Skip to Content

NAPCE News – February 2023

NAPCE News – February 2023

Making a positive difference to young people through pastoral care

LEAD ARTICLE: “Benefits and Opportunities within a Vertical Pastoral System” by NAPCE NEC Member Jason Sannegadu

“Benefits and Opportunities within a Vertical Pastoral System” by NAPCE NEC Member Jason Sannegadu

Located on a small island just off the South Korean coast is Jeju, a beautiful landscape that has waterfalls, turquoise sea water that laps against the shore and over 360 Oreums (small defunct volcanoes) that litter the landscape providing locals, hikers and tourists a welcome opportunity to focus on their own wellbeing by taking in the scenic beauty around them. Did I also mention that we have South Korea’s highest Mountain, Halla, at the centre of our island?

I suppose you might be asking what this has to do with pastoral care. Over the last few decades, pastoral care has moved progressively in the direction of the health and happiness of students.

Often when I’m out walking with my family on many of the Olle trails, it provides me a necessary escape within nature, enables me to spend quality time with my family, free of devices and to take home bountiful supplies of sticks and stones that, as I’m led to believe by my children, have magical powers. It is therefore not by accident that our school year always begins by focusing on the importance of our students’ wellbeing and their relationships.

In August 2022, my school, NLCS Jeju, reverted back to a House based system, which presented both opportunities and challenges.

We are proud of our students and their achievements and in 2022 we achieved an outstanding set of IB results with 43% of our students achieving 40 points or more. Like many schools, our students are not alone in feeling the need to compete for the best places at top universities.

Schools, more than ever before, are able to access a wealth of data about wellbeing. For instance, this month Place2Be reported that 95 per cent of staff working in schools witnessed increased levels of pupil anxiety since the start of the school year, with 76 per cent saying that they had seen an increase in depression.

Many schools now invest in wellbeing surveys to better understand the needs of students, provide support for specific students that are flagged as needing an intervention, and ensure that pastoral programmes reflect the wider needs of a particular year group.

At my school, we use the Acer Six Star Surveys, which measure students against six main categories (mood, resilience, engagement, communication, relaxation and positivity).

Of course timing when to conduct a survey is as important as the follow up. Once we have issued a survey, we will look at the profile of the year group, agree action points, speak to tutors about which students may need some additional support and ensure that we are actively monitoring the wellbeing of that student.

Sometimes, this also means that we will work with the PSD department on issues related to a specific year group or indeed the Emotional and Guidance Counsellors who provide an excellent amount of support for our students and play a pivotal role in supporting our school community.

Reverting back to a vertical pastoral (House based system), meant we had to consider carefully how we could address key issues within our school community as we would no longer have a member of staff that was solely responsible for the oversight of a year group.

One of the opportunities this presented us with, was the development of House Ethos and Spirit which we develop through House Competition (especially through unity events that involve the whole House, such as singing), House Assemblies that celebrate values and character strengths and our pastoral tutor programme, within which we have a designated day each week that addresses the needs of each year group through the PEEC curriculum.

There is always a danger that in a house based system, the experiences of students can vary, which is why we have formed our tutor programme around the PEEC’s Six Domains (Positive Relationships, Positive Emotions, Positive Health, Positive Engagement, Positive Accomplishment, and finally Positive Purpose and Sense of Belonging).

This will enable us to take a much more strategic approach towards preventative care within the school and also allows for tutor programme coordinators to work collaboratively together.

For instance, this month we are celebrating Healthy February in school, with our Student Council leading an assembly, surveys being conducted during lunchtimes focusing on how much fast food is consumed or how many hours of sleep the students get on average, PSD lessons focusing on eating disorders and tutor time sessions on healthy eating and the importance of exercise and balance.

I had the pleasure of joining one of our tutor groups to perfect my squats and some houses took their students on a wellbeing walk around campus, choosing from a range of interactive activities.

For me, learning isn’t just about being in the classroom, it’s about creating a sense of belonging, providing opportunities for students to succeed, and guiding them on their journey.

A house based system has allowed us to develop mentoring relationships between students, provide wider leadership opportunities, and collaborate both vertically and horizontally within a house (we have the benefit of having house tutor groups located together).

My own personal philosophy is underpinned by research. Scholars such as Markham and Aveyard note the importance of capacities (human interactions and relationships) and these tend to be better developed when students feel engaged, have good relationships with teachers and feel a sense of belonging and participation in the school community (Jessiman, P., Kidger, J., Spencer, L. et al. School culture and student mental health: a qualitative study in UK secondary schools, 2022).

I firmly believe that we have all of the components to truly make students within our school communities succeed and an essential component of this is accurately capturing student voice.

We ensure that Student Tutor Group Representatives feedback on important issues either relating to their year group or feedback on the House Competition, the Student Council meets with different members of staff when a change is proposed and Assistant Heads of House work with students on the tutor group programme listening to feedback and gathering ideas about how they would like an issue to be approached.

I would say that the most engaging parts of our pastoral programme have been not just through collaboration between colleagues, but also with students. As a team, our student experience is central to everything that we do.

As a pastoral team, we are already looking ahead to August and are considering the essential changes that we would like to implement. We need to build upon the successes this year, including rejuvenating house spirit and ethos, ensure that our pastoral programmes align with our PSD curriculum and house programmes, House Competition has a balance of sport and non sporting opportunities to ensure wider participation, celebrating diversity and championing equality, and finding ways for students to understand and build upon their own character strengths.

I feel incredibly lucky to work with so many outstanding educators, who consistently go above and beyond to support students and be part of a network of schools that prides itself on developing a holistic education.

Please feel free to get in touch with me to let me know what your experiences are of a vertical pastoral system as well as what approaches you are taking to develop house ethos and spirit.

Jason Sannegadu
National Executive Committee

ARTICLE: “Empowering children to be informed, be curious and be heard” with Pupil-First Group VotesforSchools

Empowering Children to be Informed, be curious and be heard. Pupil-First Group VotesForSchools

Six years ago I had what I considered to be one of the best jobs in the world – I was a secondary school teacher.

Because, as a secondary school teacher you get to hang out with teenagers. They are funny, infuriating, interesting, but most of all they r really have something to say.

I was working with an amazing woman, Kate Harris, who recognised that these voices needed to be heard.

She wanted to give them the skills, confidence and means of getting their voices heard in the real world. She believed that children and young people should have agency in the world around them, in shaping their future and dealing with the problems that they would inherit.

So, she founded VotesforSchools, I joined her, and five years in we could never have dreamed of the force it has grown to be.
It works like this.

We want our children and young people to be informed, be curious and be heard.

Each week we create resources for teachers to hold a debate or discussion about a topical issue. Differentiated into Primary, Secondary and Colleges, the students can then have an
infomed, considered debate.

At the end of the session they get a chance to vote on a question and leave comments. The real power comes when that data is gathered together and shared with those who can really make a difference.

We talk to those who would have influence for policy and practice in that field. Government departments, police, charities, businesses, think tanks, press.

Then crucially we feedback to the children each week what impact they have had. This is where the magic happens. Now, that child at the back of the class knows that they have a voice, and that that voice is being heard and acted upon.

‘Student voice’ is no longer the preserve of the already engaged small group who meet on Friday lunchtime for the school council. It is for everyone.

The impact of our work has been extraordinary and multifaceted. It is particularly effective around topics of pastoral care.

Why teach teens about County Lines when you can ask them ‘Do you think children involved in County Lines should be classed as criminals?’ then get the NCA to respond to what they have had to say. So much more empowering.

Or ask them ‘Is being a member of a gang always a choice?’ or ‘Do young people feel safer carrying knives?’ and get a response from the police.

Working closely with the Prevent at DfE we are asking for Safer Internet Day 2023 – ‘Are influencers to blame for online harms’?

We will be sharing that data with the DCMS and NSPCC.

‘The beauty of our resources’ says Georgie Emery, Head of Content ‘is that because we create our packs each week we are able to respond really quickly to the news around
Andrew Tate, Vaccines or the World Cup for example.

If children and young people are hearing these conversations we want them to be informed and curious about them, and ultimately for their voices to be heard.’

Week by week we change our hats. One week we can be asking if we should treat boys and girls mental health differently; the next if the PM should have kept his job after Partygate, or if Homes for Ukraines should be open for all refugees. This political hat sits most comfortably with our founder, Kate.

‘My dream is that all children get the habit, skill and tools around democratic engagement really early.

Through VotesforSchools they are getting just that. They are informed, able to have critical, balanced discussions and come to a point of view.

They are able to vote, but most importantly they know their vote counts and is being heard.

This is crucial for engagement and empowerment. I want them to leave school, to go out and debate and vote as soon as they can.

To know that they can be politically literate and be engaged, active citizens. It would change the face of democracy in this country.’

Back to the day to day work of being in the classroom, we know as teachers what it’s like to be in a school with time constraints, workload and pressure.

We provide a pack each week, zero prep and ready to go including assemblies, letters home, shorter tutorial type lessons or longer ones that could be used in a Citizenship or PSHE type lesson.

The data produced by the school can give a real insight into the hearts and minds of the students, and is instant evidence to inspectors of the school meeting its SMSC, Prevent and British values requirements.

We also map to the UN SDGs and to the UNCRC (we work closely with Unicef’s Rights Respecting Schools…)

Working with Unicef UK in the run up to COP26, supporting the ABA for Anti-Bullying Week, or The Refugee Council for refugee week, we are the go to place for informed pupil voice.

Future projects will be with Childline around mental health and looking at apprenticeships with the Co-op.

‘Our partners are not our priority though’ says Dan, Impact and Partners Manager ‘we are not a market research or polling company.

Our first priority is always the schools. The children: what do they want to be talking about, how can we support the teachers in holding these conversations? What else do they need? And ultimately: how do we get their voices heard.’

With 45,000 children voting each week- this is a voice with some real power.

For more information visit to see our data reports, book a demo or download some free resources.

Penny Lamb
Head of Partnerships and Impact. VotesforSchools

CONFERENCE: Last Chance to Book for NAPCE’s 40th Anniversary Events on March 11th


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

We’re taking last minute bookings for both the NAPCE Conference and a special dinner to mark 40 years since NAPCE was founded.

You are invited to join the NAPCE team and many experts in pastoral care for these two fantastic events on March 11th in Worcester.

The events take place at Worcestershire County Cricket Club in Worcester on March 11th.

You are welcome to book for either or both events, tickets are separate for the two events.


Anniversary Dinner Tickets

The events are ideal 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.

More Information

NAPCE Conference


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.
  • Dr Noel Purdy, Stranmillis University College, Belfast.
  • Carole Gregory, Worcestershire Children First, Governor Services.
  • Maria O’Neill, Educationalist and author of ‘Proactive Pastoral Care’.
  • Ron Skelton, Headteacher and CEO of Broadway Academy in Birmingham.
  • 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.
  • Dr Matt Silver, CEO Pathways Education, NAPCE Vice Chair
  • Phil Jones, National Chair of NAPCE

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.

Anniversary Dinner Tickets

40th Anniversary Celebration Dinner

Anniversary Dinner Tickets

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.


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, a Travelodge nearby and a wide range of accommodation for different budgets in the city.


REPORT: NAPCE Chair Phil Jones Reports on the ASCL Pastoral Care Conference 2023

Improving Pastoral Practice – the key to whole school improvement – A Report from ASCL Conference for Pastoral Leaders 2023

NAPCE was delighted to be a partner with ASCL once again for the planning and delivery of their annual conference for pastoral leaders.

The conference was in person for the first time since the pandemic restrictions and it was brilliant to see pastoral leaders having the opportunity to network and share experiences and ideas.

The venue was the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Manchester.

NAPCE Chair Phil Jones attended and provides this report of the day.

I was pleased to be able to represent NAPCE on the two discussion panels and to discuss the issues that emerged during the day.

NAPCE had a display stand and it was great to talk to members and other delegates who were interested in finding out more about the work of the Association.

The title of the conference highlighted the important contribution effective pastoral care can make towards school improvement.

The experiences of the pandemic highlighted how important the support that children and young people receive at school is for raising their achievement.

It was clear from talking to delegates that many challenges for pastoral systems are still emerging following the pandemic and schools are also facing new challenges to support learners in achieving their full potential.

Delegates had the opportunity to listen to expert and inspiring speakers.

The host for the conference was Margaret Mulholland the SEND and inclusion expert for ASCL who did a excellent job explaining the significance of the presentations and the issues that were emerging during the conference that are facing pastoral leaders working in schools in 2023.

The first speaker was Tom Middlehurst who is the Curriculum and Inspection expert for ASCL. He gave delegates an insight into the current pastoral issues being explored by Ofsted and the importance of a distributive leadership approach to respond to these challenges. He made it clear that Ofsted’s view was that pastoral care was not the job of one person and should be distributed across the school.

He reported that there was currently a huge focus on inspections in attendance including alternative provision and part time timetables.

He also shared information about how inspectors judge behaviour and that there was a current focus on the prevention of sexual abuse and the wider curriculum.

The theme of how pastoral care features in the work of Ofsted will be further explored in the presentation by Catherine Crooks HMI at the NAPCE conference on March 11th.

Back to the ASCL Conference, where the well-being of young people was explored in the presentation by Natasha Devon MBE who is an author and presenter on LBC radio.

She shared with delegates some ideas for embedding self-esteem, positive mental health and well-being which are available on her website.

She made the point that there is a link between social injustice and mental illness and that mental health can be caused by a person’s experience and environment rather than illness.

She explained the concept of the ‘stress bucket’ and that some people suffer from overflow and respond to stress with short term solutions such as alcohol or food which only provides temporary relief. She provided three positive responses to stress.

  1. Physical activity
  2. Creativity
  3. Relaxation

She made the important point that new technology is not going away, and the challenge is to learn to live with it.

Children and young people need to be educated about how to use technology and one suggestion was to make them aware of how technology such as mobile phones is ‘stealing their time.

She encouraged pastoral leaders to explore the concept of being a “digital citizen” as a young people in the world today.

Matthew Cooke’s presentation explored the important link between supporting children in care and future life chances. This encouraged delegates to reflect on how their pastoral systems support individual learners.

They were reminded that pastoral staff are not working on their own. Matthew, as the Virtual School Head for Suffolk and Virtual Schools, pointed out what is available in the system to support the care of children and young people.

Pastoral staff are good at working collaboratively to find solutions to often challenging problems and this is where organisations like NAPCE can provide guidance and support.

The interest of delegates was quickly captured by the honest and inspiring presentation by Lads Like Us.

All of the members of the group had experienced trauma in their lives and had not had a good experience at school. They shared how they had learnt to hide what was going on in their lives and behaved badly to ‘fit in’ with their peer group.

One commented, “My behaviour was telling a thousand words, but nobody picked it up”.

They suggested that what was needed in schools was what they called ‘professional curiosity’ where all adults would share responsibility for caring for the children and young people in the school.

The argument is often made that teachers are not social workers but this challenges that view by calling for all adult professionals to take an interest in the well-being of children and young people in their care.

This has implications for the approach of pastoral leaders to support and care for all children and young people in schools.

The stories that were shared by the young men in the presentation showed that there should be no doubt that there is a need for effective pastoral care in schools in the 21st century.

Ellie Costello who is the Director of ‘Square Peg’, shared ideas in her presentation about how schools should collaborate with parents. She spoke about her own experiences as a parent to illustrate the points made.

She pointed out that research shows that thirty-seven thousand families are currently struggling with attendance issues with their children and that there was a need to make relationships with parents meaningful by having courageous conversations.

She explained how persistently absent children can often have social and emotional needs and that the use of tough language in dealing with these matters is not always helpful.

She talked about a ‘threat-blame approach’ which leaves parents feeling blamed and less inclined to want to engage in the process to get their children back to school.

She gave the example that it is more appropriate to talk about ‘barriers to attendance’ rather than ‘school refuser’. This has implications for pastoral leaders who need to consider carefully how pastoral staff build positive relationships with parents which does not leave them with a sense of shame when they are doing their best to be complaint with requests and trying to work with the system.

Lisa McCall, Head of School, at Wales School in Rotherham in her presentation explained that pastoral leaders needed a balance between care and supporting learners to prepare for examinations in the classroom.

She pointed out that good pastoral structures ensure good mental health. Lisa highlighted the need to have discussions with children and young people about the issues that are important in their lives.

She explained that self-evaluation was important for leaders to identify progress and challenges and to know how well strategies have been embedded.

The leader’s role was not to simply share good news but to identify risk to raise awareness about the challenges being faced.

Victoria Rayner who is the Chair of the International Forum for Safeguarding Professionals asked a question about how well safeguarding is embedded across the whole school, in her presentation.

She made a case to delegates for the need for a whole school approach to safeguarding and explained that this required both a culture of safeguarding and trained staff with the required expertise for their roles.

One of the overall themes that emerged from the event was that pastoral leaders should not just ask what they are going to do or how they are going to do it but why are they doing it.

This approach to pastoral leadership will ensure that the pastoral systems developed and the strategies used are relevant to the needs of the children and young people in the care of the school.

The pastoral work of the school is an opportunity for children and young people to make sense of the rapidly changing technological world that they are living in.

Effective pastoral care in schools can develop the positive attitudes and skills that learners need to achieve success and prepare them to make a positive contribution in the modern workplace and society of the 21st century.

The modern world must seem confusing to a developing mind with endless challenges and risks. We are surrounded by automated systems and computers that are available twenty-four hours a day and act as are companions in our daily lives.

At times it seems that we are not a human beings but a machine that interacts with other machines. One example of this digital existence was the NAPCE team trying to ascertain what information our bank needed from us for a security check after bank had share that they can’t tell us what they need because their Customer Contact Team is not allowed to contact customers!

A basic need for all human beings is to be able to interact with other human beings and share thoughts ideas and experiences.

Effective pastoral support can support young people on their journey, as they take advantages of all the opportunities available in the modern world and have the skills and attitudes to form positive relationships with other members of society.

Phil Jones
National Chair
The National Association for Pastoral Care in Education  (NAPCE)
February 2023

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.

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

The closing date for all categories this year will be Wednesday 19th April, 2023, and you can make nominations here:

In this edition of NAPCE News we are sharing some of the good practice that was highlighted by the Pastoral of the Leader of the Year Award.

The criteria for this category is:

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 Leader of the Year – Sponsored by Taylor and Francis – The Winner & Finalists

The Finalists in 2022 were:

Moses Arthur, Brent Inclusion Services
Angela Bowker, Wright Robinson College
Catherine Currie, St Cecilia’s College
Martine Mulhern, St Cecilia’s College
Dr Vanessa Mitchell, The Ladies College, Guernsey

Her is some of the information that was shared with NAPCE in the nominations for these inspirational pastoral leaders.

Moses Arthur, Brent Inclusion Services

Moses works non-stop with young people and their families, to encourage, guide and support them throughout their school and home lives. He takes time to listen to all issues, and support in guiding them to make informed decisions.    Moses has taught in numerous schools including Royal Docks Community School and Skinners Academy. At Skinners Academy, Moses was involved in changing the Religious Studies curriculum to engage students, become a pastoral leader and staff governor. He has overseen the alternative provision and Saturday Supplement School and the Impact Zone. The Saturday programme gave students the opportunity to meet professionals, improve on their core subjects and improve social skills. The programme worked with Arsenal Community Project and students were permitted to attend matches and win awards, this allowed the students to have first-hand opportunities and to attend events they may have not previously had access to. The Base, the on-site provision was for students at risk of exclusion. Moses has since come to Canary Wharf College Crossharbour, where he was promoted from Assistant Headteacher to Deputy Headteacher. He supports staff on Safeguarding developments and won the Pearson National Community Learner Award in 2021 and Tower Hamlets Teacher of the Year award in 2021. Moses works and outsources various community resources to build relationships for the school and the young people accessing them, including social issues, mental health, and well-being. Alongside his working career Moses continues to work in his local community and church mentoring young people and encouraging them to be the best version of themselves.

Catherine Currie, St Cecilia’s College

“Every child deserves a champion – an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be” – Rita Pierson.

In St. Cecilia’s College this champion is Senior Teacher, Mrs Catherine Currie. Catherine is our children’s champion, ensuring that all our pupils have the best chance of securing an excellent education regardless of their socio-economic background, special educational need, or social, emotional difficulties.  Catherine is always very clear as to how we can go some way to alleviating these negative factors. She role models good relationships with pupils so that all other adults in the school learn from her example. Catherine works very closely with our families and community groups to ensure that there is a common strategy to support young people who struggle to come to school or achieve at school. She leads the mental health and wellbeing team in the school and has promoted the ‘Safe Talk’ course Mental Health First Aid and Mental Health Ambassador training, so that a significant number of our staff are qualified in these areas (teaching and non-teaching). Catherine leads the school team in the ‘Aspire Hub’, which supports any young person in the school who has an academic or social, emotional, behavioural difficulty and in her ‘spare time’ is the teacher lead in the Parent Teacher Association.  Catherine truly is an inspirational teacher.

Martine Mulhern, St Cecilia’s College

Martine Mulhern is Principal of St Cecilia’s College, Derry. Under her tenure the school has grown and developed in extraordinary ways. When most schools are looking to league tables, Martine Mulhern was looking to relationships. Those with her staff, her pupils, and her community. She understands that success, in all of its forms, stems from relationships. She has nurtured an ethos of understanding and kindness in the school that has allowed the entire school community to flourish. Martine has always championed every child and every adult that needs a champion. Even when they didn’t realise it themselves people know that she has their back. This has resulted in the empowerment of those around her and ultimately, in success. Whilst she takes great pride in the awards and accolades the school has collected during her leadership; she has not once been at the centre of any of these. Recognition is for the school she says! Not for me! Every assembly Mrs Mulhern would remind the girls to “Be kind in what you say, what you write and what you post”. She reminds everybody, on a daily basis, that everything can, and should, be done with kindness. She will accept no less. What is most incredible is that she has modelled this every day. Through pandemics and budget crises, she has kept the needs of those around her at the core of her decisions. She has kept kindness, quite literally, at the heart of her leadership.

Dr Vanessa Mitchell, The Ladies’ College, Guernsey

Ness was appointed Deputy Principal (Pastoral), as a dedicated new role in the Leadership Team approximately four years ago. Since then she has worked tirelessly for the benefit of the children at the College, whilst also supporting colleagues professionally and personally. She has led by example and her direct team of colleagues have consolidated into a very strong team. At the end of 2019, having returned to work following the birth of her second child, the College was awarded the prestigious Well-being Award for Schools…the first award to any school in the Channel Islands. This was the culmination of 12 months’ work, meeting with student, colleague, and parent groups to identify what the College might do to continue to invest in well-being, which it has at its heart. Under Ness’s leadership, this work continues. Ness was also key in the appointment of a college Counsellor and has line managed this role to ensure that it provides the low level interventions that can help a young person to avoid a deeper crisis. Pastoral care and well-being are proactive through School Council, assemblies and the tutorial programme, which is aligned with PSHCE.  As the Designated Safeguarding Lead, Ness’s work is also reactive, whether initiating meetings, interventions or a safe place for children, parents, or colleagues to talk. Ness is not only a consummate professional but is also pragmatic and progressive about what more can be done, within College or for the individual. She also possesses great empathy and has incredible vision, capacity, and determination. As a person, as well as within her role, Ness adds value. She is passionate about teaching, young people and the well-being of the entire College community.

Angela Bowker, Wright Robinson College (WINNER)

As a member of Wright Robinson College’s Senior Leadership Team, Angela is the Head of Student Services and works tirelessly to ensure that all our students are supported to be happy, healthy and to achieve. Angela leads a team of twenty-one pastoral staff, including a team of attendance officers, and pastoral leads. She constantly sources and implements new initiatives to improve the daily lived experience of students at the college. Angela is the designated safeguarding lead and always goes above and beyond to ensure that the young people in our care are safe and receiving the appropriate support, both at school and within the wider community. She has worked at Wright Robinson for 13 years and works tirelessly to offer support and guidance to students and families. Angela always ensures that staff feel supported and is always available to offer support and professional guidance and direction at all times. She is inspirational and positive in her approach and in turn inspires and motivates the team around her to make positive sustained changes for all. She is extremely passionate and proactive in the ever-changing world of pastoral care. Angela has been recognised locally for her commitment to pastoral care,

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 and entries are coming in.

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.

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.