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Napce News – December 2022

NAPCE News – December 2022

Making a positive difference to young people through pastoral care


Back to School: Wellbeing, language, and newly-arrived adolescents by Aimee Kelley

In March, 2022, the flight of Ukrainian refugees into Europe and beyond opened a new chapter in migration history and sent many governments scrambling to accommodate these newcomers.

Of the various challenges the one that I have been most interested in is the provision of education for Ukrainian children in their new host countries.

This has been of particular interest in light of my current research, which focuses on the intersection of wellbeing, language, and newly-arrived adolescents in England and Denmark.

In the absence of national or local policy on this topic, how do schools welcome and care for youngsters arriving from other countries? How do teachers see their role in relation to academics and wellbeing, and how does this translate into education trajectories for these students during the first few years after their arrival? What specific measures are taken to care for newly-arrived students and by whom? How do newcomers feel about care and wellbeing at school?

These are some of the questions that make up this research project.

In the course of my field work, carried out between April and December of 2022, I visited ten secondary schools in five local authorities in England, and also traveled to seven schools in six Danish municipalities. In England, schools had a make-up of at least 30% English as an Additional Language (EAL) students and were located in local authorities with high numbers of resettled refugees and asylum seekers. In Denmark, schools were selected with an eye toward geographic diversity, including both smaller and larger municipalities.

Teachers, learning support staff, and school heads were interviewed in order to gather perspectives on the education and wellbeing of newly-arrived students. Focus groups with students were also held – most of the children had been in their new country no more than a few years, but some only a few months. These students included refugees who had travelled with a family member, as well as some who had arrived unaccompanied, while others had relocated due to a parent’s job or other opportunity; despite such varied backgrounds, the important aspect for me was that each was an adolescent who had the experience of being new at school.

The selection of England and Denmark as my research sites is based on the different structures of education for newly-arrived students. The lack of a national framework for EAL provision in England allows for a range of structures; in the schools I visited, programs ranged from the direct mainstreaming of students on their first day to providing several months of language instruction in a separate induction class. In terms of Ukrainian arrivals, perhaps for reasons of timing and geography, none of the participating schools in England had any enrolled any Ukrainian students at the time of my visits.

In Denmark, there is a broad national framework for language education of newly-arrived children but how this is structured is left to the discretion of the municipality rather than the school itself; many municipalities enroll newcomers in separate reception classes for up to two years, but others choose to place non-Danish speaking students directly into mainstream classes with separate language support. The latter is most often used for younger students, and in my experience children who arrive at age 14 or older are nearly always placed in reception classes housed within special 10th grade schools (these are schools where Danish students can receive an alternative provision of an extra year’s schooling before moving on to the next step in their educational trajectory).

This is the background on which special legislation was layered following the influx of some 30,000 Ukrainian refugees into Denmark; the government provided municipalities with the option to create separate classes for Ukrainian students, which some have done, in addition to hiring Russian- or Ukrainian-speaking teachers. Other municipalities have opted not to create special classes for Ukrainian students, instead placing them in existing reception classes with other newcomers from around the world; this will be the case nationwide in January, as the special legislation will be phased out at the end of 2022.

This research project was initially conceived of as an unpacking and exploration of wellbeing policy in education and its implications for newly-arrived students. It became clear very quickly that there is little wellbeing policy, in written form, and that wellbeing is embodied in the perspectives and actions of those in the classroom – most often, the care and welcome newly-arrived students receive depends on the dynamism of one person who is committed to these students; when school leadership shares this ethos, or at least provides the autonomy for someone to champion EAL, provisions for these students are strengthened.

In the course of meeting with so many educators and students the research has grown richer than I could have imagined, and those I’ve spoken with have raised additional issues concerning this population of students, such as questions around justice in the absence of a national structure, the purpose and fitness of the national curriculum, the meaning of community, and even the goals and purposes of school and education itself. I hope to further explore these topics as the project continues.

If you’d like to share your perspective on this topic, or have suggestions of interesting policies or practices, feedback on my research as I’ve shared it here, or if you’d like to receive updates as the project progresses, please feel free to email me at

All best for a safe and healthy holiday season and a wonderful New Year ahead
Aimee Kelley  
Ghent University


A recent speech on education in the House of Commons called for “more emphasis on employability, communication skills and personal wellbeing”.

If you assume that this speech was by an innovative and forward-thinking Member of Parliament, you would be wrong because these words come from Izzy Garbutt who is a member of the youth parliament.

Izzy was speaking in a debate about the relevance of the education system to children and young people, in the 12th sitting of the UK Youth Parliament in the House of Commons on the 4th of November 2022.

In her speech Izzy shared her view that: “The education system is supposedly created for young people. So please listen when we say it is failing us”

The speech saw a huge response on social media including comments from Tom Bennet OBE, who is the DFE advisor on behaviour in schools.

He commented: “Oh my God this is terrible”.

His intervention probably had the impact of raising awareness about Izzy’s speech and the issues she raised and encouraged others to join the debate on social media.

These included representatives of teaching unions. Some of the issues that the discussion explored included, the place of examinations in the education system, the importance of life skills being taught in the curriculum and the right of young people to have a voice and share their thoughts and ideas about their educational experience.

Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School, and College Leaders, (ASCL) commented in his blog: “From where I sit her speech seems a heartfelt and pretty reasonable appraisal of the governments efforts to turn the education system into an exam factory.” He supported his argument with the comment that “employers… constantly talk about the needs for more emphasis on skills that equip young people for work and careers”. He explained the ASCL position.

“What concerns us is the extent to which preparations for exams now dominates education and the detrimental impact this can have on both curriculum breadth and depth and on student wellbeing.”

He argued that the current Government insist: “That all young people should sit a large set of 1950’s style academic exams in the name of rigour”
Mr Barton also suggested that: “Perhaps Ministers should listen to young people like Izzy. If some of our pupils and students feel that education isn’t working well for them, they might just have a point”.
In her speech Izzy pointed out the UK Youth Parliament have been calling for several years for a ‘curriculum for life’. She explained that this was.
“A curriculum that will see us leaving school with a greater understanding of the world around us”.

She called for an education system that created well rounded and well-informed young people who are ready for the future.

Whether you agree or disagree with the views and opinions of young people such as Izzy, if they raise concerns about the relevance of their educational experience in the modern world, then the issues raised deserved to be explored by educationalists.

Views and opinions are likely to be influenced by beliefs about the purpose of education. One belief is that the priority for the education system is to produce young people who can make a positive contribution to the future economy.

An alternative view is that the focus for education, should be on developing the skills and understanding that young people will need to thrive, in the rapidly changing technological world.

John Quicke, in his book ‘Curriculum for Life. Schools for a democratic learning society’, asked the question “What kind of curriculum do we need for life in the 21st century?”

A curriculum for life was proposed as an alternative to the National Curriculum with a focus on social development, thinking skills parenting, citizenship, and work-related learning. (Quicke 1999).

More recently Martin Illingworth has questioned the relevance of the current curriculum for meeting the needs of young people in the modern world.

He argues that schools are at a crossroads and either they respond to the real world of change, challenge and possibilities that face young people or they become irrelevant. His view, is that what is needed is an educational system that places less value on declarative knowledge (knowing and retaining information) and more on procedural knowledge (the capacity to make use of that information).

He argues that the learning experience must be more relevant to the needs of young people in the modern world.

He wrote: “The young need to network, they need to communicate effectively over digital mediums they need to manage money and they need to be alert to the world around them” (Illingworth 2020)

It seems appropriate that there is a serious debate about a relevant curriculum for young people and indeed about what is the purpose of education in a modern technological world.

Our understanding about how to provide young people with a relevant learning experience, can be enhanced by a clear understanding about, what does quality education look like in the 21st century.

The Sunday Times published the lists of ‘top schools’ on 11th December 2022. One of the schools that was placed in the top ten secondary schools, based on A level and GCSE results was found to be inadequate by Ofsted in an inspection in May 2021. This either suggests that Ofsted is not relevant or that the quality of education needs to be judged on more than examination results.

Many of the schools placed high in the league tables of secondary schools would also have excellent inspection reports. However, it questions the accuracy of judgements about how good a school, is when schools can be in the top ten for examination results but inadequate for behaviour and attitudes and personal development in an Ofsted Inspection report.

I have not named the school as this article is not about naming and shaming. There will, I am sure, be other schools that are seen as good by some criteria and not by others.

It does illustrate that there is a strong argument for a debate about how relevant learning is for young people.

In her speech Izzy comments that “the development of young people as individuals should be the aim of education and not examination results and the issues this raises should be a stimulus for discussion, about how to make learning more relevant for young people to prepare them for their lives in the modern world”.

NAPCE will be supporting this discussion in the New Year.

On March 11th NAPCE will be organising a conference in Worcester with the title “Is there a need for a new direction for pastoral care in education’?

Pastoral Care in schools can be planned to support young people in preparing for their future lives in society and in the workplace. The whole curriculum of the school which includes all the learning experiences provided for young people, can be used by staff in pastoral roles to provide relevant support and guidance.

The academic curriculum is already full of content, and there is unlikely to be time to add the learning opportunities that would make education more relevant. It is perhaps the whole curriculum and the pastoral support provided, that provides the best opportunities for addressing the issues raised by Izzy and other young people and make their learning experience relevant for the world that they will live in. Join NAPCE at the conference and contribute to the debate.

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

Barton, Geoff. ASCL General Secretary, Blog for ASCL, 2nd December 2022. Found at   ASCL – Minsters and their behaviour adviser should listen to Izzy
Garbutt, Izzy, MYP for Wigan and Leigh, Speech to UK Youth Parliament, November 4th, 2022, at
Illingworth, Martin, (2020) ‘Forget School’ Carmarthen, Independent Thinking Press.
Quicke, John. (1999) ‘A Curriculum for Life. Schools for a democratic learning society, Buckingham, Open University Press.
Sunday Times, (11th December 2022), ‘Parent power. The definitive guide to the UK’s top schools.


Time to Renew your Membership

You can now be a member of NAPCE 2023.

The Association annual membership is from January to January each year. Make sure you renew now or become a member to gain the full benefits of annual membership.

If you are a member, then renewal letters have been sent out By Informa who manage the membership of the Association for the publishers of our academic journal Taylor and Francis.

If you are not already a member but are interested in the positive contribution effective pastoral care can make to a learners’ education, then now is the time to join.

Membership includes a subscription to the NAPCE internationally respected academic journal ‘Pastoral Care in Education’ with the latest research and thinking about pastoral care in education from around the world by leading educationalist and practitioners. This will be delivered to your home or work address four times each year.

Membership means that your will be joining a network of professionals who are interested in supporting the education of children and young people to help them achieve their full potential and have discounts to attend NAPCE events and activities.

You can become a member of NAPCE as an individual or as a school, college, university, or educational group. The cost to individuals for membership for individuals and groups is very reasonable and has not been increased this year.

  • Annual Individual Membership £44.00
  • Annual Individual Membership Retired/ Student £21.00
  • Group membership (schools, colleges, universities and educational organisations) £66.00

Go to and follow the link for membership for more details or to join to get a full year’s membership. Any questions please email
Join a growing Association and contribute to improving the educational experience for children and young people.

The National Association for Pastoral Care in Education (NAPCE) 2023 Membership & Renewal

Dear Member,
The National Association for Pastoral Care in Education (NAPCE) would like to invite you to renew your membership for 2023. This is the best way to be fully informed about developments in pastoral care. The Association shares the latest research through its academic journal, ‘ Pastoral Care in Education‘, and the latest thinking and ideas in pastoral care through its monthly newsletter. The Association was founded in 1982 and this year it will be its 40th anniversary and events and activities are planned for members including a conference and the launch of a new book on pastoral care edited by NAPCE.

Since it was founded in 1982 the Association has been an important link between current thinking in education and practice and is passionate about supporting young people to achieve their full potential. As a member, you are part of a national organisation that represents the views of educational professionals to influence decision makers, to achieve a positive learning experience for young people.

Full membership continues to include a subscription to the Association’s respected international journal Pastoral Care in Education.

Membership Benefits
  • Network with professionals who care for young people and their needs
  • Be informed about training opportunities for pastoral care providers and professionals.
  • To be aware of good practice in pastoral care in education.
  • Share ideas about young people’s personal, social and emotional development.
  • Support the theoretical study of pastoral care in education.
  • To be informed about current issues and developments in pastoral care in education.
Membership benefits include,

A subscription to Pastoral Care in Education.  Including online access to the journal and
the digitised archive – please include your email address when renewing membership.
Access to the monthly NAPCE newsletter with current information about developments in
Pastoral Care. Invitations to attend events organised by NAPCE with Reduced price entry
to conferences and events organised by NAPCE. Access to consultancy support from NAPCE. – Latest news and developments from the NAPCE website and social media.
Our publishing partner, Taylor & Francis, administers the membership on our behalf and manages the publication, including the dispatch of the Pastoral Care in Education  as part of your membership.

It’s easy to renew.

There has been no increase in the cost of membership this year. You will be sent a renewal letter with details about how to renew your membership. Please renew your membership now to ensure that you have the full years membership from January. There are a number of ways that you can pay for your membership which are explained on the renewal letter including by Direct debit, returning the form with a cheque, bank transfer or by credit card. You can pay online via Taylor & Francis Group’s secure website at To sign in, you will need to use your customer number and pin.
To become a member of the Association for the first time and support the work of NAPCE please contact Taylor and Francis Customer Service at / telephone 02070175543 or contact NAPCE admin at for more details.

We look forward to meeting you as a member at future NAPCE events.

EVENTS UPDATE: NAPCE Announces Plans for Spring 2023


The National Association for Pastoral Care in Education is pleased to once again be supporting Safer Internet Day.

The next Safer Internet Day will take place on Tuesday 7th February 2023.

Safer internet Day 2023 is attended by organisations worldwide in an effort to make the internet truly safe for children.

Phil Jones, National Chair represented NAPCE at the planning meeting which took place on Thursday 1st December.

The plans for Safer Internet Day 2023 include, with celebrations and learning based around the theme ‘Want to talk about it? Making space for conversations about life online’.

Coordinated in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre, the event promotes the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people.

In the UK, we are celebrating by putting children and young people’s voices at the heart of the day and encouraging them to shape the online safety support that they receive.

The UK Safer Internet Centre will be asking parents, carers, teachers, government, policymakers, and the wider online safety industry to take time to listen to children and young people and make positive change together.

This year they are hoping to answer the following questions:

  • What issues really matter to children and young people?
  • What changes do they want to see?
  • How can we all work together to advocate for them moving forward?

With your help, Safer Internet Day 2023 can be a springboard for conversations that shape how we talk about and respond to online issues, not just for one day, but throughout the whole year.

Educational materials are available for ages 3 to 7, 7 to 11, 11 to 14 and 14 to 18.

These include assembly presentations and activities to start discussions.

There are activities that can be sent home for parents to use with their children and activities that can be led by children

Follow the link for more information.

Safer Internet Day 2023 – UK Safer Internet Centre   or visit the website  visit the website

Safer Internet Day 2023 will broadcast live from the top of the BT Tower in London on Tuesday 7th February from 2-00pm until 3-20pm.

Presentation for the Association of Education Advisers

NAPCE National Chair, Phil Jones has been invited to deliver a presentation for the Association of Education Advisers.

The AOEA aim is to raise the quality of education advice.

The presentation will be delivered at an Educational Keeping in Touch Meeting organised by AOEA to listen to guest speakers and share good practice.

The presentation takes place on Thursday 26th January 2023 and the title is “Why we need pastoral care in education in the 21st century”.

The presentation will explore how effective pastoral care can support schools in providing learners with a relevant learning experience in preparation for their future lives in the modern world.

It will examine how a planned and proactive approach to pastoral care in schools can support both the academic progress and personal development of children and young people.

It will consider what demands are being made on pastoral structures and systems in schools in the 21st century and how schools can use available resources to provide effective pastoral care that enables learners to achieve their full potential.

For more information about the Association of education adviser visit their website at www.

The NAPCE 40th Anniversary Conference– ‘Is there a need for a new direction for pastoral care in education’?

You are invited to be a delegate at NAPCE Conference in Spring 2023 which is for Pastoral Leaders, Staff in Pastoral Roles, Researchers, Writers, Students, and everybody who has an interest in the important contribution pastoral care makes to the learning experience of children and young people.

The conference celebrates the 40 years that it has promoted the importance of effective pastoral care in education.

The event will examine how pastoral care and support can ensure children and young people achieve their full potential from their education and there is a brilliant line up of speakers to cover a wide range of topics.

Delegates will take away a clear understanding of the current issues and opportunities for developing effective pastoral care and the knowledge and ideas to make a real difference in the life chances of learners in their role.

The conference is excellent value for investing in your professional development with the tickets covering the costs of lunch and refreshments.

Why not get even better value, by becoming a NAPCE member at the start of the annual membership year and benefitting from discounts for NAPCE organised events?

Email for details about how to become a member of the Association as an individual, school, college or educational organisation or visit www,

Some of the areas and issues about pastoral care in education that will be explored at the conference include.

  • Government policy making
  • OFSTED priorities
  • Focus for current research
  • SEND
  • Governance
  • Learners needs
  • Challenges in a multi-cultural school
  • Independent school experience
  • Inclusion
  • Positive learning culture
  • Safeguarding
  • Pastoral leadership
  • Pastoral roles in schools

Speakers include;

  • Catherine Crooks HMI, OFSTED. Confirmed
  • Dr Noel Purdy, Stranmillis University College, Belfast. confirmed
  • Carole Gregory, Worcestershire Children First, Governor Services. confirmed
  • Maria O’Neil, Educationalist and author of ‘Proactive Pastoral Care’. confirmed
  • Ron Skelton, Headteacher and CEO of Broadway Academy in Birmingham. confirmed
  • Rachel Hart , Head of Life Advice, Lady Eleanor Holles School,
  • Dr Helen O Connor, Psychologist, St Swithuns School.
  • Dr Dee Gray, Grays Well Being, Director Young Carers Academy
  • Charlie Walker, student at the University of Exeter. NAPCE student committee member. Adviser on young people in the House of Commons. confirmed
  • Dr Matt Silver, CEO Pathways Education, NAPCE Vice Chair confirmed
  • Phil Jones, National Chair of NAPCE confirmed

The conference programme will include.

  • Expert Keynote Presentations from leading educationalists
  • Coffee Morning Chat with the writers of the 40th anniversary edition of the journal pastoral care in education which focused on the future of pastoral care and support for learners in schools and colleges.
  • The Market Place with an opportunity for delegates to interact with the guest speakers and ask your questions and share ideas.
  • Afternoon Chat Show with discussions about some of the current issues in education and in particular pastoral care.
  • Live Snapshot Presentations with practical ideas about how to improve practice’
  • Educational Displays with ideas for resources to improve practice
  • Networking and interaction with other delegates and experts who share and interest in the positive contribution effective pastoral acre and support can make to children and young people’s educational experience.

The conference will be followed by the Anniversary Dinner to celebrate the 40 years that NAPCE has been contributing to educational thinking, policy making and practice.

This includes,

  • The launch of the new pastoral care book edited by NAPCE, ‘Pastoral Care in Education- Time for Change’ to be published in 2023 by Cambridge Scholars. Some of the authors will be present to discuss the arguments presented in the book.
  • A fizz reception and three course meal
  • Les Walton CBE and Geoff Barton ASCL President invited to be our after-dinner speakers.
  • Live Cabaret entertainment
  • Bar open until 11-00pm to socialise

Tickets are limited and available on Eventbrite now.
Anniversary Dinner Tickets

Why not make a weekend of it and stay the Saturday evening in the Cathedral City of Worcester. There is a Premier Inn at the venue and a wide range of accommodation for different budgets in the city.

40th Anniversary Celebration Dinner

Would you like to invite you to be our guest for the 40th Anniversary Celebration Dinner in the Graham Hick Pavilion, at Worcestershire County Cricket Club in Worcester on Saturday 11th March 2023?

Reserve your tickets now and put this important educational event on your calendar for 2023.

The evening includes.

1. The launch of the new educational book edited by NAPCE and published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Pastoral Care in Education- Time for Change. Meet the authors and discuss the ideas in the book
2. Fizz reception
3.Celebration Dinner
4.After Dinner Speakers sharing their stories about NAPCE and thoughts about the future for education. Including Les Walton CBE, Educationalist, author of ‘Education the rock and roll years and one of the founders of NAPCE in 1982.
6.Professional Photographer
7.Pay Bar until 11-00am

Why not make an evening of it and stay in the cathedral city of Worcester for the evening. Premier Inn at the venue and other accommodation available in the city.

If you have been involved with NAPCE during its 40-year history or share NAPCE’S interest in the important contribution pastoral care can make to education and the difference it can make to children and young people achieving their full potential, then join us for this evening. Reserve your tickets now  for you, your friends colleagues and family

AWARDS: National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education is now OPEN

Entry for the National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education 2023 is now open.

The Awards is the first and only scheme based in the UK to recognise great practice of pastoral care providers in the education sector and is now in its fourth year.

We have been delighted with the success of the NAPCE Awards since we launched in 2020 and the initiative continues to go from strength to strength.

We hosted a busy in-person Presentation Evening at Worcestershire County Cricket Club in 2022 and we are planning to hold the 2023 event in September next year.

The closing date for all categories this year will be Wednesday 19th April, 2023, but there’s no reason to wait, get your entries in now.

Just like in previous years, the finalists of the National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education will be selected by an independent judging panel and invited to attend the ceremony to share the experience with peers and find out who wins each Award.

After record numbers of entries each year, Phil Jones, Chair of NAPCE, is hoping the Awards, once again, reaches new heights in 2023.

He said: “The NAPCE Awards continues to go from strength to strength and in just three and a half years it has become a fixture in the calendar of so many schools and colleges in the UK and further afield.

“We are now accepting entries for the National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education 2023 and I anticipate a repeat of the outstanding quality of entries we’ve seen in the past.

“Not only do we receive such a large number of entries but one of the main characteristics of the Awards that we see is the outstandingly high level of dedication to and expertise in pastoral care.

“The Awards is a brilliant opportunity to showcase great work in pastoral care across the education sector and so I encourage all schools, colleges and institutions to begin putting together their nominations.

“Entry is online and is not a lengthy process so you can dedicate your time to putting together the best possible submissions. Good luck!.”

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
International Contribution to Pastoral Care

You can enter the NAPCE categories from December 1st, 2022 here Enter here

Nominations are encouraged for awards in different categories from schools and educational establishments and you DO NOT need to currently be a member of NAPCE to take part.

NAPCE Awards 2023 is an excellent opportunity to share good practice in pastoral care and through our social media, website and those of our partners, the Awards raises awareness of where pastoral support is making a real difference in the educational experience of young people.

The Awards also encourages 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;

•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

•International Contribution to Pastoral CareAn international school, organisation outside of the UK or an individual working in research or in an international school outside of the UK, that has promoted or delivered high quality 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.

National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education – Sponsorship Opportunity

The categories for the awards are
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
International Contribution to Pastoral Care

Further details about the awards and links to make nominations can be found at
NAPCE is pleased to invite partner organisations to sponsor one of the categories for the 2023 awards. Sponsors contribute £150.00 to cover the costs of prizes in each category. Sponsors will be promoted in publicity and social media messages about the awards, be named on the presentation plaques and invited to the Live Presentation event in Worcester on Friday 29th September 2023. To confirm your interest in supporting the Awards as a sponsor in 2023 or to ask for more details please contact Phil Jones, National Chair at

The fourth year of the National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education launched on 1st December with the opening of nominations. The awards are now a well-established part of the education calendar and schools, colleges, universities, and educational organisations have been involved from across the United Kingdom and other parts of the world. The awards promote good practice is pastoral care in education and recognise the hard work and achievement of professionals working in education to support children and young people to achieve their full potential.


GOOD PRACTICE: Sharing Good Practice from the 2022 National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education

Sharing Good Practice from the 2022 National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education.

The judges were very impressed with the excellent practice in pastoral care and brilliant support that is being provided for learners that was highlighted in the nominations for the 2022 Awards.

This month we are sharing some of the good practice that was highlighted by the category Pastoral School of the Year. The criteria for this award is;

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 School of the Year Finalists in 2022 were.

  • St Catherine’s College, Armagh
  • Fairfield Primary School
  • Fir Vale School
  • Moorlands Junior School
  • Abbey School

St. Catherine’s College, Armagh

St. Catherine’s College places pastoral care and support for all pupils and staff at its core. Our school motto “Cor Unum” – “one heart” defines their pastoral ethos; to make significant and real differences to the lives of the young people in their care, affording them the opportunities and support to develop socially, emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually.    Pastoral care and support is grounded in the belief that as a school they must help their students grow in self-knowledge and develop self-confidence as they learn to deal realistically with their gifts and limitations. The development of a new ‘Comfort Room’ supports the diversity of needs experienced by all pupils, including those with social and emotional difficulties and ASD. In addition, this year every pupil in the school has successfully undertaken peer training in Autism Awareness.     As a school with over 1000 female pupils, the “Period Poverty” campaign, has normalised conversation about menstruation amongst male and female pupils and has been driven by the Sixth Form Leadership Team. Whole school assemblies delivered by Sixth Form pupils, the provision of feminine hygiene products and holiday packs, visual messaging and open dialogue with pupils has ensured that this social issue is no longer a taboo subject.    St. Catherine’s College values the importance of cultural inclusivity. The launch of the ‘Inclusivity Hub’ – a bespoke student space which addresses and supports cultural diversity, highlights the valuable contribution to the school community made by pupils from a diversity of other cultures.    The emotional health and well-being of pupils is central to the school ethos. The opening of the ‘SEWing’ (Spiritual, Emotional, Well-being) Suite with its counselling rooms, chaplaincy, and safe space, affords all pupils an environment in which they can receive Mental Health First Aid, professional counselling or simply a listening ear.

Fairfield Primary School

At Fairfield, they strive to have a full understanding of the wide range of pastoral needs of the children in their care in order to provide them with the most appropriate support at any given time. The school works hard to build respectful and trusting relationships with the whole school community so everyone, coming into contact with a child, has a ‘bigger’ picture of their needs. This was evident than during the ‘lockdowns’, when the school offered virtual pastoral care and continued with in-person counselling sessions.  The school values assemblies, bespoke PSHE/RSHE curriculum and well-being workshops enable children to understand and begin to deal with their own feelings, develop their own social and emotional resilience and recognise how to maintain their physical and mental well-being. In some circumstances, support within a normal classroom setting from the class teacher is not always enough.  The fully trained school counsellor provides highly effective one-to-one pastoral support for children with more specific mental health issues, or those requiring focused emotional support. The school offers ‘Draw and Talk’ therapy. Nurture Group provision, in Reception and Key Stage 1, help to provide focussed intervention for emotional, social, mental health or behavioural difficulties.     Safeguarding is a huge part of what makes up effective pastoral care at Fairfield. Over the past decade, they have developed their provision, and pride themselves on providing effective and expansive pastoral care and emotional support. They endeavour to ensure that children develop their personal strengths, confidence, resilience and understanding of self in order to progress emotionally, socially and educationally.

Moorlands Junior School in Sale in Cheshire

The school motto is ‘more than just a school’ and during a difficult time for everyone, where children families and staff were finding it hard in the middle of a pandemic, isolating at the drop of a hat, juggling remote provision and live learning this was a year more than any other where we showed this.    The staff came together like never before to support each other through it all. Children’s welfare came first at all costs.    Although they couldn’t get together in person, they worked round this to ensure that no-one missed out.  Stars of the week who were isolating were hand delivered their certificate every week by the head or deputy.  All the classes experienced a virtual day trip-planned by their teachers so they could experience a ‘visit’ to another place and talk about it together. Some classes went on safari, to Harry Potter World and even visited Sea World.  Virtual assemblies were held every morning by class teachers and TAs and drop-in sessions provided support every day for anyone who was struggling.    Every class had a virtual story time with the headteacher each week.    TAs carried out virtual intervention for SEN children as well as virtual wellbeing sessions.    Teachers held Friday fun virtual quizzes for their classes and families and baking and sports competitions.    Teachers linked up home and school for weekly PSHE/wellbeing lessons.    They continued with their residential trip and for children who missed it completely they organised an alternative trip for them.    We produced a virtual advent calendar, held virtual world book day and we even had virtual trumpet lessons!  All children were given a Moorlands teddy on return to full school after lockdown to welcome them back.      The school is amazing! They are like one big happy family and all look out for each other.

Abbey School. A Special School in Rotherham in South Yorkshire.
This nomination was made as a celebration of the love shared between the most amazing children, families and staff at Abbey School, where pupil wellbeing is the beating heart of the school. Pastoral care is everyone’s responsibility. Staff, from the caretakers and office staff to the executive head, commit to improving children’s wellbeing under the guidance and expertise of our Wellbeing team. Relationships between all members of the Abbey family are fostered in an environment of love, patience, and care. Restorative practice teaches children how to ‘make things right’ and how to form strong relationships.   Families are supported on visits to CAMHS and with Early Help. Year 10’s are trained as Mental health champions providing peer support. Listen up cards are issued to all children and staff to use if they need to be heard.  Dignity for our children and families, many of whom are the most vulnerable in society is paramount. they are passionate in the drive to give their children a feeling of belief and belonging and this is driven through our House system with houses, Attitude, Courage, Heart and Respect. Children collect points for showing these values to one another and for striving to be the best they can be particularly as ‘Lion Leaders’.  Children, with SEND, are employed in school on our ‘STEAM Street where they do a range of jobs such as laundry worker, dog carer, postal worker. This brings a sense of pride and teaches how being employed improves life chances. Children are paid in house points that are exchanged in our shop for items such toys, food, clothing and toiletries which are taken home, but not as charity but as a well-earned contribution to their families. They truly believe ‘Every child deserves a champion’ and Abbey is where our children find theirs.

Fir Vale School, Sheffield

Fir Valley School is a large, oversubscribed secondary school positioned in not just the most deprived area of Sheffield, but one of the most deprived areas in the country. The school aims to truly serve the local community and to improve the life-chances for all young people and their families. The demographic is complex, both in term of ethnicity but also in terms of the level of trauma our children have experienced in their lifetimes, leading to many cases of adverse childhood experiences.   They have a high proportion of children with SEMH and recognised that children really needed therapeutic support to help them with their wellbeing, access their learning and develop valuable skills required to cope with the adverse experiences they have and continue to face. For these reasons they developed ‘The LINK’. This is a centre designed by professionals to offer a safe haven for children, a counselling space, an area for children to access support with bereavement and a nurture space for the most vulnerable.   Extended Pastoral Team go above and beyond daily to provide high-quality support for students. Their Social Cohesion activities ensure that students from all backgrounds respect each other and treat each other with kindness. Using a whole school Trauma Informed approach to build positive relationships with every child they support, so that they can go on to be happy and successful young adults. Visitors to the school always comment on how calm and friendly the environment is. The Team works closely with parents and the local community to raise aspiration and to engage everyone in making the school and the local community the best it can be for all.

We hope you will be inspired by the information about the 2022 nominations and that it will encourage you to make a nomination for the 2023 awards to recognise your good practice and the difference you make for the children and young people in your care.

Go to for details.

CONFERENCE: NAPCE to Chair Online Pastoral Care Conference with ECUK

NAPCE Chair Phil Jones is delighted to have been approached to chair a virtual conference on 9th February, 2023.

Mr Jones will lead the Delivering Outstanding Pastoral Care Conference 2023 ran by Education Conferences UK.

Who should attend?
Pastoral Leaders, Senior Mental Health Leads, Behaviour Leads, Designated Safeguarding Leads, Deputy DSLs, Assistant Heads, Deputy Heads, School Counsellors and any other members of staff who wish to improve their understanding of pastoral care in schools

This conference will enable you to:

  • Get essential updates on key topics for pastoral leads in schools
  • Understand how the cost of living crisis might impact your pupils
  • Come away with practical ideas to support children and families facing poverty
  • Improve how you work with hard to reach and disengaged families
  • Gain a deeper understanding of how to work with children facing mental health challenges
  • Improve how you respond to incidents of cyber bullying to ensure pupils are effectively supported
  • Update your knowledge on school attendance and the changes to guidance and proposed changes in the Schools Bill
  • Go back to your school with practical ideas to improve your behaviour management strategy
  • Hear practical case studies from pastoral leads in schools about changes they have implemented
  • Supports CPD professional development

For more information including details on tickets and sponsorship follow this link

VACANCIES: Fancy Joining NAPCE’s National Executive Committee?

This is your opportunity to join the UK’s leading pastoral care support organisation.

Now in our 40th year, we are delighted to announce that nominations are now open for you to jon the for the NAPCE National Executive Committee (NEC).

This is your chance to help shape the future of pastoral care and change the lives of young people in our schools.

Of course, we’re looking for people who fit the experience criteria for a post on our board and for professionals with energy and enthusiasm who want to make a difference.

We’re looking for applications for 2023 which would cover a two year term on the NEC. For more information and/or to make an application, please contact us via

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