forgotten- each intwines with another. Use of exercise not only benefits the body, but also the mind. Going a little deeper draws you into thinking around pre-existing conditions, genetic influence etc.(an argument, that as I currently stand, as having less impact than nurture- our sociological influences). What aspect of physiological health/need are your schools focusing on this term? Are they not? Can you build in a five minute break into your lessons to consider it?

Suggestion: With research suggesting thirty minutes as a maximum for efficient concentration, a short break could be justifiable.


The culture of a school, and therefore its expectations, is one of the largest factors in pupils flourishing. There are some schools setting some incredible models for use beyond, but improving, test success. Geelong Grammar in Australia has adopted the elements of Positive Psychology in doing just this. Some schools are even taking an Ofsted approach to achieving ‘outstanding happiness‘. The autonomy to this approach is evident.

Suggestion: Up to down or from the bottom up, someone has to be the lead in each institution to grow the culture of addressing wellbeing in all aspects of the above, so our pupils are ready to learn.

NAPCE wishes you well for your new school year!

Are you interested in becoming a part of NAPCE? Our AGM is on the 7th of October at King’s College London, Strand, London WC2R 2LS (Committee Room in King’s Building).
020 7836 5454 (for any questions).  

Where Does Pastoral Care Begin?

NAPCE recently re-tweeted a post questioning ‘where does pastoral Care begin?’ The comments debate boiled down to… parents. It stirred a lot of reaction and some useful reflection. Schools are taking on a far more central role in parent support- and the focus is not always child-centered.

As a deputy head I see a range in staffs’ commitment and boundaries in supporting parents as individuals. This ranges in how and to what depths this goes; from a five-minute chat at the school gate, to a three-hour child protection case review. Sue Cowley recently said ‘Speaking as a parent, the close relationship with a class teacher has been one of the most important things in my kids’ primary education’.  And I don’t disagree. Yet, conflicting the goodwill, I see parents’ throw away (or at times very pointedly direct) comments to staff, strain their pupil time as their child’s teacher to attend a meeting for their input, and demand of parents adhered to for fear of what they may do if not (the list of consequences are expansive!). This is a real balancing act.

Morally, of course, there are situations which are challenging to stop yourself attempting to be a fixer. How can you not support the father who doesn’t have a strategy left to manage their child’s behaviour? Or the mother who is going through a divorce and tells you because there is no one else to talk to? But with cuts to social care contributing, where do we draw the line? What should a school offer? How do you pull it back in when a parent over steps the boundary without burning the bridges?

I think it is important to reiterate that it is an institution’s choice as to how they answer these questions- and to do it consistently, but as the re-tweet summarised- pastoral care does begin with the parent…

So instead of letting the school chase its metaphorical tail, I felt it was by addressing the issues that consistently arise by instigating a number of interventions.

Firstly, we spent the last term designing and running a three school collaboration parent training SEN program. Their children’s additional needs, patterns in behaviour and hormonal changes were, without a doubt, the largest area to address, but also the area that we as teachers have the specialist knowledge and strategies. The mantra was ‘we are the specialists, but you are the experts of your children’. This passed some of the responsibility back on to the parents from the outset, with the training aiming to be more of a facilitator role as opposed to a one size fits all transmission. The feedback and impact with those who chose (a separate issue) to attend have been very positive. Parents left with a clearer understanding of what sits behind certain behaviours, how communication and sensory provisions can reduce this, how these behaviours change during puberty and importantly- try to remain consistent with the schools’ strategies.

The second intervention was through staff training. The reiterated point of this was ‘Don’t be too hard on yourself’. Realising that you have a strong moral compass but don’t you have exhaustible energy. A set of black and white boundaries were laid out- including NO PERSONAL PHONE NUMBERS! We also updated the annual home-school agreement. That it was drawn up as a team, keeps a consistent and non-comparable approach moving forward.

As I sat in a meeting this morning I saw the discussions in action, a member of staff turning to the separated parent and stating ‘I don’t take sides, I am here for your son’, promptly followed by directing them to a number of external support resources. And I think that summarised where I stand. Does that make me less empathetic, narrow visioned or closed to parent input or budget spending on a vital intervention? I hope not because my moral compass is set to remain considerate of the whole learning journey. So I have decided that next term I will start a prevention- a parenting curriculum for older pupils, ensuring that parents are involved in the input…

We use cookies to improve your website experience. To learn about our use of cookies and how you can manage your cookie settings, please see our Cookie Policy. By closing this message, you are consenting to our use of cookies.