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NAPCE News – May 2021

NAPCE News – May 2021

Making a positive difference to young people through pastoral care

FEATURE ARTICLE: “What About Staff  Voice?” A View on the Value of Worker Opinion in Schools by NAPCE Secretary Jill Robson

What About Staff Voice by Jill Robson

Student voice has long been established as an integral part of school life.

Even when visiting primary schools, I see evidence of student councils in foyer displays and other areas but it has often occurred to me that in many schools teachers and other staff are not offered the same opportunity to contribute their voice in the running of the schools in which they work.

I have always been an advocate of student voice and have been actively involved in setting up and running student councils in all the schools I have worked in.

In my second school, as a head of year, I established a year council for my year group.

Some of my colleagues mocked this idea, giving the reason the that students were in school to be taught, not to be expressing opinions but I was constantly impressed by the cogent arguments presented by my students on the issues that affected them and the council went on to be a successful venture.

Following the success of the year council, I had the idea that it would be good for staff to have a similar vehicle to express and generate ideas so I suggested to my headteacher that we should have a staff council.

He was not overly enthusiastic about the prospect but begrudgingly allowed me to proceed and see whether there was any interest from colleagues.

It turned out that there was interest and when staff gathered together in the staffroom at the end of the day, I was impressed by the enthusiasm of staff who had been working hard all day staying behind and over a cup of coffee and a few biscuits discussing ways to improve issues in school.

I went back to the head with some of the suggestions and it was obvious that he was regretting his decision to allow it to go ahead.

In my efforts to convince him that I was not attempting to stage a coup I invited him along to a meeting where staff offered ideas and suggestions on how things could be improved.

That experience convinced me that the more people you involve in dealing with issues the more likely you are to come up with successful and workable solutions.

It was not a total success however; some staff were reluctant to be seen attending the meeting in case the head thought that it was subversive but the wealth and quality of ideas convinced me that it was a worthwhile activity and one which seemed to energised many of my colleagues.

During my career I have attended numerous interviews for deputy head and headship where I was not successful to be told in the feedback that I was the preferred staff (and students) candidate but that the appointing governors were not in agreement with that choice.

Apart from my obvious disappointment at not being appointed it always struck me that at the end of the day it was the staff who I would have been working with on a daily basis and that perhaps they should have had a greater say in who they felt would lead the school and them, in the best way.

Giving people a say in the organisation they work in makes them feel valued, leading to greater self- esteem and engagement in the organisation.

Maslow identifies self-esteem as a crucial part of human progress, potential, and performance.

Many studies have shown the correlation between teachers with high self -esteem and the achievement of their students.

A report from the University of Texas as long ago as 1997 reported “findings of the study indicate that students with teachers in the high esteem category scored an average of 5.67 points higher than those students in the low level of self- esteem category.

Findings from the study led to the conclusion that teachers with high levels of self- esteem have positive influences on the achievement of their students.

The research that has been done suggests that this is an essential component in ensuring high achievement in students.” (Hartley, Melba Lynn 1997)

This begs the question, “As a school leader why would you not want to do everything in your power to enhance the self- esteem of your staff?”

Giving employees any sort of voice is sometimes seen as threatening to managers particularly when they are not secure in their own positions in the same way that my colleagues derided me for wishing to involve students in decision-making, they see the relinquishing of power to others as a threat to their own position.

“It should be noted that one of the studies mentioned found that while many people are keen to contribute more at work, the behaviour of their mangers and culture of their organisation is actively discouraging them from doing so” (Towers, Perrin 2005)

Whilst taking the NPQH qualification I was lucky to have a very experienced and respected head as one of my tutors.

His mantra was that “the most important thing a headteacher does is appoint the right staff the second thing is to look after them”.

Looking after staff should be a prime concern for senior leaders in schools, as if they do their job in that respect, the staff will pass on that culture of care to the students.

After doing the NPQH qualification I was invited to take part in a follow up programme on Transformational Leadership run by Professor Beverley Alimo Metcalfe, which involved 360-degree feedback from colleagues, it was quite an enlightening experience but what I always remember was her introduction, when she stated that in any organisation “for every pair of hands you employ you get a brain for free.”

Sadly, in some schools that particular “freebie “is a wasted offer!

Pastoral Care for staff is an area that has been a neglected consideration in many schools and staff in some schools have been treated as disposable commodities, consequently, we have many experienced and talented people leaving the profession because they end up feeling that they are not valued.

I used to think that student voice was the most undervalued resource in schools but now I believe it is staff voice that takes that accolade.

At one time awards such as “Investors in People” encouraged organisations to engage with their employees to improve the efficacy of the organisation and develop good practice for training and development.

“Engagement has been described as a positive attitude held by the employee towards the organisation and its value.

An engaged employee is aware of business context and works with colleagues to improve performance within the job for the benefit of the organisation. “(Robinson, et al 2004)

The importance of employee engagement has long been recognised in business and there are many companies who go out of their way to engage and nurture their employees.

“Why are organisations investing so much in engagement?

The answer is that the rewards for high engagement are considerable, with several recent studies showing indisputable links between engagement and various measurements of financial success in the private sector.” (BAM- Engaging learners) Timpson’s, the shoe repairers have built a reputation for excellence in employment practice.

The company owns holiday homes for workers, gives staff their birthdays off and pays bonuses for exceeding targets, it has grown its profits from £500K to £12 million in 20 years of trading.

There are many other examples of good practice in the private sector but sometimes education and public services take a little longer to adapt to the benefits of good practice.

It may well be argued that the public sector does not have the resources available to the private sector however many of the ways that staff can be recognised and nurtured, simply take a little time and care.

NAPCE has always promoted the importance of the personal, social and emotional aspects of education and it is essential that the care of the whole community, students and staff continue to be a focus for our work particularly as we emerge from the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic and that we continue to recognise that all voices are valued, and deserve to be heard.

Jill Robson
NAPCE Secretary

CONFERENCE: An Update on NAPCE Annual National Conference 2021 – Does Every Child Still Matter?

Annual National Conference – Does Every Child Still Matter? – A New Approach to Education

Tickets for this important online conference being organised by NAPCE in July are being reserved and it is good to see so much interest in what will be an interesting and stimulating event. It takes place over three days on Wednesday 7th, Thursday 8th and Friday 9th July.

On the Wednesday and Friday there will be presentations from leading experts in pastoral care.

On the Thursday evening an invited panel of educational experts will answer questions about the challenges and opportunities for education following the global pandemic.

To register for tickets, go to

Tickets for this conference are FREE but delegates are encouraged to register early to avoid disappointmentThe conference will explore if it is time to revisit the ‘every child matters’ agenda as a starting point to reset thinking about education.


Wednesday 7th July 
2-00pm Welcome to the Conference – Phil Jones Chair of NAPCE.
2-10pm Presentation One Combatting Online Sexual Harassment – Why we need RSE More Than Ever – Professor Kaitlyn Mendes, Leicester University.
2-45pm Presentation Two – Promoting Social and Emotional Well-Being. The Thrive Approach
3-20pm Presentation Three Pastoral Care post COVID – Connor Acton.
3-55pm Close – Phil Jones Chair of NAPCE.
Thursday 8th July 
7-00pm to 8-00pm NAPCE QUESTION TIME – The Challenges and Opportunities for Education Following the Experience of the Global Pandemic. 
Chaired by Phil Jones – Chair of NAPCE.
On panel
Professor Stan Tucker – Editor of Pastoral Care in Education.
Margaret Mulholland  – ASCL SEND and Inclusion Specialist.
Nigel Murray – Paralympic Gold Medalist.
Mark Diacopoulos, Assistant Professor, Pittsburg State University.
Daniel Sobel, Author and Founder of ‘Inclusion Expert’.
Other guests to be confirmed
Friday 9th July 
10-00am Welcome – Phil Jones Chair of NAPCE.
10-10am Presentation 4 Building Positive Relationships for Learning – Helen Peter.
10-45am Presentation 5  – Proactive Pastoral Care – Maria O’ Neill Founder UK Chat Care.
11-20am Presentation 6  Engaging Learners – Phil Jones Chair of NAPCE.
11-55am Close – Phil Jones Chair of NAPCE.


Presentation title – Pastoral Care Post COVID
Connor Acton 

Details about presentation:
What have we learned from the tests, trials and tribulations brought about by COVID and how will they impact Pastoral Care as we move into the future? A discussion of the challenges we may face in the future and how we can take the lessons learned and ensure that Pastoral Care in our schools is effective.

Connor is a Pastoral Leader and Teacher in a Leicester secondary school – he has held a variety of roles linked to pastoral care (including Head of Year, Assistant Head of Year and Mentor) in a variety of disadvantaged contexts. Connor is Chair of Trustees at Brookvale Groby Learning Campus, Chair of Trustees for the RSPCA in Leicestershire and sits on the National Executive Board for NAPCE.

Photograph to follow.

Presentation title – Building Positive Relationships for Learning
Helen Peter

Details about presentation:
Helen will outline some ideas for building sound relationships within staff and student groups by using techniques, activities, and games to engage them.
She was a fan of SEAL and believes that Every Child does still matter!
“If we were meeting in person, I would ask for a class to come in to demonstrate a lesson, but as it is I will have to try on Zoom. I hope that everyone will go away energised, with at least one new idea to use next week”.
Helen Peter is a teacher, trainer, published writer and author, and inspirational presenter.
She has worked in over 400 schools and organisations, in all phases, training staff in pastoral care, circle time and mental and emotional health.
She is the author of “Making the Most of Tutor Time” – Speechmark 2013- a whole school, practical handbook on emotional literacy and positive behaviour management, designed to promote emotional and social intelligence and positive mental health. The handbook guides tutors and teachers to develop their communication and social skills, to support students to resolve conflict and to build self-esteem, self-awareness, and self-management. She is also the co-author of “Circles, PSHE and Citizenship” for secondary teachers to guide them in setting up a pedagogy for emotional support via circle time. She has 40 years’ teaching experience and still retains the enthusiasm, energy, and vocation she had at the start of her career.

Presentation title – Combatting Online Sexual Harassment – Why we need RSE More Than Ever with Dr Kaitlyn Mendes, Amelia Jenkinson, Dr Tanya Horeck, Professor Jessica Ringrose.

Kaitlyn Mendes

Tanya Horeck

Amelia Jenkinson

Details about presentation:
The presentation will focus on why Relationship and Sexual Education is needed now more than ever. The recent events, including over 18K disclosures of sexual violence via the website and Instagram Account Everyone’s Invited has brought these issues to public attention. Although schools are understandably focused on ensuring pupils are caught up with the curriculum, we argue that schools must equally spend time ensuring young people’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being. We argue that RSE plays an important role here. In this talk, we will share findings from our research with British teens showcasing the high rates of sexual abuse and violence, often facilitated through digital devices, and the very low rates of reporting. We will also discuss the importance of having language that recognizes practices like sending or receiving unwanted nudes as a form of abuse. The talk will finish by outlining some resources, guidance, and policies we have co-created with the School of Sexuality Education, which can help schools navigate these challenging issues.
Amelia Jenkinson (she/her) is the CEO and co-founder of the School of Sexuality Education. School of Sex Ed is an award-winning charity which provides comprehensive and inclusive RSE workshops for UK schools and training for teachers. School of Sex Ed’s programme covers all topics, including consent, sexuality, porn, and pleasure. Our approach is LGBTQIA+ inclusive and evidence based.

Kaitlynn Mendes is Professor of Gender, Media and Sociology at the University of Leicester, UK. She is an expert on feminist activism, and has written over fifty publications around this topic, including the books SlutWalk: Feminism, Activism & Media (2015), and Digital Feminist Activism: Girls and Women Fight Back Against Rape Culture (2019, with Jessica Ringrose and Jessalynn Keller). She is currently leading two projects with young people in schools, exploring online gendered harms and risks, and how we can teach young people to safely navigate digital spaces and speak out about issues that matter to them.

Tanya Horeck is an Associate Professor in Film, Media & Culture at Anglia Ruskin University in the UK. She writes on binge-watching, celebrity culture, crime, internet memes, social justice, and social media, and is the author of Public Rape: Representing Violation in Fiction and Film and Justice on Demand: True Crime in the Digital Streaming Era. Her current research projects include an AHRC funded study on online sexual risks for young people during Covid-19, and a British Academy funded study on the rise of consent culture and intimacy coordination.
Presentation title – Proactive Pastoral Care by Maria O’ Neill

Details about presentation:

Maria will use the ideas and research from her book published in April 2021, Proactive Pastoral Care.  Nurturing happy, healthy, and successful learners. The presentation will explain why there is a need for a proactive approach to pastoral care in schools. It will explore how pastoral care in schools can empower students to make healthy life choices, take care of their wellbeing and reach their full potential in school and beyond. The presentation will share essential information to enable teachers and leaders in schools to enhance their pastoral support to boost student progress and personal development. It will share practical research-based strategies and activities perfect for tutor time, assemblies and PSHE lessons.

Maria O’Neill is an experienced pastoral leader, researcher, and advanced skills teacher. She is the founder of Pastoral Support UK and currently works as a pastoral leader in a school as well as various key roles to provide sustainable pastoral training and raise the profile of pastoral leadership nationwide.

Presentation title – Engaging Learners with Phil Jones

Details about presentation:
The presentation will explore the opportunities and challenges schools will face after the pandemic to engage children and young people in education. He will argue that the response to the pandemic needs to be more than simply providing learners with more English, Maths, and a focus on delivering the content in the curriculum. There is a need to rethink how education meets the needs of children and young people and supports them to achieve their full potential from their learning and prepares them for their future lives in society. The pandemic has prevented children and young people from experiencing the learning opportunities and activities that support their socialisation. Evidence is suggesting that schools will need to consider how to support young people in their personal development and to overcome barriers caused by poor mental health and well being for some time after there is a return to something like normality following the pandemic. This presentation will consider how professionals working in schools can respond positively to this challenge.


Phil has been an active member of NAPCE both regionally and nationally, since his first year in teaching in 1982. He is the current Chairperson of the National Executive Committee and a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal. Phil has written articles for publication on pastoral issues and is a peer reviewer for the Journal. His recent publications include guidance on effective pastoral support and developing social and emotional skills Phil retired from leadership roles in schools in 2017 and now works as an educational consultant supporting schools with developing pastoral support systems, leadership, and school improvement. His experience of leadership in secondary schools, includes roles as Deputy Headteacher and Headteacher. He has experience of supporting schools as a Specialist Leader of Education specialising in pastoral care, behaviour and improving attendance. He is an Educational Performance Coach and an experienced trainer.
He has been a governor in both primary and secondary schools for over thirty years.

Assistant Professor Mark Diacopoulos. Pittsburg State University USA
Mark is an Assistant Professor of Teacher Education and Leadership at Pittsburg State University, KS. He researches diverse topics such as meaningful integration of social emotional learning into the curriculum, educational technology in social studies, social studies preservice education, teacher candidate dispositions, and the ever-evolving identities of teachers and educators. Mark has over 25 years’ experience – ten as a high school teacher in England, with rest earned the US as a social studies teacher, technology specialist, and teacher educator.  He describes himself as a dad, Arsenal fan, sometime travel soccer coach, and semi-retired broken Aikidoka. Not necessarily in that order.

Nigel Patrick Murray MBE

Nigel Patrick Murray
 MBE is a retired British Paralympic athlete. He is a thirteen time English National Champion and seven time British Champion and multiple Paralympic medal winner in the sport of boccia, having competed at 5 Paralympic Games as well as numerous World and European Championships during his distinguished playing career.
Murray was born and lives in Leamington Spa. He won gold in the BC2 class during the 2000 Summer Paralympics in SydneyAustralia. Although he only reached the quarter finals in Athens four years later he followed this up with a silver medal in the same event, and a gold medal in the team event, during the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing.
After Beijing, Nigel continued to win numerous medals on the world stage before captaining the GB Boccia team at the London 2012 Paralympics, winning Bronze in the Team BC1–2 event in front of home family and friends at the Excel Arena.
Nigel retired from competitive Boccia after the 2016 Rio Paralympics after a career spanning 20 years and as the most successful British Boccia player of all time.  On finishing his playing career Nigel returned to his former profession, that of supporting adults with physical and learning disability in the local community.  Nigel is currently manager of a day service for people with disabilities in the Stratford-upon-Avon area.
Since his retirement, Nigel has continued to remain involved in the sport of Boccia, coaching and mentoring athletes at a national level, though it is still Nigel’s ambition to be one day involved with coaching at an international level.
Nigel was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to boccia.
Nigel’s other passions are musical theatre, as well as supporting his beloved Leeds United and Leamington Football Clubs who have caused him much heartache over the years!!!

Daniel Sobel 

Daniel Sobel is the Founder and Lead Consultant of Inclusion Expert. An internationally respected leader in inclusive education, he has advised the Department for Education, the European Union, governments abroad and led various large scale initiatives involving thousands of schools. Daniel has an enormous following, particularly on LinkedIn and is a highly regarded and sought-after speaker for his thought provocative and often hilarious presentations and refreshingly original approach to Education and Inclusion Leadership. He is the author of several works, including The Pupil Premium Handbook and The SEN Code of Practice Pack. His best-selling books Narrowing the Attainment Gap, Leading on Pastoral Care are available now and The Inclusive Classroom just released in January 2021, all published by Bloomsbury Press. He has written over 50 articles in publications around the world, a series for the Guardian on Inclusive Schools and a regular column in the UK’s leading Principal’s periodical Headteacher Update. Under Daniel’s leadership, Inclusion Expert has grown into one of the country’s most respected education organisations, which has worked with over 10,000 schools in the UK and abroad and launched programs at the Houses of Parliament. His training has been used in more than 40 countries and translated into numerous languages. Daniel has a vision of a new era in Inclusion: beyond labels where we all share both a common humanity and a unique individuality.

Professor Stan Tucker

Stan is Emeritus Professor at Newman University in Birmingham. He is the Executive Editor of NAPCE’s academic journal ‘Pastoral care in education’.   Stan has spent the last 8 years actively researching matters of inclusion, alienation, school structures and educational underachievement. He has interviewed more than 500 children and young people as well as local authority and school leaders, governors’, and pastoral support staff. He has undertaken consultancy work on behalf of local authorities and schools. His most recent publication along with Professor Dave Trotman, entitled ‘Youth Global Perspectives, Challenges and Issues of the 21st Century’ was published in the United States in 2018. They are currently planning a new book that will focus on reforming current pastoral policies and practices. Stan is the current editor of the journal ‘Pastoral Care in Education’.

Margaret Mulholland 

Margaret is the Inclusion Policy Advisor for the Association of School and College leaders (ASCL). ASCL represents 20,000 school leaders and acts on behalf of pupils in their schools. Her extensive teaching and leadership experience spans both mainstream and special schools. Margaret is an Honorary Norham Fellow of the University of Oxford. She also writes a column on research and inclusivity, for the Times Educational Supplement. A leading advocate for the role SEND settings play in improving understanding of inclusive teaching and learning, Margaret brings over 20 years’ experience in ITT innovation and practice. She spent seven years as Director of Development and Research at a leading special school and thirteen years at the Institute of Education, where she was responsible for innovative employment-based routes to QTS, PGCE secondary partnerships.
Margaret sits on the Universities’ Council for the Education of Teachers, is an advisor to the UK Government on ITT curriculum development and works with local authorities as an external advisor for NQTs, ITT and leadership development.

Don’t miss your opportunity to be part of this important educational event. Please send your questions for the Conference Question Time panel to Visit the NAPCE page at Eventbrite to register and secure tickets for the free conference by following this link.

More updates about the conference will be included in future newsletters.

AWARDS: Last Chance to Enter National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education 2021

Entry for the National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education 2021 closes at midnight on MONDAY, MAY 24TH.

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

ALL schools are urged to submit their entries, which is a simple online process and takes no more than five minutes or so.

You can enter the NAPCE Awards 2021 here

This year we’ve added a new category in International Contribution to Pastoral Care this year, a worthy addition to the seven existing classifications which proved so popular in 2020.

Just like last year, the finalists of the National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education will be invited to attend the ceremony on Friday, September 24th, 2021 to share the experience with peers and find out who wins each Award.

Speaking about the Awards, Phil Jones, Chair of NAPCE, said: “There is just a short time left for schools and other educational establishments to make their nominations for the NAPCE awards and we urge them to take part.

“But the entry process is very quick to complete, we know how busy staff at schools are.

“We think this year it is so important to give recognition to the pastoral heroes who have done so much to support our young people through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The nomination process is simply to complete and we urge all schools, individuals and associated organisations to get involved, recognition for those who make a real difference is so important.” 

Criteria for Each Category
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 in pastoral care, for the benefit of young people.

International Contribution to Pastoral Care
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.
Any school or organisation can make a nomination for one or more of the categories. You do not need to be a member of NAPCE to make a nomination. Self-nominations are accepted.
Nominations are supported with information about how they meet the criteria for the category.

Nominations are for pastoral work during the 2020-21 academic year. The finalists and winners are selected by the judging panel of leading academics and practitioners in pastoral care and education. All finalists are invited to attend a presentation event when the winners are announced. 

There is a prize of one hundred pounds for the school, university, or organisation that the winners represent, in each category, to support their future work in pastoral care. There are prizes and plaques for winners and certificates for finalists. 
Nominations opened on Monday 18th January, 2021 and it is a good idea to make your nomination as soon as possible so you do not forget. 

Activity Date 2021
Nominations Open Monday 18th January
Nominations Close Monday 24th May
Judging Completed Friday 25th June
Finalists informed Monday 28th June
Tickets for Presentation Available Monday 5th July
Invitations to attend Presentation Event sent Monday 5th July
Presentation Event Friday 24th September

To make your nomination

You can enter the NAPCE Awards 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.

MEDIA ARTICLE: Emotionally based school refusal: How can we respond? from

At NAPCE we keep a close eye on media reports and articles relating to pastoral care, well-being and safeguarding of young people in the public domain and often share the most useful of these on our social media channels.

For this edition of NAPCE News we wanted to share this article written by Darren Martindale from the very useful resources website published on May 18th, 2021.

Emotionally based school refusal: How can we respond? by Darren Martindale.

This article was NOT produced by NAPCE and was shared on social media.

Read the full article here:

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