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NAPCE News – January 2024

NAPCE News – January 2024

Making a positive difference to young people through pastoral care

LEAD ARTICLE: “Pastoral Care Across Borders: Recent Insights from South East Asia” by NAPCE NEC Member Charlie Walker

Pastoral Care Across Borders: Recent Insights from Southeast Asia by Charlie Walker

After graduating last July, I had firm plans to relocate to London and begin a master’s degree.

However, just a few weeks before, a fantastic offer came from EqualEd — an education charity I’d helped to set up — and so I decided to postpone the move.

Leading EqualEd’s research and partnership initiatives across Southeast Asia from September to December, I was tasked with visiting schools, charities and community organisations throughout the region, to identify possible partners and collaborators.

EqualEd is harnessing post-pandemic advancements in online learning by connecting volunteer teachers globally with children in low-resource and remote areas.

Serving as a digital platform, we not only offer high- level teaching in subjects like maths and science, but also foster connections with native English-language speakers.

Rather than replacing existing systems, EqualEd aims to add value to learning communities by providing world-class teaching, as well as resources like lesson plans and student activities.

Complementing this, we also run two additional programmes: one delivering free teacher training from Russell Group universities, and another establishing community-based, digitally-connected learning centres for the benefit of broader communities.

Our volunteer base is diverse, from university lecturers and safeguarding specialists in the UK who provide outstanding teacher training, to maths teachers in India and university students in the US who work directly with students.

The fourteen week trip across Southeast Asia — visiting seven countries in total — also offered an opportunity to delve into my own interest in pastoral care and student wellbeing.

It provided real-life exposure to these crucial aspects in an expansive array of educational settings, allowing me to explore and understand the nuances of support and wellbeing in culturally diverse and resource-limited contexts.

Along the way, I identified seven key areas that impacted pastoral care in the these schools.

First and foremost, these are considerations for EqualEd when delivering lessons and support.

However, whilst some are specific to their context, I hope that they may also be useful for teachers and providers in the UK, both in terms of cultural awareness and shared challenges, and also in providing an insight into a global picture of pastoral care.

1. Limited Resources for Staff and Students:

The pervasive challenge of limited resources in many educational settings directly impacted pastoral care, constraining the availability of support mechanisms. Insufficient funding often results in a shortage of support professionals, or even training for teachers, hindering the provision of pastoral care services to students. This was particularly prevalent in government-run schools across Cambodia and Laos, where teachers had received no training whatsoever on pastoral care, and even resources for basic education such as textbooks or notebooks were lacking.

2. Stigma Around Mental Health:

The deeply ingrained stigma surrounding mental health issues posed a significant obstacle to effective pastoral care in multiple settings. The cultural imperative of ‘saving face’ often appeared to discourage students from seeking help or expressing their struggles openly. Many students that I spoke with said that it was simply something not to be discussed at home or in school, and several had never even heard of the concept.

3. Lack of Defined Pastoral Care Terminology:

The absence of well-defined pastoral care terminology creates communication barriers crucial for addressing emotional and psychological wellbeing. Without a shared language, teachers were unable to explain how they might identify, discuss or implement pastoral care effectively. This linguistic gap underscores the need for a precise and universally understood vocabulary within diverse contexts.

4. Impact of Socioeconomic Disparity:

The stark impact of socioeconomic disparities was obvious. Students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds are very likely to face significant challenges in accessing basic necessities like food and decent shelter. One fantastic project that I visited — the Cambodian Children’s Fund — work tirelessly to address this. There is a significant appreciation for the importance of life beyond the classroom, and so the organisation also provides housing and resources to the families of children living in and around the largest landfill site in Phnom Penh.Providing these basic necessities has not only transformed their lives, but also significantly improved attendance at their schools.

5. Traditional Gender Roles and Expectations:

Traditional gender roles and expectations directly influenced the pastoral care landscape by shaping students’ perceptions of available support. Gender stereotypes appeared to limit students’ willingness to seek help, particularly in cultures where certain issues are associated with specific genders. One project that I visited in a remote region of northern Laos had been established by university students in a nearby city, and specifically encouraged girls from the local community to attend special classes after school, all run by volunteers. Whilst pastoral care was not the focus of these classes, it appears to be a stepping stone in appreciating gender-specific challenges.

6. Inadequate Infrastructure:

Inadequate infrastructure may also hinder the implementation of effective pastoral care initiatives. Beyond insufficient training and support, several students and teachers cited a lack of quiet or private spaces, as well as no time built into the school day to have a break or spend time with friends. One pupil explained to me how he arrived at school at 6.30am in the morning, before leaving at lunchtime to work in a job late into the evening. He had no quiet spaces at school or at home, and very little opportunity to socialise with his friends.

7. Cultural Differences and Approaches:

Cultural differences often influenced the effectiveness of support systems, requiring pastoral care initiatives to match cultural perspectives. For instance, in a community where seeking direct help for emotional issues was considered taboo, a student I spoke with explained how she often relied on indirect means of support, such as confiding in peers or participating in spiritual gatherings to relieve stress.

As part of EqualEd’s teacher training programme, we are aiming to address some of these findings by building a free and universally accessible bank of resources for teachers and support providers. This will include videos, reading and case studies — available in a range of languages — that introduce key pillars in pastoral care and an opportunity to engage with best practice and leading thinkers. Our first resource — an introduction to safeguarding delivered by Sara Hedger who, as Global SVP for Safeguarding and Child Protection at GEMS Education, was responsible for the safeguarding structures protecting over 120,000 students — went live with our website launch last month.

Whilst these insights are invaluable for refining EqualEd’s approach to delivering lessons and support, they may also hold significant relevance beyond the Southeast Asian context. The challenges faced in these regions, from limited resources and mental health stigma to cultural differences and inadequate infrastructure, mirror often universal themes in education. By offering a brief glimpse into some of the dynamics of student support in resource-limited and culturally diverse environments, I hope that these observations provide a broad yet useful insight into aspects of the global state of pastoral care.

Charles Walker
NEC Member

EVENT: 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 five start-up schools across 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.

Sean’s address will be followed by a Pastoral Care ‘Question Time’ with an invited panel of educational experts discussing current issues and topics.

Details will be available on the NAPCE Eventbrite page. National Association for Pastoral Care in Education Events | Eventbrite Book your free tickets for this event on NOW.

Remember to book your tickets early as in previous years all available tickets have been reserved several weeks in advance. The link for information and tickets is

AWARDS: Great Practice from the NAPCE Awards 2023 – Episode 3


The National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education 2023 – Sharing Good Practice – Episode 3

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 third episode we’re focussing on the category International Contribution to Pastoral Care.
International Contribution to Pastoral CareThis award is for an 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.

In 2023 it was sponsored by Global Equality Collective.

The Global Equality Collective (GEC), is a multi-award-winning global community of over 13,000 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) change makers including 300+ DEI subject matter experts, working together to equip, empower and educate. We fuse this knowledge base with groundbreaking technology (the GEC Platform) which enables state-of-the-art analytics and the latest academic research to solve one of the biggest issues in education, which is diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Our aim is simple – to make ordinary classrooms extraordinarily inclusive

The winner of the International Contribution to Pastoral Care for 2023, announced at the grand presentation event in Worcester, in September was Charlene Secondary School Kiryandongo Uganda.
Here are some of the comments that were made about the 2023 winner of this award in the nomination.
“Charlene Secondary School is located in Kiryandongo District in a remote area of western Uganda. It was built and is being supported through Charlene’s Project, a UK charity inspired by Charlene Barr, a young girl, while battling with her own life-threatening illness pledged to raise funds to build a school in Uganda.  Although she did not live to see the school opening, she died aged 20 in 2010, her legacy lives on as staff and students in Charlene Secondary continue on their exciting journey of education. Supported by the charities’ UK/Ugandan Education Advisory Team and managed by Ugandan Charlene Education Foundation. 
The school, recognized from the outset the need to establish a school ethos and culture and the importance of involving the whole school community in developing this. Led by the Director and Head Teacher along with teaching staff, their Year 1 action plan focused on developing policies, procedures, and practices for pastoral care. They discussed topics like ethics, values, and standards before producing a draft statement on the vision and values they had for the school and began the task of enshrining these in policy.   A schedule was drawn up which included a fortnightly workshop involving the whole staff to address a range of pastoral issues which they encountered on a daily basis. Each of the two-hour workshops, facilitated by the Charlene Project Advisory Team outlined best practice in pastoral care and offered staff the opportunity to consider cultural adaptations required for their school. The table below provides an insight into the topics covered. The schedule was not followed slavishly, rather, they spend more time on some areas than others making adaptations and changes as required.
As in all schools they find the implementation of new initiatives a struggle therefore implicit in the action plan is the monitoring and evaluation process to be used. This includes both qualitative and quantitative approaches and involves all members of the community including parents.  The workload and energy required to develop policies and procedures for each area is daunting. Teachers embark on the planning every Friday at the end of their working day, many will have travelled many miles to get to the school and will endure the same journey home, often in difficult circumstances. Additionally, they will be back in school the following morning as they have a half day teaching timetable on Saturdays. They recognise this is a huge commitment but that it is the foundation for all follow-up work including teaching and learning. Charlene’s Secondary deserves credit and recognition for their commitment to making their school a centre of excellence in Pastoral Care.” 

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

International School Ikast-Brande
International School Ikast-Brande has a high-quality approach to Pastoral Care.   As one of very few international settings in Denmark, with a focal point on Pastoral Care, International School Ikast-Brande educates, prepares, inspires, and creates learners to be best equipped for their future, not only academically, but personally, socially, emotionally, and mentally.   Learners at the school have the opportunity to develop themselves through.

  • The spiral PSHE curriculum. 
  •  meeting with their homeroom teachers every morning.
  • acquire the skills to support one another and themselves following the SMILES programme.
  • develop key knowledge of how to live a healthy life through our PE curriculum.
  • learn necessary skills and techniques in mentoring. 
  • Participating in the unique Life Skills programme.  

With a dedicated Deputy Head of School leading the pastoral care provision of the school, learners have the opportunity to access support quickly, effectively, and efficiently – be it in school or support from the local community.   The school are lucky to have such an excellent pastoral provision & such an impeccable international team of staff paving the way for each and every student.

University of Malta

Over the past years, the University of Malta, have been to promoting pastoral care in education including the wellbeing, resilience and mental health of students and school staff, at an international level, through participation and contribution to experts’ groups at UNESCO and the European Commission (2022-2023). It has developed  and organised programmes for schools and policy makers such as.

  • the ‘Rescur Surfing the Waves Programme’, for Early Years and Primary School (revised in 2022), 
  • an international virtual summer school on child protection in war and conflict zone in collaboration with the UN (2022), 
  • three international summer schools on resilience, mental health and positive development (summer 2023)
  • an evaluation of a mental health curriculum developed through an EU funded project (PROMEHS, Promoting Mental Health in Schools) (2022).
  • Developed the first Master Programme in Transdisciplinary Childhood Studies (started first time in October 2020 at the University of Malta) and of the Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters in Resilience in Education (starting in October 2023).
  • publication of numerous papers, research reports and book chapters on the mental health, wellbeing and resilience of school children, particularly marginalised ones.
  • training of school staff in pastoral care such as teachers, support school staff and school administration.
  • research projects on children’s wellbeing, mental health, children’s voices and social and emotional learning.

North London Collegiate School (NLCS) Jeju, South Korea

The school aims to create a home where individuals are nurtured and the whole personality can grow. They foster a caring and respectful community characterized by excellent relationships between staff and students regardless of age and background. Pastorally the school has an outstanding approach towards Pastoral Care and was recently awarded Safeguarding School of the Year by the ISC in 2023 in recognition of their work to keep students safe. They have ensured that all students receive digital citizenship training, there are safeguarding posters of adults who can help, meetings have safeguarding as part of the agenda, recently introduced a visitor code of conduct that also includes a safeguarding briefing when visitors come into school and continuous training throughout the year for staff.

NLCS Jeju has a vertical pastoral system and there is close collaboration between both the Junior and Senior school who are currently working together on an initiative centred around ‘seeds for success’ which based largely on the PEEC model, builds upon our preventative approach towards pastoral care by having a termly theme focusing on positive relationships, positive emotions, positive health, positive engagement, positive accomplishment, positive purpose and sense of belonging. This underpins both the House and Tutor Programme, with the Assistant Heads of House being responsible for overseeing a year group programme that focuses on pertinent issues. This builds upon the PSD (Personal Social Development) programme and ensures that they not only respond to challenges students face throughout their journey, but ensures they work collaboratively as a team to support both students and parents. This is informed largely by the use of the Six Star Survey, produced by ACER that enables us to track the wellbeing of students which is used throughout the school year.

The school has also involved students in the pastoral provision, with student voice featuring significantly in all aspects of planning. The Heads of House, hold student voice sessions with their House Committees throughout the term.  The AVP Pastoral leads the Student Council which addresses significant issues affecting the school body.  The Assistant Heads of House and the Head of PSD meet with year group representatives to get feedback from students on the seeds for success programme and our PSD provision each term.

One of the school’s goals is to ensure that new students are supported and welcomed into the school. They have introduced a number of new initiatives including using peer mentors to. support students, the Student Council arranging welcoming activities including lunches and a Scavenger Hunt, induction days and support from house committees. From August, all year 7 students (in response to feedback) will be allocated an older brother or sister to offer them support and guidance throughout the first term and help them not only settle in, but also feel a valued member of the school community. 

Bromsgrove International School, Thailand

At Bromsgrove International School, is a school that has pastoral care, personal-social education, and the welfare of students at its very heart.  They strive to find innovative ways to support and develop students’ wellbeing. A recent tool has been the introduction of the ‘Well-Being Passport’, a document created with the child, for the child and which is editable and designed to progress through school with each individual.     Each of the 120 boarders have an initial meeting with a member of boarding staff in order to receive a dedicated time slot to understand, create and ask any questions in order to promote the intrinsic value of the passport initiative. Written in the students own words, the ‘Well-Being Passport’ identifies things that are important to them and what areas in which they feel they need support as well as helping students feel they are each known and valued as an individual in her or his own right, and that school life has a meaning and purpose for them. It has proven to be a useful reflective tool with some students, empowering them in choosing to meet and discuss their wellbeing passport in order to adjust their short- and long-term goals or review what support they feel they may need in order to achieve this.

The ‘Well Being Passport’ is a working document and is to be reviewed twice each year. This allows students to reflect, review and revise their statements whenever needed. It is designed to be flexible and adaptable to suit children of any age and is written using words and terminology that they are familiar with and easily understand. They can focus on personal or academic goals, with some of the most successful applications being in student-led forms of conflict management. The information can also be shared with relevant staff and used to support students in a way that they feel works best for them, in order to create and sustain a direct link between well-being and academic achievement. As a ‘live’ document links are easily embedded for easy access.    Although created originally as a way to support our boarding students, the school counsellor has also adopted the passport as part of our induction for new day students and we are positive that this will aid in the continuing development of a ‘culture’ of well-being and pastoral care throughout the whole school and the active involvement of the whole staff, teaching, non-teaching, and boarding.
The school is confident that the ‘Well Being Passport’ will develop strong, supportive relationships that provide students with the emotional resources to step out of their intellectual ‘comfort zone’ and explore new, reflective and adaptive ideas and ways of thinking, which is fundamental to both their social and emotional development and their educational achievement.

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.

EVENTS: Important NAPCE 2024 Dates Announced 

NAPCE – Key 2024 Dates for the diary

We’re very proud to confirm that the NAPCE National Conference 2024 will take place in person on 25th May 2024.

The theme will be ‘Sharing Good Practice in Pastoral Care in Education’.

The event is planned to take place in the London area and will include.

  • A Keynote speaker presentation.
  • Presentations sharing good practice form previous finalists in the National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education,
  • An audience discussion about the new pastoral book edited by NAPCE ‘Pastoral Care in Education. New directions for new times.’

Details and tickets will be available soon on the NAPCE Eventbrite page and more information will be shared in future newsletters.

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.
6th February 2024 Safer Internet Day.
20th March 2024 Online Conference Event -Achieving Outstanding Personal Development and Pastoral Care in 21st Century Schools
Presentation by Shaun McInerney followed by Question Time Panel (7-00pm to 8-30pm)
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)
19th April 2024 Closing Date for Awards Nominations
25th May 2024 Judging completed for awards and finalists informed
NATIONAL CONFERENCE ‘Good Practice in Pastoral Care in Education’ (10-00am to 1-15pm)
25th May 2024 Association’s Annual General Meeting (1-15pm to 2-00pm)
25th May 2024 Face to Face meeting of National Executive Committee (2-15pm to 3-15pm)
25th May 2024 Editorial Board Meeting 3-30pm to 4-30pm)
11th October 2024 Presentation Event for the National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education 2024
12th October 2024 Autumn Face to Face meeting of National Executive Meeting (10-30am to 12-30pm)
12th October 2024 Editorial Board Meeting (1-00pm to 3-00pm)
12th October2024 NAPCE evening – social dinner in local restaurant

EVENT: NAPCE Chair Phil Jones to Speak at ASCL Conference for Pastoral Leaders 2024 – LAST CHANCE TO BOOK

We are partnering with ASCL again for the ASCL Conference for Pastoral Leaders 2024, which is taking place on January 29th.

Tickets are available now.

NAPCE Chair Phil Jones is amongst the panel of expert speakers joining the event at The Birmingham Conference and Events Centre (BCEC).

The theme for this year is “Taking a proactive approach to pastoral leadership”

At the ASCL Conference for Pastoral Leaders 2024, they will be looking at how pastoral leaders, DSLs, Inclusion leads in schools and across trusts deal with constantly changing priorities.

This event will support leaders to strengthen systems and processes and enable improvement, adopting a proactive rather than reactive response to competing educational demands.

It is a fantastic opportunity to focus on current whole school priorities of attendance, behaviour and inclusion and how they relate to rising SEND, mental health & wellbeing and disadvantage gaps.

This Conference will enable Pastoral Leaders to strengthen school provision and practice.

Meet the Speakers
Dr Kaitlyn Regehr, Associate Professor of Digital Humanities at UCL, who will be identifying the escalating challenges, despite an online safety act, of online misogyny and what schools can be doing to respond effectively.
Victoria Raynor, Safeguarding Consultant will be exploring the practical approaches that schools must adopt to safeguarding and strengthen wellbeing.
ASCL Specialist, Tom Middlehurst will review pastoral priorities for Ofsted inspections. There will also be contributions from Margaret Mulholland, SEND and Inclusion Specialist, Alessandro Capozzi, Executive Headteacher, Academy2, Marc Rowland, Pupil Premium and Vulnerable Learners Adviser, Unity Schools Partnership, Amelie Thompson, Assistant Director of Education: SEND, Greenshaw Learning Trust, Dr Caitlin Shaughnessy, Research associate, Nicola Shaughnessy, Professor of Performance at the University of Kent, Hamira Shah, Deputy Headteacher, North Huddersfield Trust School and Andy McGowan, Policy and Practice Manager, Carers Trust.

Panel experts will include Phil Jones NAPCE and ASCL Council leaders.

For more information and tickets follow this link:

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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