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NAPCE News – July 2023

NAPCE News – July 2023

Making a positive difference to young people through pastoral care

LEAD ARTICLE: NAPCE’s Dr Matt Silver – Recovery and Reflection – Tapping into Your Energy

Recovery and Reflection- Tapping into Your Energy by Dr Matt Silver, CEO of The Glass House Leadership Lab and Vice-Chair of NAPCE

As this article is being written, it is the last day of term.

Whatever your role is in education, there is something so significant about it.

Most call it the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ or the end of ‘silly season’.

So what is it that shapes this narrative and what does it have to do with Pastoral Care?

Any period that is emotionally charged can equally be emotionally draining.

As we have the highs of end of year- whether that is productions, exhibitions, or transitions, we also face the low of coming down from these experiences.

The same can be said about the lows, drawing a close to community journeys, working through red tape to try and leave your summer free, or fretting about multiple anxieties that face uncertain parts of our future.

We seek a bigger high to outweigh the low, and if we can’t find it, it sends us in to grasping for a break that we perceive to find the ‘rest’ we think we need.

What is occurring is waves, much like a rollercoaster, on what is known as our hedonic treadmill.

We seek a high to get out of our low, and with this repeating pattern comes a greater seeking.

This is what I have re-termed the Goldilocks Effect.

In constantly seeking ‘just right’ we reject the ‘too hot’ or ‘too cold’ missing the energy and wisdom that sits in the struggles as well as the success.

So how do we overcome this sense of being drained at the end of term?

Begin to try to find the ‘just right’ right now. The opportunity of the break is not to perceive rest as the topping up of our energy tanks, but to reflect on what has been learnt and how we have developed our capacity, and that of others, over the past year.

In doing this, we top up our tanks with our wins, recognise and address the potholes that won’t empty them again next year, but most importantly, expand them with our own maturity.

This is essentially what adult development is based upon, finding satisfaction on the journey rather than reaching the summit.

Pausing along the way to rehydrate and refuel, taking in the expansive picture and making sense of where we are and where we are going, not sprinting through the race only to burnout.

At the Glasshouse Leadership Lab we have been working with leaders through coaching and team journeys on finding meaning as the world surrounding education moves at an accelerating pace whilst the system is overwhelmed by its consequences.

In better understanding yourself and those around you, as well as the system and how it is constructed, allows you to find a way of moving your own setting forward despite the weather outside.

What applies to leaders, also applies to learners. Do they have a sense of meaning? What is school to them now as the attention demand is tapping into their identity? If we do not understand our own identity, how are we to provide the maps for our learners to navigate theirs?

What has been a constant theme emerging is that Pastoral Care is more essential than ever, but potentially being more and more sidetracked for performance metrics catalyse behaviour issues to overtake teacher workload for the first time ever as a reason for leaving the profession.

Yet much like the hedonic treadmill, the harder we seek the ‘highs’ of performance the lower the consequences sink.

The purpose of our energy expenditure in education is becoming more erratic and the tipping point, potentially, ever closer.

Refocusing on the human state of education, whether that is student or staff, is essential.

There is hope, but it begins with us as individuals becoming aware of the blueprint towards this, being capable of forming a team and developing their capacity to not just think differently but act differently. If the system is too mature, so must we.

In summary, all of us at NAPCE wish you a fantastic summer, one that is deserved for all of the energy you have put in to the human element of education we all know actually enhances performance.

It is not an either/or, but a both/and. So both relax and reflect, finding energy in both. Energy is essential to change.

The demands of the education system creates immense pressure to perform. The Glass House Leadership Lab guides your team to develop deeper insight into sophisticated system design to enhance student performance and community outcomes so we can evolve education for all.

REPORT: NAPCE’S Sell-Out Northern Ireland Symposium – FULL REPORT

NAPCE’s First Northern Ireland Pastoral Care Event – Who Cares About Pastoral Care – REPORT

Who cares about Pastoral Care?

This was the title for the event organised in Belfast on Wednesday 21st June by NAPCE and Stranmillis University College.

The idea for the day came from conversations over breakfast in October last year.

This was the morning after the first live presentation event for the National Awards for Pastoral Care for Education, organised by NAPCE.

The Awards evening had been a brilliant opportunity to share good practice in pastoral care and to recognise the excellent work that makes a difference to children and young peoples’ learning experiences and future life chances. People had travelled to the Presentation Evening from all around the United Kingdom including a large number from Northern Ireland.

Many of the people who attended the presentation were staying at the Premier Inn at Worcestershire Cricket Ground in Worcester, where the event took place and the following morning no longer in the formal wear, met up for breakfast and to share thoughts and ideas.

The conversations over breakfast showed how much can be gained, from spending time with people with similar interests and from different backgrounds and experiences and how much can be learnt from these discussions.

It was from these breakfast conversations and the enthusiasm built from the positive experience of the previous evening that the idea emerged of NAPCE organising an event in Northern Ireland.

When NAPCE was first founded over 40 years ago, there were regional groups all over the UK who shared an interest in pastoral care.

This included Northern Ireland, which as a region made a big contribution to the work of NAPCE, to raise awareness about pastoral care.

The inspiration and motivation for planning the event came from Professor Noel Purdy who is the current editor of NAPCE’s academic journal ‘Pastoral Care in Education’ and a member of both NAPCE’s National Executive and Editorial Board.

The venue for the event was Stranmillis University College in Belfast. Together with NAPCE they worked on the planning and organisation, of the face-to-face symposium, to share good practice in pastoral care and address the challenges facing schools in Northern Ireland.

I was delighted as NAPCE National Chair to be invited to Belfast to host the event on behalf of NAPCE along with Professor Noel Purdy from Stranmillis University College. Anne, my wife, who is part of the administrative support team for NAPCE made the journey with me to support the administration of the symposium and to represent NAPCE at the event.

When we left for Birmingham Airport for the flight to Belfast on the Tuesday, we were informed of a 30-minute delay.

By the time we arrived at the airport it had become a 2-hour delay and we were then made aware that the flight had been cancelled.

Determination to overcome all challenges and to attend the symposium took over and a frantic search on the internet using my phone found two seats on a later flight.

This then meant that we were going to spend nearly 10 hours in the airport!

It felt a little like we were doing a remake of the Tom Hanks film, ‘The Terminal’!

It became a little desperate at one point when we started playing, ‘I spy’!

I never realised how competitive that game can be in certain situations! The worry was that our long wait might end in disaster with another cancellation, but the flight  eventually took off with a 30-minute delay and we arrived in Belfast in time to go to bed in preparation for the symposium the following day.

The good news was that there had been a very positive response to the opportunity to attend the event and all available places had been taken.

As hosts it was a pleasure for Noel and I to welcome delegates to the symposium and to introduce the programme.

The first speaker was Koulla Yiasouma, the former Children’s Commissioner for Northern Ireland, who spoke on the title “Education needs pastoral care to succeed-addressing pastoral care challenges facing schools in Northern Ireland”.

In an honest and passionate presentation, she reminded the audience that every child is a unique person with rights that include the right to be safe and the right to be heard.

She explained how there is a link between pastoral care and academic progress and how pastoral care is an integral part of education and needs to be part of a whole school approach to meeting the needs of children and young people.

She talked about how different language is used to describe pastoral care in schools. She reminded the audience that all children have pastoral care needs and some vulnerable children have more than others.

She argued that we need to learn from the experience of the pandemic and that supporting children with social and emotional learning is important.

The next speaker was Catherine Davidson, Vice-Principal of Ballysillan Primary School. The title for her presentation was “The Importance of a nurturing approach to primary schools”.

Catherine gave some brilliant examples of how the school supports nurturing and commented that ‘small changes can make a huge difference’.

She pointed out that it is important to model the nurturing that the schools do with the children, with the parents.

She described some of the many initiatives the school has implemented to support the personal development of the children in their care.

These include, ‘Kindness Ambassadors’, ‘Star of the Week’ and ‘The Treehouse’, which is a self-funded nurturing room.

Another speaker was
Claire Breen, Principal of Tor Bank Special School, in Dundonald.

The school was the winner of the NAPCE Award in 2020 for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Pastoral Care’.

The title for the presentation was ‘Supporting the school community through their bereavement journey’.

The presentation raised the audience’s awareness about the challenges that staff in pastoral roles in schools may face.

It was an important reminder that it is the pastoral structures and systems that support schools and their learners when they are faced with the biggest challenges.

The final speaker was Catherine McHugh, who is Principal of St Patrick’s College in Dungannon.

The school was the winner of the 2022 NAPCE Award for Pastoral Team of the Year and Pastoral Development of the Year.

The school have been chosen by the judges as a finalist for the 2023 National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education, School of the Year award. The title for the presentation was, ’All Children, All Backgrounds, All Succeeding’.

In the presentation Catherine expanded on the title, to share the good practice in the school and the positive impact it has on the children in their care

She recognised that it is difficult for schools to prepare children for a changing world and that there are many financial and educational challenges to overcome.

Catherine was clear that despite the challenges inclusion and equity are rooted in the provision of the school.

She explained that pastoral care in the school is about recognising the potential of all learners.

The event was a brilliant opportunity to share good practice taking place in pastoral care and to bring people together who despite the many challenges currently being faced by schools, had a determination to make a difference for the learning experience and future life chances of all children.

After joining me to thank everybody for their contribution to a very successful event there was time for Noel to change his role and give Anne and I a tour of the city of Belfast as our tour guide.

The following morning, we were up early for our return flight to Birmingham. This time the flight left on time and arrived back in Birmingham early!

The symposium in Belfast is an inspiration to organise further regional NAPCE events in the future.

It is great to be able to bring people together with enthusiasm and a passion for pastoral care to share ideas and good practice.

I am looking forward to the breakfast conversations after the presentation event for the 2023 awards which takes place in Worcester, at Worcestershire County Cricket Club on the evening of 29th September.

I am sure there will once again be some great conversations during the weekend and will lead to some more good ideas for NAPCE events and activities to support pastoral care in education.

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


AWARDS: National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education 2023 – TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW


Tickets for the National Awards For Pastoral Care In Education 2023 are available now.

Now in its fourth year, the NAPCE Awards is a standout event on the education calendar.

With finalists announced last month, attention now turns to the Presentation Evening on September 29th at Worcestershire County Cricket Ground, Worcester.

The ceremony is open to all people working in pastoral care in education roles.

It offers a unique opportunity to celebrate the work and achievements in pastoral care and is a wonderful networking event.

NAPCE National Chair Phil Jones said: “Following last year’s incredibly successful event, we are delighted to return to Worcester.

“The NAPCE Awards offers a unique opportunity to get so many people working in pastoral care in education together to mark all of our great achievements.

“We are anticipating the demand for tickets to be very high and so I would recommend early booking.”

Tickets for the NAPCE Awards are FREE and the event includes a fizz reception, guest speaker, pay bar and the grand presentation.

To book FREE tickets for the showpiece Presentation Evening on September 29th at Worcestershire County Cricket Ground, Worcester, click here:

The NAPCE Awards was launched by  in 2019 and is the first UK-wide scheme to recognise outstanding achievements across pastoral care in education settings.

It was created to highlight excellent practice in pastoral care and to celebrate the people making a real difference in the educational experience of young people.

It also encourages new initiatives and ideas in pastoral care and recognises the contributions being made to developing policy and practice in pastoral support.

Details about how to book tickets will be sent to finalists directly, before being made available to people from across the education sector.

The 2023 Finalists

Pastoral School of The Year sponsored by Schools Consent Project

(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)

Up Holland High School, Lancashire

Richard Cloudesley School

St Patrick’s College, Dungiven

RGS The Grange

Holy Trinity Primary School

Pastoral Team of The Year sponsored by Connect to Purpose

(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 Team at Shireland Collegiate Academy

SENDi Team Tudor Grange Academy, Worcester

Pastoral Team, Stockport Academy

Institute of Policing’s Work Based Education Officers Team

Team of Student Managers, Preston College

Pastoral Member of Staff of the Year sponsored by North London Collegiate School, Jeju, South Korea

(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)

Matt Pont Beck Primary School

Raymond Kelly, St Patrick’s College Dungiven

Thomas Carter Stead, NLCS Jeju

Liz Tzouliou, East Barnet School

Aine Deane, Sacred Heart PS, Derry

Pastoral Leader of Staff of the Year sponsored by Taylor and Francis

(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)

Donna Merry, Southend YMCA Community School

Liz Weddle, JCoSS, Barnet

Aine Deane, Sacred Heart PS, Derry

Kathryn Bates, Shireland Collegiate Academy, Smethwick

Andrew Keep, St Bees School

Pastoral Development of the Year sponsored by Crown House Publishing

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

Christ the King Sixth Forms

Inclusion Hub, Friern Barnet School

Leighton Park School

Louis Grammar School, Ballymena

Raymond Herron, St. Mary’s Christian Brothers Grammar School

Outstanding Contribution to Pastoral Care sponsored by Eileen Donnelly Educational Development Limited

(A person, group or organisation that has made a real difference for the benefit of young people in the area of pastoral care)

Girls on Board

Heather Tuffs, Nidderdale High School

Lads Like Us

Sacred Heart PS, Derry

Mohammed Adam, Manchester Academy

Raising Awareness About Pastoral Care sponsored by Association of School and College Leaders

(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)

Stephen Page, All Saints Catholic College

Ellie Costello, Team Square Peg

Pastoral Care Department, Glenlola Collegiate School

Highfield and Brookham Schools

International Contribution to Pastoral Care sponsored by Global Equality Collective

(An international school or 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)

Bromsgrove International School Thailand


Charlene Secondary School Kiryandongo Uganda

University of Malta

International School Ikast-Brande

There will be a prize of £100 for the school or institution for the winners of each category and individuals will also be recognised for their achievements.

EVENT: Major Online Pastoral Care Conference – Claim Discounted Tickets Here

Delivering Outstanding Pastoral Care Conference 2023

We’re delighted to announce that NAPCE leader Phil Jones will chair an important online pastoral care conference in October.

The Delivering Outstanding Pastoral Care 2023 event, on October 5th, is the latest in an exciting programme of events for NAPCE this year.

It is run by Education Conferences UK.

As a reader of NAPCE News we’re delighted to offer you a 20% discount on tickets for the event which is available for booking now.

About the Online Conference & How to Claim Your 20% Discount

Covering the newest pastoral challenges affecting pupils including cost of living crisis, poor mental health and cyber-bullying

The direct link to the conference & tickets is

20% Discount code: hcuk20spkr

Thursday 5th October 2023, Virtual Conference

The role of the Pastoral Lead is broad, complex and one of the most difficult jobs in school – not only because of how varied the challenges are but how often they change – new ones are appearing all the time.

But demanding roles often don’t allow individuals to keep abreast of updates – from legal requirements to best practice, it’s crucial you stay on top of it all.

Your invitation to attend the Pastoral Care Conference

Chaired by Phil Jones, National Chair, National Association for Pastoral Care in Education this full day conference will look at recent changes to guidance on behaviour, exclusions, attendance and safeguarding so that you are able to remain compliant and understand the impact that these will have on your day-to-day work.

Our experts will also be delivering sessions on some of the biggest challenges facing pastoral leads in schools, including; responding to the cost of living crisis, supporting student mental health and wellbeing and addressing the difficulties arising out of cyber bullying.

Learning Outcomes:

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

Your speakers

Phil Jones
National Chair
National Association for Pastoral Care in Education

Sam Garner
Mental Health & Inclusion Consultant & Director
Garner Education Services

Joanne Sierzega
Senior Attendance and Welfare

Deborah Innes-Turnill
Child Protection Lecturer & Safeguarding Consultant

Who are Education Conferences UK?

We provide conferences and training aimed at senior leaders, teachers, SENCOs, safeguarding leads and support staff working in early years, primary and secondary education.

You can pre-purchase conference places in bulk at discounted rates, for your organisation to use throughout the year. Email for more information. 

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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