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NAPCE News – March 2023

NAPCE News – March 2023

Making a positive difference to young people through pastoral care

LEAD ARTICLE: “Isn’t it time for visionary leaders to step up? by NAPCE Journal Editor Professor Noel Purdy

Isn’t it time for visionary leaders to step up? by Professor Noel Purdy

It can be difficult not to feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the financial challenges facing our society in general and our education system in particular.

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, rising energy costs and soaring inflation rates exacerbated by the conflict in Ukraine, public sector strikes, food banks struggling to cope with demand and recent reports of supermarket shortages in the UK, it would be easy to conclude that we face challenges, the like of which we haven’t ever had to address before.

However, I would argue that we could learn much from the example of political visionaries almost 80 years ago on both sides of the Atlantic.

Faced with the enormity of the challenges at the end of the Second World War, during which as many as 85 million people had perished, and which had cost today’s equivalent of several trillion pounds, these leaders demonstrated true vision and effected real change.

In the UK, during the very darkest days of the Second World War in June 1941, an inter-departmental committee was established to review Britain’s social insurance and allied service and to make recommendations.

The resulting Beveridge Report, published in November 1942, outlined a vision of a new post-war Britain which would wage a new war against the five giant evils of society: idleness, ignorance, disease, squalor and want.

In 1945 Clement Atlee’s Labour government swept to power with the promise of implementing the Beveridge Report and of addressing these evils.  In the following three years this led to the passing of the National Health Service Act 1946, the National Insurance Act 1946 and the National Assistance Act 1948, the very foundation of the British welfare state, which remains the envy of many other nations today.

As Beveridge wrote, war had provided an unprecedented opportunity to bring radical change: “Any proposals for the future, while they should use to the full the experience gathered in the past, should not be restricted by consideration of sectional interests established in the obtaining of that experience. Now, when the war is abolishing landmarks of every kind, is the opportunity for using experience in a clear field. A revolutionary moment in the world’s history is a time for revolutions, not for patching.” The Beveridge Report (Part 1, 7), November 1942.

On the other side of the Atlantic, economic adversity also led to political and social vision.  In his 1944 State of the Union address, President Franklin D. Roosevelt argued that the US needed a Second Bill of Rights, given that the existing Constitution and Bill of Rights had proved “inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness”.

In calling for the post-war establishment of an American standard of living higher than ever before, Roosevelt invoked the importance of security and liberty which were dependent on economic wellbeing: “We cannot be content, no matter how high that general standard of living may be, if some fraction of our people—whether it be one-third or one-fifth or one-tenth—is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed, and insecure…We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. ‘Necessitous men are not free men.’ People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.”

Among the eight rights proposed by Roosevelt was “the right to a good education” and it is as incontestably important today as it was more then, but that right to a good education is also necessarily bound up with other rights which include the “right to a useful and remunerative job”, “the right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation”, “the right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health” and “the right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment”.

Roosevelt concluded that the US nation must move forward together to implement these rights and towards “new goals of human happiness and well-being.”

As we continue to struggle with the current cost of living crisis, rising food and energy costs, high inflation and interest rates, compounded by continued underinvestment in public services, the importance of school-based pastoral care is more evident than ever before.

80 years after the publication of the Beveridge Report and Roosevelt’s State of the Union address, it is all too apparent that we still face giant evils in our society and that we still have too many ‘necessitous’ children and young people from ‘necessitous’ homes and communities across the world, whose wellbeing is threatened.

While we can draw encouragement from the many committed educational practitioners whose unsung efforts continue to make a difference in children’s lives, is it not also time for our political leaders to move beyond merely tinkering with a broken system and to outline big, bold visions of the caring, egalitarian society we desperately need to create for the future?

Professor Noel Purdy
Editor – Pastoral Care in Education Journal

EVENT: FREE Online Pastoral Care Conference in April – BOOK NOW


Pastoral Care that Makes a Difference

The spring online conference organised by NAPCE takes place on Saturday 22nd April.

This event, which  is free for delegates to attend, will be a combination of presentations by speakers on current issues in pastoral care in education and interviews and discussions with guests who have expertise in different areas of pastoral care.

The draft programme for the free online event is:-

Saturday 22nd April 2023

9-45am – Welcome and Introduction.
Phil Jones, National Chair, The National Association for Pastoral Care in Education (NAPCE).

10-00am – Pastoral Care that Supports SEND.
Dr Matt Silver, National Vice Chair, The National Association for Pastoral Care in Education,

10-20am – Interview and Discussion. Current Challenges for Staff in Pastoral Roles
with Maria O Neill, author, and educationalist,

10-50am – Supporting parents with Attendance
Ellie Costello, Director Square Peg

11-20am – Interview and Discussion Lessons from Pastoral Care in Northern Ireland
with Professor Noel Purdy, Stranmillis University College, Belfast

11-40pm What do Young People Want from Pastoral Care and Support.
Charlie Walker, the National Association for Pastoral Care NEC.

12-00pm Interview and Discussion. How does PSHE support personal development?
with Jill Robson NAPCE National Secretary and Rachel Hart, Head of Life Advice, Lady Eleanor Holles School.

12-20 pm Social and Emotional Learning. How does it support personal development?
Jimi Slattery, Compassion Matters.

12-50pm  Close Phil Jones National Chair, The National Association for Pastoral Care in Education (NAPCE).

Followed by
1-30pm  The National Association for Pastoral Care in Education AGM

Some speakers and guests to be confirmed and the programme may need to be amended because of circumstances beyond the control of NAPCE.

This event is a brilliant opportunity for researchers, students, teachers, school leaders, staff in pastoral roles and school governors to find out about the current challenges in delivering effective pastoral care in school and how it can support school improvement. Issues explored will include.

  • Supporting special educational needs learners (SEND).
  • Improving attendance
  • Working with parents,
  • Planning and delivering effective pastoral care.
  • Social and emotional learning
  • supporting the personal development of learners
  • Promoting wellbeing and good mental health
  • What support do children and young people need.

There are a limited number of links available to attend this event so please register to attend the event by following the link ASAP.

REPORT: A Special Event to Mark 40 Years of NAPCE Hailed A Huge Success

NAPCE NEC Meeting & 40th Anniversary Celebration in Worcester

A day of presentations, discussions and sharing ideas took place in Worcester on Saturday 11th March.

The event took place in the Graeme Hick Pavilion at the Worcestershire County Cricket Club. NAPCE was very pleased to welcome Catherine Crooks HMI as one of the speakers.

Her presentation explained how pastoral care features in the work of Ofsted and what inspectors are looking for during inspections or schools.

Ofsted does not use the term, ‘pastoral care’ but the work of staff in pastoral roles is in areas such as behaviour and attitudes to learning, personal development and safeguarding.

The presentation encouraged a wide range of questions and stimulated a discussion about what pastoral care means in different countries and situations.

Another speaker was Dr Helen O’Connor who travelled up from Portsmouth for the day to talk to NAPCE members and guests.

Helen is a clinical psychologist for St Swithun’s
School in Winchester.

The school have been nominated in the National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education organised by NAPCE in recent years for their good practice in supporting learners personal development and Helen has been nominated herself for her excellent work at the school.

She provided a detailed explanation of the positive education programme that has been implemented at the school and explained how it is supporting the personal development of the young people in the care of the school.

Once again, the presentation stimulated plenty of questions and a discussion about how pastoral structures and systems in schools can support wellbeing.


On the same day a promotion event took place for a new pastoral book, edited by NAPCE and to be published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing later this year.

Several of the editors and authors were present to provide an invited audience with a taste of what to expect in the book when it is published.

Some of the chapters included are:-

  • Digital safeguarding
  • The Arts and the pastoral curriculum
  • Pastoral leadership
  • Pastoral support for children with SEND
  • Pastoral education in an international setting.
  • The idea of the pastoral curriculum
  • Pastoral education in further education

Look out for more details about this new pastoral book in future editions of the NAPCE newsletter.

The 40th Anniversary Dinner

Past and present members of NAPCE gathered together in the evening of 11th March to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Association, which was delayed from last year due to rail strikes.

There were representatives from all four decades that NAPCE has been supporting pastoral care in education.

It was a great opportunity to meet up with old friends and make new friends and to remember the many events and activities in the Associations forty year history.

The guests included former presidents of NAPCE, editors of NAPCE’s journal ‘Pastoral Care in Education’, Chairs of committees and officers who have all made a significant contribution to the Association during its history.

The evening began with a ‘fizz reception’ served by the staff at the Worcester venue and this was followed by a three-course dinner.

Phil Jones, National Chair of  NAPCE spoke to guests after the dinner and reminded them about how NAPCE had been formed in 1982 and the first journal had been published almost exactly 40 years ago in February 1983.

He then introduced after-dinner speaker Les Walton CBE, who was involved in the formation of NAPCE 40 year ago.

He provided guests with an entertaining and interesting presentation sharing stories about the journey education has been on in the last four decades and some of the opportunities and challenges that education faces in the future.

Les shared many stories from his own experiences and fully engaged the audience with humour and some important observations about educational developments through the years. It was a very enjoyable evening spending time with people who share similar interests and a passion for improving education for all learners.

JOURNAL: The Latest Edition of NAPCE’s World Renowned “Pastoral Care In Education” Journal is in the Post to Subscribers

The first edition for 2023 of NAPCE’s journal, ‘Pastoral Care in Education’ is now being posted out to members.

Look out for your copy arriving in the post over the next few days.

Remember that as a member of NAPCE you have your own copy of the journal sent to your postal address four times each year.

Encourage your colleagues and contacts to become members of NAPCE, the raft of NAPCE membership benefits can be found at

Just some of the articles that you will find in the latest edition, Volume 41 Issue 1 include:-

  • Exploring student experiences of teacher care communication: the offering of educational care.
  • Primary-school age children’s understanding and experiences of loneliness: a qualitative enquiry.
  • The professional in ‘professional curiosity’; exploring the experiences of school -based pastoral staff and their use of curiosity with and about parents. An interpretive phenomenological analysis.
  • Early school leaving and trauma-based education: a study in four European countries.

AGM: You’re Invited to Attend the NAPCE Annual General Meeting Online


NAPCE Annual General Meeting 2023

The 2023 Annual General Meeting of NAPCE will take place online on Saturday 22nd April starting from 1-30pm until 2-30pm.

This is the opportunity for Members of NAPCE to listen to reports on the Association’s activities in the last year from the officers and to ask questions and make any comments.

Members of NAPCE can register to attend the AGM via this link.

Non-members interested in the work of NAPCE are also welcome to attend the AGM online (via the link above) but, of course, as guests they will not have any voting rights and are unable to participate in decision making.

Members and non-members who register to attend the AGM will be sent the link for the meeting and joining instructions before the event.

If you have any questions or need any further information, please contact

The draft Agenda for the AGM is.

Annual General Meeting 2023
Saturday 22nd April



  1. Welcome to members – Phil Jones National Chair
  2. Apologies for absence
  3. Minutes of 2022 AGM
  4. Matters arising.
  5. Resolutions from the 2022 AGM
  6. Reports: Chair/Secretary – Phil Jones/Jill Robson –  Treasurer – Jill Robson, Journal Editor – Noel Purdy
  7. Report on NEC elections – Jill Robson
  8. New resolutions from the 2023 AGM – Phil Jones
  9. Amendments to the constitution – Phil Jones
  10. Any Other Business please notify chair in advance of the meeting by contacting

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

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

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

In this edition of NAPCE News we are sharing some more of the good practice that was highlighted, this time, in the Pastoral Member of Staff of the Year Award at the 2022 event.

Entry for the National Awards for Pastoral Care 2023 is now OPEN and you can enter here

Pastoral Member of Staff of the Year Award 2022 – Sponsored by NAPCE

The criteria for this category is:- “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.”

The 2022 Award Winner was:-

Frances Wood, Moulton College

The 2022 Finalists were:-

Conor Lavery, St Patricks College, Dungiven
Anna Marie Byrne, St Catherine’s College, Armagh
Shani Thorpe, Bishop Challoner Catholic Secondary School
Andrew Keep, St Bees School

Here is some of the information that was shared with NAPCE during the nominations process for these inspirational pastoral staff.

Frances Wood , Moulton College – Winner

Frances oversees the pastoral care at the Higham Campus and goes above and beyond, improving the enrichment activities in response to feedback from the students.

Since starting work at the campus in January, Frances has introduced 5-a-side football tournaments, created a safe space for students to play board games, card games and table tennis whilst offering a support outside the classroom.

Frances works extremely hard to ensure students feel valued, and supported with their pastoral needs, despite her own health challenges.

She has also up-skilled teaching colleagues, working with external organisations to ensure that the team is trained to recognise students with low mood and anxiety.

Of particular note is the “listening bench” project. Students wanted more outdoor seating, so Frances approached a local builders’ merchant to donate wood, worked with the tutors and students to plan and build the bench and then painted the bench with inclusive LGBTQ+ colours.

Harry Gell, student commented,  “Everyone in my class looks forward to and enjoys pastoral lessons a lot. She has made lessons fun, and everyone is happy to speak. We have excellent conversations, and we have a great relationship with Frances. She is highly appreciated and cared for by all of us.”

Conor Lavery,  St Patricks College , Dungiven

Mr Lavery has made wholesale changes in his year groups that resulted in significant improvements at a remarkable pace; this rapid and exceptional change in culture has been recognised by a massive increase in punctuality and attendance.

Students at St Patricks have a lower-than-average ability on entry, a higher-than-average SEN needs and over 40 % of students attending are in receipt of Free School Meals.

There are a significant number of students who are vulnerable. Life chances, aspiration and self-belief has increased within a short space of time impacting not only on these individuals but families within the local community.

Mr Lavery has prioritised pastoral care alongside academic achievement.  The children in his year groups have achieved great things.

Mr Lavery is passionate about the mental health and wellbeing of the students in his groups. He ensures they have access to multiple after school activities. He also trains all the football groups in the school – which have been very successful. He has lead them to the ulster final this year plus also lead the girls first every football team to the semi-final.

Mr Lavery also supports access to therapies for pupils, such as Art therapy, Dry Arch therapy and yoga ,which have all had positive impact on student wellbeing and academic achievement.

He selflessly gives up their own time. Endless hours of contact and follow up before, during and after school with parents, pupils and outside agencies.

Mr Lavery constantly strives to be the best, leads by example. His natural leadership ensures that he takes staff, parents, governors, and students on a visionary journey.

Staff have been motivated and inspired by his management style, caring, emotionally intelligent yet uncompromising with regards to standards.

Mrs Anna Marie Byrne, St. Catherine’s College, Armagh

Anna Marie Byrne is literally and metaphorically the “hub” of St. Catherine’s College, Armagh. As Student Support Officer, based in our Pupil Hub, she exemplifies the core ethos of our Sacred Heart School. She is, in essence; kindness, fairness and respect personified.

In her daily interactions with pupils, she shows empathetic understanding and genuine concern, no issue is insignificant, no worry trivialised.

For her, pupil happiness and well-being are paramount. Quite simply, she KNOWS the pupils and their families, she understands them, and she has time for each and every one.

Anna Marie understands the centrality and primacy of pupil welfare, both emotional and physical. Her nurturing and caring persona is evident in abundance. She understands too, the importance of resilience and during the recent pandemic, supported pupils and their families in navigating the many challenging issues which arose as a consequence of Covid-19.

Encouraging, advising, offering practical support, and cajoling. Her role in supporting the entire school community cannot be underestimated.

Her interactions with pupils, staff and parents may be characterised as affable and considerate. She is approachable and obliging.

The “go to” person when things are not as they might be. As the conduit between home and school, her connectivity and rapport with families strengthens and consolidates an integral channel of communication.

Parents, pupils, and colleagues alike, trust and confide in Anna Marie.

For 34 years, Anna Marie Byrne has been at the centre of school life in her interactions with, and support of, every pupil, their family and member of staff in St. Catherine’s College. Self- effacing and unassuming, her irreplaceable contribution to the pastoral life of the school undoubtedly deserves recognition.

Shani Thorpe, Bishop Challoner Catholic Secondary School

Shani, in her role as Pastoral Support / DSL shows great care and commitment to all the pupils who she comes into contact with.

She goes above and beyond for the young people and their families – offering them support, kindness and empathy.

Shani’s role in the school is essential and key to the outstanding Pastoral care that is offered at Challoner.

She has managed to touch so many lives in a personal way, supporting the school’s motto ‘to do ordinary things extraordinarily well’.

To highlight one example, Challoner took a student who was a school refuser, who had had difficulties at primary.

Shani worked tirelessly to get him into school, with countless home-visits and developed a strong relationship of trust to get this young student to come in to school and as a result he has become fully integrated and is excelling academically.

With the recent, unexpected death of his father, this student and family have required further support, which Shani has offered willingly.

Shani has worked with a range of students who present with quite complex needs, including bereaved students, students with eating disorders, those students who resort to self-harming, students who have witnessed domestic violence and students living in poverty.

She has been able to support these students and sign post them to relevant agencies.  Shani is someone who goes above and beyond in her care for others.

Andrew Keep, St Bees School

St Bees School is not an ordinary school. But Mr Andrew Keep is not an ordinary man. Mr Andrew Keep (Andy) knows how to glean respect from students, staff, peers, parents, and the entire teaching profession.

This is due to his heartfelt and raw honesty and integrity in which he delivers his teaching.

He epitomises the essence of an incredible teacher. His pastoral care for every single one of the students, goes above and beyond expectation.

He works tirelessly, 7 days a week, 12 hours a day, at least, on ensuring the welfare of both staff and students.

He directs and guides our Year 12 students into applying to university. including navigating the system for international students – no easy feat.

As the Designated Safeguarding Lead, Andy oversees every aspect of child safety, in addition to their mental welfare.  All students can go to him at any time – but significantly, all staff can, and do, too.

He pioneers training, offers a safe space for all, and every single member of school community knows that he always has them at the forefront of his mind.

Andy treats every student as an individual.  Several students have entered St Bees after finding schools that weren’t for them – and they have been transformed. All because of him.

Robin Silk, Head of St Bees, commented,“Andy has created a world class learning environment, not in its stature of comprehensive resources, fancy computers or high tech classrooms, but in creating an atmosphere of academic intellect, passion and curiosity, emanating from every young adult.”

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

Entry for the National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education 2023 is now OPEN and entries are coming in.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NAPCE is inviting nominations in the following categories;

Pastoral School of the Year
Pastoral Team of the Year
Pastoral Member of Staff of the Year
Pastoral Leader of the Year
Pastoral Development of the Year
Raising Awareness about Pastoral Care
Outstanding Contribution to Pastoral Care
International Contribution to Pastoral Care

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

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

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

The Awards also encourages new initiatives and ideas in pastoral care and will recognise the contributions being made to developing policy and practice in pastoral support.

This is an opportunity to recognise the impact the work of pastoral staff is having on the achievement and well being of young people.

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

There will be a prize of £100.00 for the school or institution for the winners of each category and individuals will also be recognised for their achievements.

The criteria for the NAPCE awards are;

•Pastoral School of the Year
A school that can demonstrate a commitment to pastoral care and support for learners that makes a real difference in the progress and personal development of young people in the school

•Pastoral Team of the Year
A team that works in pastoral care and can demonstrate a determination to support young people to achieve their full potential and a positive impact on the young people they work with

•Pastoral Member of Staff of the Year
A member of staff who works in pastoral care and who always makes the extra effort to support young people to enable them to become effective learners and achieve success

•Pastoral Leader of the Year
Has a passion for pastoral care that is shared with colleagues to inspire and motivate them to make a real difference in the lives of the young people they work with

•Pastoral Development of the Year
A pastoral initiative or idea that has achieved positive outcomes and has improved the learning experience and future life chances, for young people

•Raising Awareness about Pastoral Care
An individual, group or organisation who through their actions have raised awareness about pastoral care or pastoral issues and encouraged positive improvements for the benefit of young people

•Outstanding Contribution to Pastoral Care
A person, group or organisation that has made a real difference for the benefit of young people in the area of pastoral care

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

Nominations for the NAPCE Awards are welcome from member schools and institutions and from schools and institutions that are not currently members of NAPCE.

National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education – Sponsorship Opportunity

The categories for the awards are
Pastoral School of the Year
Pastoral Team of the Year
Pastoral Member of Staff of the Year
Pastoral Leader of the Year
Pastoral Development of the Year
Raising Awareness about Pastoral Care
Outstanding Contribution to Pastoral Care
International Contribution to Pastoral Care

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

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

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