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NAPCE News – February 2024

NAPCE News – February 2024

Making a positive difference to young people through pastoral care

LEAD ARTICLE: “Our School Approach to Pastoral Care and Wellbeing” by NAPCE NEC Member Jason Sannegadu

Our School Approach to Pastoral Care and Wellbeing by Jason Sannegadu

There is no denying that our beautiful island, Jeju (South Korea), is an absolute paradise.

According to the Jeju Tourism Association, 13,889,502 people visited Jeju in 2022, the majority of whom were domestic tourists, visiting for both recreation and sightseeing.

When we consider the pivotal role that wellbeing places in our lives, it is no surprise that many are drawn to the healing nature and escapism that it provides.

We have increasingly become more aware of the importance of taking care of ourselves, looking after our own mental health and seeking a work life balance.

For many of us in pastoral care, we have become increasingly aware of the challenges that face our students, including an upwards trend in mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.

Current research shows that: “better student-rated school climate, at the student and school level was associated with lower risk of depression, fewer social-emotional-behavioral difficulties and higher wellbeing [in young people]” Hinze,, (2023).

We divide our pastoral calendar by the PERMA model themes which enables us to teach the key concepts of wellbeing so that we can help students to live healthy and fulfilling lives.

Each school takes their own approach to pastoral themes, but for us these sit incredibly well with our House-based structure, allowing us to address a number of issues not just through our pastoral curriculum, but also through a unique feature of our school; House Competition.

Focusing on Positive Health after Christmas, we have built upon a number of issues that we are facing as a school, such as cyberbullying and the effect of excessive electronic device use by students.

As a school we are proud of our pastoral care and have invested heavily in ensuring that we not only support students, but also have effective strategies in place to be proactive.

“A positive school culture has been associated with positive child and youth development, effective risk prevention and health promotion efforts, with extensive evidence for the impact on student mental health” (Jessiman et al, 2022). 

It is important that as educators we recognise the power of collaboration and that everyone who works with a student has a pastoral responsibility.

I am indebted to the Heads of House; they are bold and courageous, working hard to develop house ethos at NLCS Jeju and have ensured that all of our students are well cared for.

They are great advocates for students, continually see the best in them, look for opportunities for all students to succeed and work collaboratively together to address issues and create solutions.

Our approach to strengthening vertical relationships between students has been incredibly successful.

Our tutors are fabulous role models for students and are quick to notify us of issues that arise, whether through our school management information system or directly to their Head of House whom they meet each morning as they visit each of our tutor rooms.

We should never underestimate the power that relationships have in pastoral care. Our focus on developing positive relationships, providing opportunities for students to share experiences together, prioritising 1-1 conversations between tutors and students in the morning and ensuring that House leaders are visible, present and supportive have helped promote and develop a family atmosphere.

This year we have taken a whole school approach to tracking student wellbeing and have introduced new software that enables us to give students short surveys every two weeks that enable us to make positive and effective interventions. \

Whilst its implementation in the Senior School is still in its infancy, we have a structured plan of how we will use the data to help us to map out the challenges that particular year groups face and it is also making us reconsider how we can best strategically consider how to address certain issues.

One way is by ensuring that our Personal, Social and Development (PSD) programme is not just contextually specific to our students, but also provides a safe space for students to learn about challenges they will encounter and what they can do.

For this to be effective, we need to listen to feedback from both students and members of staff. As part of this review: we will gather feedback from students on how well the curriculum is supporting them, gather feedback from teachers of PSD regarding the curriculum content and how well students have engaged with it and also our pastoral teams regarding key issues that we are facing across the school.

Most importantly, during Parent Workshops we gather feedback and will also use this to help us develop both our tutor programme and PSD programme.

As I mentioned, we have spent a few months gathering essential data via surveys. The data told us that our students across most year groups are scoring consistently low with regards to sleep, digital wellbeing and overall physical health.

Within our pastoral programme we decided to focus on ‘digital detoxing’.

The aim is to:

  • Raise awareness of unhealthy tech habits amongst students and address a school priority which is developing and strengthening a wellbeing culture
  • Inform parents about their role in supporting children and the challenges that students face
  • Respond to issues identified by our wellbeing tracker and also general pastoral issues that we are encountering

We held a parent workshop, inviting parents into school to learn about the challenges that their children face, raising awareness of cyberbullying and how we were responding to it, including a new restorative approach that we are looking to implement from August 2024 and also some practical ideas on how parents can monitor electronic devices and consider appropriate boundaries.

During tutor time we have a number of focused activities that raise awareness about how students can develop a healthy relationship with technology and in our PSD lessons our Year 7 students are encouraged to reflect upon their device use and challenge themselves to make one change.

We are also very fortunate to have a number of prominent and highly effective student organisations such as the Student Council and the Student Welfare Awareness Group that run activities during break and lunchtime, as well as leading whole school assemblies.

Next steps for us?

Recently I attended a training session run virtually by the PSHE Association and this encouraged me to reflect upon the training needs of our PSD teachers and Tutors.

As a result of this, I have written a strategic training plan to support our pastoral work. We will look to create a PSD sheet for tutors so that they are aware of the challenges that students are facing within a year group, the curriculum that they are learning and what tutors can do to support their tutees.

We are also integrating our Peer Mentoring system into our House system (previously it sat outside of this), as this will enable us to provide a designated time for the mentee and mentor to meet during tutor time, rather than finding a break or lunchtime and it will greatly facilitate a much stronger relationship that will enable trust and rapport to be developed.

I owe a great deal to a significant number of committed and dedicated members of staff who are working collaboratively to support student wellbeing and whilst our students may not always say it, I know that they very much appreciate all of the support we are able to offer.

Jason Sannegadu
NEC Member

AWARDS: Entry for NAPCE Awards 2024 Closes in Two Months 

Entry to National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education Closes on April 19th

Entry to the fifth annual National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education closes in just under two months.

The NAPCE Awards is the first and only awards scheme dedicated to recognising outstanding achievements in the field of pastoral care in education.The closing date for all categories this year will be Friday, 19th April, 2024, but there’s no reason to delay, get your entries in now.

The Presentation Ceremony will take place at the County Ground, Worcester in October 2024.

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.

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 here Enter here

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

NAPCE Awards 2024 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 excellent opportunity to recognise the impact the work of pastoral staff is having on the development and well-being of young people.

The decisions about prize winners in each category will be made by a panel of invited professionals.

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.

AWARDS: Great Practice from the NAPCE Awards 2023 – Episode 4


The National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education 2023 – Sharing Good Practice – Episode 4

The NAPCE Awards 2023 was an amazing success, bigger than ever with a record number of entries and a sold-out event.

Every year we share a huge number of great examples of excellent practice in pastoral care and we’re proud to share some of these with you in NAPCE News which may help guide and inspire your own work.

For this fourth episode we’re focussing on the category Pastoral Development of the Year.
Pastoral Development of the YearThis award is for:

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

In 2023 it was sponsored by Sponsored by Crown House Publishing.

The winner for 2023, announced at the grand presentation event in Worcester, in September was Raymond Heron, St Mary’s Christian Brothers Grammar School

Here are some of the comments that were made about the 2023 winner of this award in the nomination.

St Mary’s Grammar School Belfast is an all-boys Catholic Voluntary Grammar School located on the Glen Road in West Belfast. The school was founded by the Christian Brothers in 1866 and moved to its current site in 1968. St. Mary’s has over 1,200 students aged 11-19. Under the Edmund Rice Trust Charter our vision is to promote full personal and social development in a Christian community of teaching and learning.   St. Mary’s was a traditional boys grammar school with a strong discipline policy built on sanctions and historically written in negative language with a significant slant towards ‘do not do… ‘, ‘you must not… There were a significant number of suspensions for various misbehaviours. Mrs Siobhan Kelly was appointed as Principal in January 2019 and since then there has been a change in the language used, the messages and guidance given to the boys and the way in which behaviour is managed. There is an emphasis on restoration and learning and pupil accountability for their own actions.  The process started with establishing our baseline position, reviewing our Discipline Policy and with the help of the whole school community establishing a new ‘Positive Behaviour Management Policy’. We have reviewed documentation including the Code of Conduct, Home School Agreement and provided training for staff in Restorative language to use with the students.

Mr Raymond Herron (senior teacher) led the introduction and development of Restorative Justice starting this process in 2021-2022. The aim to introduce a Restorative justice process which would address indiscipline more effectively as provide an alternative to the existing sanctions.  They were fortunate enough to be assisted by an external trainer who delivered training to the whole staff, with additional monthly ‘cafes’ for our Pastoral Leadership team.

They have introduced the use of restorative language across the school and even when serious issues do arise students are welcomed back to school and the classroom with a positive restorative meeting. Staff have been provided with guide sheets to help them choose their language carefully. Pupils, Parents/ carers, and staff feel that they have a voice, there is pupil accountability, support from parents and a way forward for the boys. Positive student reflection and learning are taking place and there has been a significant reduction in poor behaviours and the need for detentions and suspensions. There is an understanding among the school community about the value of restorative conversations.

The students are now more accountable for their own behaviour and as a result are behaving well in school. The partnership between home and school is also more positive as we work together to educate our boys.   Across the school site there are visual displays promoting ‘Restorative Values’ with restorative words and phrases displayed in the classrooms in the school.   Obviously in a large boys’ grammar school situated in an area of social disadvantage incidences of misbehaviour do arise from time to time. On those occasions where a suspension from school has been issued, they now use a ‘Restorative based template’ to lead the return from suspension meeting.   They have recorded a 41% reduction in incidences across the school with visibly better behaviour from the boys. There is now an understanding that the boys are accountable for their own behaviour and will have to sit down and work through behaviours if needed. The number of boys reoffending has reduced to 3.2% which is significant. More importantly there is now a major reduction on lost learning due to suspensions from school.  Pupil voice exercises indicated that the students wanted to see more rewards for good behaviour. The school have now introduced ‘Celebration Days’ and asked the students what type of rewards they most value. They indicated a preference for vouchers to purchase ‘Sports’ gear and we have put these in place. Significantly introducing two awards for each class, one of which is for the ‘most improved pupil’.   The school are now moving to create a working group of Restorative Practitioners who can assist our Form Teachers and Heads of Year with conflict resolution outside the classroom.

Here are some of the comments made in the nominations for the other finalists in this category.

Christ the King Sixth Forms, pastoral development of the year was developing a new and innovative pastoral support and inclusion programme for 15–17-year-old Ukrainians who had been displaced with their families as a result of the war in Ukraine.  The initiative came about after an approach from Bexley Council in April 2022 asking if there was anything we could do to support these young people who had already been so tragically affected by having to flee as refugees from the war in their country. Many of these young people had been traumatized by their experiences added to which many did not speak any English.     The school rose to the challenge and within two weeks had developed and implemented a new pastoral “Community Learning Programme” designed to welcome and help to settle and integrate these young people into the community while preparing them to enter study in the following academic year.     The approach took was to involve several teams from across the College to ensure that the programme fully met the needs of the young people involved.  The “Community Learning Programme” involved the young people attending College one day every week with a timetable including English, sport, pastoral care, careers guidance, and chaplaincy support.   The aim of the programme was to welcome and nurture the young people while trying to return some degree of normality to their lives, and to help them integrate into the local community and prepare to re-enter their studies the following September.

Initially the Ukrainian students and the staff and students at Christ the King relied heavily on ‘Google Translate’, but as the programme progressed their conversational English developed well through their English classes, and the young people began to open up and start to enjoy learning again. They were encouraged to take part in indoor and outdoor sports and games to help them integrate with their peers and further develop their language skills and this enabled them to start to feel more integrated into the local Community.  Underpinning these activities was the constant wrap around support and guidance for the young people from our ALS, Chaplaincy and Pastoral Teams enabling them to have a quiet and safe place to talk about any concerns or worries they may have and helping them to resolve these.  During the term of the programme the young people also received careers and education advice and guidance and help with their applications for their next steps.    Fr Mark Blakely, vicar of the local Catholic Church wrote to Bexley Council commending the programme saying: “I just wanted to drop a quick line to say how good the staff at Christ the King Sidcup were today towards Bohdan. Mrs Crampton and Miss Twomey reached out to him with genuine love and care. This was the first time he had been out independently from his parents since leaving Ukraine. He left feeling very happy and relaxed with a big smile. They are obviously going ‘above and beyond’ to include Ukrainians into college life, and I would be grateful if their efforts could be acknowledged.

St. Louis Grammar School Ballymena decided that a targeted mentoring programme needed to be offered to students. Pastoral support is more important than ever due to the adverse impact of COVID 19.  The last couple of years have had a notable influence upon post-primary students. The impact of ongoing uncertainty, online learning, and a lack of social opportunities have all been widely documented in the field of education. A mentoring programme was needed to bridge the gap resulting from such difficulties and to provide the necessary support to students who needed it academically and personally. The ‘Targeted Mentoring Programme’ was established to bring back a degree of control and to empower students with the feeling that they have some influence over their educational journey.    The school established the ‘Targeted Mentoring Programme’ by recruiting two mentors (one male and one female).  Staff met to devise a vision to raise achievement and the self-esteem of pupils across all Key Stages. The mentors trained all teaching staff in August 2021 so that they would understand the importance of Targeted Mentoring.  They explained the reasoning, anticipated impact, and referral process.  Teachers were allocated dedicated time on their timetable to meet on a one-to-one basis with selected and referred students from year 8 – 14.  The mentors received external training from Learn Spark in August 2021 and in June 2022.   Each student is referred as a collaborative effort. Head of Year, Heads of Department, class teachers, SENCO and pastoral leaders all have input.  When accepted onto the programme, parental contact is made to explain the process and seek consent to meet with their child.    By using a range of strategies discussed at weekly mentoring meetings, the mentors aim to.

  • – Raise academic achievement
  •  – Improve behaviour and wellbeing
  • – Raise self-esteem
  • – Improve motivation

In each individual mentee book pupils will find:

  • – a timetable to organise their week
  • – graphic organisers to help with revisions and note taking
  •  – activities to identify barriers to learning

Class teachers are encouraged to feedback on notable improvements.  The meeting information and information from teachers are stored in a private folder.  Pupils usually have a six-week block of mentoring sessions, however, based on need, the programme may be extended.  The process of evaluation takes place throughout the year and data is established from internal and external assessments, classroom teacher observation, parental feedback, and student voice. Parent and student voice are forming the basis of targets for next year and based on evaluation results.   The success of young people’s educational experience is heavily determined by the attitudes that they bring to their learning, their sense of aspiration and the feelings they have about their place in the broader social context of the school. The mentors use PASS results to respond to improvement needs as identified by the students through intervention to help raise standards of attainment.    The three areas identified as applicable to targeted mentoring are,

  • Factor 2 Perceived Learning Capability,
  • Factor 3 Self-Regard as a Learner, and
  • Factor 7 Confidence in Learning.

This identification allowed a more pointed approach and as such, students were identified by these factors and were entered onto the targeted mentoring programme after consultation with HOY, parents, SENCo and pupil.
In August 2022 the team presented their impressive evaluation results to the staff and identified sustained improvement in terms of academic achievement with internal assessments, GCSE and A Level examinations.

The Inclusion Hub at Friern Barnet School is an internal alternative provision that seeks to ensure parity of opportunity for all by allowing teachers to teach, students to learn and those with additional needs to be supported to remain in mainstream education.   It is an innovative, supportive, and intervening base staffed by skilled individuals who have the training and personal mindset to interact effectively and positively with our most challenging and vulnerable cohorts.   In two years since the initiative was set up only 1 student has been permanently excluded from the school. Through personal development sessions, students have developed social skills and an awareness of appropriate responses. The success of this has seen a reduction in confrontational or disruptive behaviours around the school.  Through bespoke academic, pastoral, and therapeutic interventions, students’ active participation has improved in lessons as well as reading ages, allowing for more confident access to the curriculum. The school have also seen relationships improve between students and teachers on this basis and through the use of restorative approaches.

Through 1-1 mentoring, vulnerable students feel listened to and have   an opportunity to discuss underlying issues that may be impacting their behaviour.   Significant behavioural incidents have reduced as a result, as staff are able to manage these situations for them and guide them to appropriate decision making and to the process of resolution.   Student voice data indicates that student morale and attendance has also improved.   With a combination of all these inputs and outputs, the Inclusion Hub continues to contribute to success measures that benefit far beyond our school, and into society. These include:

  • – A reduction in suspensions and permanent exclusions
  • – Prevention or reduction of student involvement in anti-social behaviour
  • – An increase in the number of students who remain engaged in their learning

The Inclusion Hub has offered young people an opportunity to receive high quality and consistent support, both in their educational progress and their personal development.  The introduction of the Inclusion Hub has also contributed to overall inclusive educational practices at Friern Barnet School. With continuous professional learning around topics such as Restorative Approaches, SEMH needs in children and young people, and the factors related to behavioural challenge, teachers are becoming increasingly reflective of how their approach to teaching can foster a positive learning environment. Staff have developed an understanding that students are more likely to engage with what they’re being asked to by someone they like, trust and respect and when they feel heard and listened to.

With more students accessing the Inclusion Hub across year groups, this inclusive educational outlook permeates into the whole school as we work to tackle behavioural challenge that is impeding the progress of students that require support and disrupting the learning of their peers. This work in relation to addressing student behaviour takes place in a smaller setting within the main school which has meant that students feel a sense of familiarity and part of a ‘family’.    As one triumphant marker of success, students in the Inclusion Hub engaged in a 10-week project creating a poetry anthology that reflected their likes, lives and how they see the world. Throughout this process they were able to flaunt their sense of humour, their way with words and their personability. This group of students who have never engaged with spoken word before, pushed themselves to the point where they eventually stood up on stage and represented the school at a private viewing of a professional arts exhibition. They then performed poems from their anthology to an audience of parents, teachers, and friends.

Leighton Park School has always had a strong culture of pastoral care and wellbeing support as part of its Quaker roots. Moments of silence, personal reflection and openness distinguish the school culture, including regular Meetings for Worship, Collects, acts of random kindness, and community service. However, the global pandemic and recent world events have undoubtedly had a huge impact on levels of low mood, anxiety and fatigue across many schools and communities. Consequently, the school needed to devise a strategic and innovative pastoral care approach to support early identification of students and, most recently, staff at risk of poor mental health difficulties.    A recent innovative pastoral care project has been the development and implementation of a state-of-the-art digital wellbeing app. Working closely with EdTech startup (, the school have been the first pilot school in the world where all students have used the platform to log their mood (using a 5-point emoji scale) and attribute reasons why they may be feeling a particular way. Students also complete a fortnightly, validated wellbeing survey (WHO-5, World Health Organisation survey), and access the latest resources and support area on the app to best assist their wellbeing and mental health.   The wellbeing data is pulled across from the student dashboards to the pastoral hub where tutors can track their tutees and pastoral leaders can monitor and filter students using current and average mood scores and wellbeing percentages. The mood score also provides a mood profile graph to create an overview of the student’s individual perception of mood over time.

Staff can log any safeguarding concerns directly through this hub as we have created strong links with our safeguarding provider, ‘MyConcern’. The data has facilitated high quality, pastoral focused and individualised conversations between staff and students. Staff can now pinpoint triggers of low mood and advise on useful resources, some of which sit within the app to support them.  This innovative wellbeing app has been impactful. Students feel valued and staff feel empowered to support their students. The collate feedback from staff and students every half term to monitor the effectiveness of this app. Some impact data includes:

  • 84% of students believe ‘youHQ’ has been beneficial to their overall wellbeing and mental health.
  •  92% of staff believe ‘youHQ’ has supported them in their role as a tutor;

Other students have reached out via the app with self-harm related feelings or even suicidal thoughts. Early intervention before these issues become even more serious has been so important in the school and helped create a safer environment. Implementing the app alongside other screening tools such as AS tracking, SDQ questionnaires, Boxall profiles, and forensic safeguarding monitoring filters enable pastoral staff to be more proactive rather than reactive in their implementation of bespoke pastoral plans which may include therapeutic interventions such as: counselling, CBT, drawing and talking therapy, and pet therapies.

The school have 26 adult mental health first aiders and so far, six student mental health first aiders to support staff and students, including excellent external links to psychological and psychiatric services and employer assistance programmes.    The school have been the first school to pilot the teacher wellbeing version of this app. Staff volunteers have been logging mood and completing surveys on their wellbeing so line managers can best support them.       The innovative ‘youHQ’ app and other complimentary proactive screening measures have helped the school to identify those at risk and those who need extra support.

Congratulations for everybody nominated for Pastoral Member of year in 2023. The nominations for the 2024 National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education are now open. All the details are available on the NAPCE website Follow the link to make a nomination to recognise and value contributions to good practice in pastoral care in education.

Making a nomination for the National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education 2024 organised by NAPCE.

It is easy to make a nomination for the Awards to recognise good practice in the eight categories and it only takes a few minutes.

Here is some guidance on how to make your nomination.

  • Visit our nomination page here
  • Or go to and click on the link for the awards.
  • This takes you to the page where you can make your nomination.
  • Read the information about the criteria for each category.
  • Provide your contact details as the nominee and the name of the person or organisation you are nominating with their email contact details on the form provided.
  • Click on the button to select the appropriate category for your nomination.
  • In the box provided provide information and any evidence to support you nomination.

You can make a nomination for another person or organisation, or self-nominations are also welcome.

You have 750 word available to describe the reasons for your nomination to the judges.

You do not have to use all 750 words and the best nominations are concise and clear.

Explain what makes your nomination an example of good practice.

Describe how it makes a difference in the learning experience of children and young people.

Give examples of actions that have been taken and outcomes that have been achieved.

Explain why you are proud of this nomination.

Make your nomination now to recognise good practice and achievements in pastoral care in education.

EVENT: A Report from the ASCL Pastoral Care Conference 2024

NAPCE was pleased to partner the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) once again in the planning and organisation of its annual conference for pastoral leaders.

This year the conference took place in Birmingham on Monday 29th January at the Birmingham Conference and Events Centre. The title for the 2024 conference was ‘Taking a Proactive Approach to Pastoral Leadership.

Phil Jones National Chair of NAPCE contributed to the planning and attended the conference as a speaker.

The event was well attended with pastoral leaders travelling to Birmingham for across the UK.

NAPCE had a display stand with Anne Jones from the administrative team available to talk to delegates about the work of the Association. It was great to meet several NAPCE members and finalists from the National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education organised by NAPCE attending as delegates.

The conference was hosted by Margaret Mulholland, SEND and Inclusion Specialist for ASCL.

The Keynote presentation was delivered by ASCL General Secretary, Geoff Barton.

Before the conference began Geoff interviewed Phil Jones about the new book edited by NAPCE, ‘Pastoral Care in Education. New directions for new times’ , published by Cambridge Scholars publications in October for his Leaders As Readers podcast. The podcast can be found at ASCL – Leaders are Readers.

In his presentation Geoff announced that today was a landmark day for education with the publication of the Education Select Committee report recommending that single word judgements from Ofsted inspections should end.

He said this is sending a message to the Secretary of State for Education that schools work should not be reduced to a single word. He talked about Michael Marland who was one of the founder members of NAPCE 41 years ago as being the founder of pastoral care in education.

He talked about the “the real safeguard for democracy is education”. In a positive presentation to delegates he reported that the political mood music about education was changing and that there were reasons to be more optimistic about the future.

Geoff steps down from his role as General Secretary and NAPCE would like to thank him for all his support for the Association and for his work in education.

The tough task of following the Keynote presentation went to Zoe Giblin, Assistant Headteacher at Blaise High School, Bristol. She shared with delegates the good practice in behaviour management and pastoral support at the school.

The school has a vision that every child will be able to climb their own personal mountain and that aspiration is free. Mark Rowland’s presentation focused on attendance and absence which is very much in the spotlight now.

He pointed out that it is important to understand challenges being faced by families but to avoid slipping into sympathy which will lower expectations.

He commented that to improve attendance sustained effort is the key to ensure that impact is effective in the long term. In his view the biggest driver of poor attendance is social isolation and effective pastoral care in schools is essential.

He made an interesting point that he felt the social norm regarding school had shifted in recent years with different views about how important school was to children and young people in some families.

Dr Kaitlyn Regehr and her colleagues shared important information with delegates in their presentation about their research into how algorithms popularize and gamify online hate and misogyny for young people.

They reported on how, in collaboration with ASCL, they explored:

1. How is online hate speech and misogyny popularized online?
2. What are the risks to young people?
3. How is this impacting on the ground in schools?

The recommendations from their findings are:-

  • Intervention and support for teacher’s concerns have been slow and woefully unable to keep pace with changing technologies and the implications they bring for young people.
  • Blame is then often incorrectly placed on teachers to address issues, which primarily take place outside of school hours, or on the young people themselves.
  • Our recommendations are both to hold social media platforms accountable, whilst also advocating for a healthy and critical digital education, which involves an iterative and student led approach to this problem.
  • These proposed recommendations can only be taken forward with the support and investment of Government. Without such investments, these issues will only become more entrenched and severe.

Actions that they suggested were needed in response were.

  • Holding social media companies accountable.
  • Implementing healthy digital diet education holistically across the curriculum.
  • Peer to peer mentoring to support young people against gender violence and algorithmic harms.
  • Wider awareness of algorithmic process for parents and the community at large.

Victoria Rayner, Director of Raynor Safeguarding Ltd followed this with a presentation about Navigating Pastoral Care in a Digital World.

Victoria made some important points that we cannot parent children in the way we were parented because it is a very different world.

This must also be true for the delivery of pastoral care in modern schools. She also pointed out that it is important that schools do not close windows of opportunities for learning and personal development provided by new technologies.

She shared practical ideas with delegates about introducing digital prefects and the importance of having conversations about issues that are important to them with young people.

After lunch there was a lively panel discussion chaired by Phil Jones about what schools can do to deliver proactive pastoral care. The first speaker of the afternoon was Andy McGowan, Policy, and Practice Manager for Carers Trust.

He shared his experience with the help of some young carers in his presentation that had the title, ‘Who are we talking about here and what are we doing to support young carers – visibility and value’.

He reported that eight per cent to 12 per cent of children and young people in schools are carers.

Caleb a young carer made the comment, “we need people like you in pastoral care to notice”.

Important questions were raised for delegates about how you identify young carers in schools and how to support them.

Amelia Thompson the Assistant Director of Education, SEND at Greenshaw Learning Trust was joined by Margaret Mulholland for her presentation ‘Escalating needs of children and young people. The school experience and proactive response’.

They stressed the importance of schools being clear about their vision and mission and to be clear in the choice of language used. The presentation explored how to meet children’s needs and bring equity into practice.

The presentation pointed out that meeting children’s needs is more than quality teaching but there is a need to ensure that learners can access the quality provision.

They highlighted the need to champion good practice and to build capacity for meeting needs.

The final speaker of the afternoon was Tom Middlehurst, the ASCL Curriculum, Assessment and Inspection Specialist, who shared information with delegates about Ofsted’s pastoral priorities.

Sir Martyn Oliver who recently became Ofsted HMCI described the purpose of inspection as to tell the sector and parents what the daily life of a child in that school is.

Tom shared his view that single phrased judgements will go at some point and that the focus for inspection will be the lived experience of every young person in the school.

He believed that safeguarding will probably be taken out of inspections when a new framework is introduced to be replaced with an annual review.

He shared useful information with delegates about what inspectors will look for to find out more about the pastoral work of the school.

The delegates left the conference informed about current issues in pastoral work in schools and inspired by the presentations from speakers.

It was also a very useful opportunity to network and to share ideas.

Phil Jones
National Chair
8th February 2024

EVENTS: Key NAPCE Dates Across the 2024 Calendar – Updated  

NAPCE – Key 2024 Dates for the diary

We’re very proud to announce that the NAPCE year of 2024 is our busiest yet.

We have a whole range of events and meetings planned and we’re delighted to share our latest schedule below.

Date Event Venue
1st October 2023 National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education 2023 launched on social media. Nominations open.
14th October 2023 Autumn Face to Face meetings of National Executive Committee and Editorial Board
1st January 2024 Start of the membership year with renewals for current members and new members. Please renew your membership at the start of January.
 29th January 2024 ASCL Annual Conference for Pastoral Leaders. Birmingham Conference & Events Centre
6th February 2024 Safer Internet Day. Online event
20th March 2024 Online Conference Event -Achieving Outstanding Personal Development and Pastoral Care in 21stCentury Schools
Presentation by Shaun McInerney followed by Question Time Panel (7-00pm to 8-30pm)
Online event
13th April 2024 National Executive Committee online meeting.
(10-00am to 11-00 am)
13th April 2024 Editorial Board Online meeting (11-30am to 12-30pm) Online
19th April 2024 Closing Date for Awards Nominations
18th May 2024 Face to Face meeting of National Executive Committee
(10-30am to 12-30pm)
London TBC
18th May 2024 Association’s Annual General Meeting (1-00pm to 2-00pm) London TBC
18th May 2024 Editorial Board Meeting 2-00pm to 4-00pm) London TBC
25th May 2024 Judging completed for awards and finalists informed
11th October 2024 ANNUAL NATIONAL CONFERENCE ‘Good Practice in Pastoral Care in Education’ (10-30am – 3-00pm) Worcestershire County Cricket Club. Worcester
11th October 2024 Presentation Event for the National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education 2024 (7-00pm – 10-30pm TBC) Worcestershire County Cricket Club. Worcester
12th October 2024 Autumn Face to Face meeting of National Executive Meeting (10-00am to 12-00pm) Room 2
The Hive, Worcester
12th October 2024 Editorial Board Meeting (12-30pm to 2-30pm) Room 2
The Hive, Worcester
12th October2024 NAPCE evening – social dinner in local restaurant Worcester

Updated   8th February 2024.
Dates and times may need to change. 

REPORT: Safer Internet Day 2024 was Supported by NAPCE

NAPCE was pleased, once again, to be a supporter of Safer Internet Day.

National Chair Phil Jones was invited to attend the online planning meetings and the Safer Internet Day event from the BT Tower on 6th February.

Safer Internet Day has been organised each year since 2011 by the Safer Internet Centre.

This is a partnership of three charities, Childnet, Internet Watch Foundation and SWGfL who work together to identify threats and harms online and then create and deliver critical advice, resources, education and interventions that help keep children, young people and adults safe. They share best practices across the UK and globally.

In the UK, Safer Internet Day unites millions of young people, schools and organisations to spark conversations on key issues around online safety.

The aim of Safer Internet Day is to make the internet a safer place for children and young people.

The themes for Safer Internet Day 2024 were inspiring change, making a difference and managing influence and navigating change online.

The event included speeches from Government ministers. panels and workshops hosted by young people aged 9 to 18.

The BBC broadcast a live lesson for schools on the day and activities to support Safer Internet Day 2024 took place across the UK and in other countries around the world.

More information can be found on the Safer Internet Centre website and the Safer Internet Day website

EVENT: Fresh Details of FREE NAPCE Spring Conference Revealed – NOW BOOKING

Details of FREE NAPCE 2024 Online Spring Conference Announced

Following the huge success of the online Spring Conference events organised by NAPCE in recent years we are pleased to announce plans for the 2024 event. It will take place on Wednesday 20th March between 7-00pm and 8-30pm. The title is ‘Achieving outstanding personal development and pastoral care in 21st century schools. The Keynote presentation will be from Shaun McInerney who is the School Leadership and Strategy Lead at the University of Worcester.

Shaun has led in 5 start-up schools in England and India. He was a Senior Leader in a successful, large inner-city school in Liverpool and was the founding Principal (and latterly Executive Principal) of The Studio, Liverpool from its inception in 2013 to 2019. Ofsted rated the Studio’s personal development as outstanding and noted their success in turning around the lives of young people. In 2019 Shaun returned to international sixth form college, UWC Atlantic, as Director of Curriculum Innovation, pioneering their Changemaker curriculum.
Shaun continues to work at a system level with the Edge Foundation and international NGO, Ashoka, developing an ecosystem to help schools respond and meet the needs of young people in a rapidly changing world. He has developed the New Capabilities for a New World Programme which is supporting Principals and system leaders in Greater Manchester to develop their leadership and strategy to enable young people gain fair access to the economic opportunities in their region.

This will be followed by a Pastoral Care ‘Question Time’ with an invited panel of educational experts discussing current issues and topics. The experts on the panel include Professor Noel Purdy, Director of Research and Scholarship, Stranmillis University College, Belfast, Dr Mark Diacopoulos, Assistant Professor, Department of Teaching and Leadership, Pittsburg State University, USA, Dr Caron Carter, Senior Lecturer in early childhood/childhood, Sheffield Institute of Education, Sheffield Hallam University. Victoria Raynor, Director Raynor Safeguarding Ltd, Shaun McInerney School Leadership and Strategy Lead, University of Worcester. and chaired by Phil Jones, National Chair, NAPCE.

Book your free tickets for this event on Eventbrite. Remember to book your tickets early as in previous years all available tickets have been reserved several weeks in advance.

Follow the link to book tickets

The team at NAPCE would like offer to our sincere thanks to all of our readers. You play a key role in the development of NAPCE and the education community at large. A key part of our mission statement is to continue to expand the NAPCE community. If your staff team are not ‘pastoral care aware’ please send on the link below to your colleagues. The more we share, the more we can make a positive difference to young peoples’ wellbeing throughout their school education experience.
Click here: An Introduction to Pastoral Care

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