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NAPCE News – October 2020

NAPCE News – October 2020

Making a positive difference to young

people through pastoral care

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AWARDS REPORT: First Ever NAPCE Awards Hailed a Huge Success


The National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education organised for the first time in 2020 had its presentation event on the 24th September.

The event was launched to recognise the outstanding achievements of staff and institutions in pastoral care across the UK education sector.

The inaugural celebration took place online because of the pandemic and more than 100 people attended this virtual presentation to recognise the achievements of people working in pastoral roles to support young people and their learning.

Nominations for the Awards came from all parts of the UK and included representation from primary schools, middle schools, secondary schools, special schools, and Higher Education.

Although participants were unable to meet in person, many of the guests took the opportunity to dress up for the occasion and some of them joined the event in groups with appropriate social distancing of course.

The guest speaker for the evening was Geoff Barton the General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders. Other speakers on the evening included, Phil Jones, National Chair of the National Association for Pastoral Care in Education (NAPCE) and Professor Stan Tucker, Editor of the journal ‘Pastoral Care in Education.

They also made a contribution to the awards as judges along with Professor Richard Pring, from Oxford University and Associate Professor, Anne Emerson, from Nottingham University.

The Host for the evening was Victoria Bownes, a member of the NAPCE National Executive.

The first award of the evening was for Pastoral School of the Year and this was sponsored by BlueSkyEducation.

This award was for 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.

The names of the five finalists were read out and it was then announced that Grove School was the winner. The Grove School, in Tottenham, caters for children and young people 5–19 who have a primary diagnosis of autism, some pupils have additional needs. Their vision to ‘Inspire Excellence – Champion Potential and Empower Learning’ is simple and founded on a desire to make a difference.

Each child has a learning programme tailored to their specific needs and there is a focus on engaging families. The second award was in the category of Pastoral Member of Staff of the Year and this award was sponsored by the Times Educational Supplement.

This award recognises 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 winner was Dominic Riste who was nominated by his school, All Saints Catholic School and Technology College in Dagenham, Essex.

The nomination said that Dominic, champions aspiration and self – management achieving buy-in from his pupils with engaging competitions and rewarding events. He leads his year group with an open door, never raises his voice and targets vulnerable groups who he turns around from being disengaged to engaged.

The next award was for Pastoral Leader of the Year and was sponsored by Taylor and Francis.

This recognises a person who 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.

The winner was Sarah Freeman nominated by her school, The Park Community School in Barnstaple in Devon. Sarah has been a Head of House for 14 years.  During this time, she has impacted positively, on thousands of students going above and beyond to support students and their families.  She has always been keen to support local causes for local families such as foodbanks, shelter, and respite care.

The nominations for the award for Pastoral Development of the Year sponsored by NAPCE were announced. This award is for a pastoral initiative or idea that has achieved positive outcomes and has improved the learning experience and future life chances, for young people. The 2020 winner of this award was Anneliese Walker form Nidderdale High School in Harrogate. Anneliese developed the Harmony Project for year 10 girls involved in fallouts, unkindness online and bullying.

The award for Outstanding Contribution to Pastoral Care was also sponsored by NAPCE. This award recognises the achievements of person, group or organisation that has made a real difference for the benefit of young people in the area of pastoral care.

The winner in 2020 was Tor Bank School in Dundonald in Northern Ireland. Tor Bank is a special school with 190 pupils who have severe or profound and multiple learning difficulties aged between 3 and 19. the outstanding work in relation to bereavement is very much a whole-school intervention, tackling this important yet challenging topic right across the school in an age-appropriate manner.

While most school-based bereavement work is reactive and targeted at those directly impacted by a recent bereavement, Tor Bank has also adopted a pro-active, whole-school approach which is both pro-active and responsive, inclusive of everyone in the school community andfocused on individual need.

The award for Pastoral Team of the Year, was next on the programme and this was sponsored by The Thrive Approach.

This award recognises the achievements of 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.

The winners in 2020 were the pastoral team from Cardinal Newman Catholic High School, in Warrington in Cheshire. The school is supported by an outstanding non-teaching pastoral care team.

They offer support to students experiencing a variety of challenges: from bereavement counselling from our Chaplain, through Mental Health and Bullying support from our pastoral managers, to our Inclusion Manager offering support groups using trauma informed practice, and our Attendance Officer and Librarian. The final award of the evening was for Raising Awareness about Pastoral Care and this was sponsored by, The Association of School and College Leaders.

This award is for 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.

The winner was Sean Henn from St Phillips School, in Chessington in Surrey. Sean has published a beautifully written and beautiful account of an intervention with a student in social emotional and mental health provision.

Once all the winners had been announced there was an opportunity to congratulate them with a virtual glass of champagne or in some cases a real glass of something alcoholic even though it was a school night! Some of the comments on the chat line included.

  • “A huge congratulations to the Grove School from all of us at BlueSky”.
  • “I think there are so many stories that everyone should be writing to NAPCE about so we can share your incredible hard work!”
  • “Well done Nidderdale-what an impact you have had on so many lives”.
  • “It is so inspiring to hear theses examples of great pastoral care. Fantastic”.
  • “From the Grove School. Well done Tor Bank”.
  • “Well done NAPCE making so many pastoral heroes supported and recognised in our most challenging times”.
  • “It has been so uplifting to hear the stories and see so many dedicated professionals. who make a huge difference in their field. Together we change lives and thank you and the NAPCE team for getting this together”.
  • “Best wishes everyone and thanks for inviting the ASCL team tonight. An uplifting evening”.
  • “Well done everyone and thanks for organising such a great event”.
  • “Amazing work by all the finalists-congratulations to you all form the team at BlueSky and thank you to all for all the support you give young people in your schools”.
  • “Congratulations to everyone. There really is phenomenal work, passion, and commitment across the country. Well done to everyone”.
  • “Thank you NAPCE”

Phil Jones, National Chair of NAPCE, said. “We are really pleased to have organised these awards to give the recognition that people working in pastoral care deserve. The presentation event has shown that professionals working in pastoral care can be proud of the support and care they provide for young people and the difference it makes in their achievement at school and in their future lives. NAPCE is already looking forward to the 2021 awards and continuing to raise awareness of the positive impact effective pastoral care and support can make on supporting young people to achieve their full potential.  Thank you to our sponsors, judges and especially the schools and individuals nominated for the difference you are making in young people’s lives.”

Information about nominations for the 2021 National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education will be available soon.

National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education 2020 – The Winners

Pastoral School of the Year – The Grove School
Pastoral Member of Staff of the Year – Dominic Riste, All Saints Catholic School & Technology College
Pastoral Leader of the Year – Sarah Freeman, The Park Community School
Pastoral Development of the Year – Anneliese Walker – Nidderdale High School
Outstanding Contribution to Pastoral Care – Tor Bank School
Pastoral Team of the Year –  Cardinal Newman Catholic High School
Raising Awareness About Pastoral Care – Sean Henn, The Berne Institute

ARTICLE: NAPCE Officer Dr Max Biddulph Reflects on His 45 Years of Pastoral Care in Education


Bookends: Reflections on 45 years of pastoral care in Education

The 30 September, 2020 was my final day in full time employment at the end of a career in Education spanning 45 years and I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the transition into retirement that I’m currently making, hence this opportunity to share some reflections with you.

An image that comes to mind is one of the ‘bookends’ of my professional experience.

One ‘bookend’ comprises the moment when I first stepped into a classroom as a PGCE student from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in November, 1975.

My teaching practice was in a very white working-class secondary school at the edge of the city, where I taught English to a bunch of very lively 14 year olds.

At that time, I was only 7 years their senior. When tutors come to observe, lessons are always memorable and in one I used the technology of the time to play a cassette tape of that Beatles track ‘Lucy in the sky with diamonds’.

We all got very ‘creative’ together, it was rather ‘hip’ and we had a laugh. The only problem was, being a non-Geordie, I could barely understand a word they said! I remember being touched by the poetry and prose they wrote in response to this lesson. The humanity oozed from text written in biros and fountain pens.

Forty-five years later I encountered my other bookend, working as an Associate Professor of Education and Counselling in the University of Nottingham.

Seven months into the global coronavirus pandemic, my final teaching session was an online team-building workshop delivered via MS Teams to MBA (Masters in Business Administration) students from the unlikely surroundings of my loft at home.

The geographical locations of participants in the workshop was mind boggling, ranging from China, India and Dubai in the east to Mexico in the west and given the associated time differences, I found it uplifting to realise that participants had gone to extraordinary lengths to be present, including not going to bed.

I guess Education is an optimistic project, it’s a hope for a different future in bleak times. That said, embarking on a programme of study always generates a mix of feelings in people ranging from excitement to fear and our newly arrived international students are experiencing an additional layer of challenge of having to quarantine for fourteen days.

Imagine not knowing the city, the culture, the nuances of the language and it being too early in their experience to have established much of a network of friends to access day to day necessities.

So standing back from these two bookends, what are my insights about being an educator and the implications for pastoral care?

Firstly, it’s mind boggling to consider these two snap shots and the huge distance time-wise, society-wise, culture-wise and technology-wise that separates them.

Although the medium of interaction i.e. f2f versus online is clearly very different, there is one common denominator that links the two i.e. the need to build and nurture relationships with those being educated.

Looking back at my initial teacher education it was necessarily pragmatic, concerning itself with the basics of simply being in a classroom and delivering a lesson.

With the benefit of hindsight I realise I stumbled across the more sophisticated skills of nurturing really by chance through trial and error as my career unfolded.

In my time I have sat with young people who have arrived at our school in the morning to find half of it destroyed by fire overnight. I have listened to others who have shared the painful experience of looking for their identity. I have sat with university students who have received devastating news regarding the death of a child thousands of miles away without the financial means to return home to grieve.

In these situations of such raw emotion I realised had to follow my instincts in delivering the compassion and support required.

I felt I just did my best at the time. As educators I think that’s what we do, listen and hold the situation, carry on and walk along side.

Up until recently, there have not been many opportunities to gauge the impact of the pastoral interventions I was making but that changed with the advent of Facebook and then my retirement which released a flood of feedback.

Will you allow me to share some insights and put modesty aside?

Individuals who I taught forty years ago tracked me down and told me things like ‘I was the only person who listened to them’ and ‘you made a huge impact on me at the time’.

The originators of this feedback I now realise, were far more insightful about me as a person than I could have guessed.

I had never imagined that I would work in a university and I can only say what an enormous privilege that has been.

The ‘privilege’ has manifested itself in many different ways ranging from travelling to other parts of the world to teach to experiencing the ‘privilege’ of just ‘being’ with other people, hearing their stories and being let into their inner worlds.

I can only say that this has been a profoundly humbling and educative experience, hence my conclusion that being involved in pastoral care is not a one way street, that there is a pay off in terms of our own lsome of our needs for altruism being met.

So what would I say to newly qualified teachers who may be stepping into this world for the first time this autumn?

My first observation is the simple fact that despite the changing technological environment, drive to get results etc., one thing remains constant and that is that ‘relationship’ matters.

How to be in the relationship with those being educated requires the ability to move between roles which in my experience took me across a wide spectrum ranging from night-club bouncer to counsellor.

The latter points to something really key, which is the ability to ‘hear’ other people, and I am meaning this in a Rogerian sense i.e. to hear the emotional content as well as the factual content of someone’s message.

The case of my workshop student experiencing quarantine is a case in point. His distress was palpable and there to be heard. Lockdown changed the experience of many of our students in Nottingham who after months of isolation were craving interaction and attention, even if this could only be done online.

So this brings me to final point which is that the missing bit from the pastoral care section of my PGCE manual in the 1970s, which is that I should expect to be a companion in the many educational journeys of those with whom I walked alongside. I think I’m really going to miss that.

Max Biddulph
NEC Officer, NAPCE

FROM THE CHAIR: Thoughts on Pastoral Care for Remote Learning with NAPCE Chief Phil Jones

Pastoral Care for Remote Learning

On October 6th Ofsted published evidence from visits to schools between, 14th and 18th September. The purpose of these visits was to explore four questions.

  1. What is the current state of children’s school education?
  2. How have children been affected by schools’ closures, to most children?
  3. How are schools planning to maintain standards in education through the pandemic?
  4. What are schools doing with their COVID-19 catch up funding?

The report recognises that the findings, may not be representative because the schools involved volunteered for visits from Ofsted.

Ofsted will be making further visits to schools and promise to explore remote learning arrangements in more detail during the term.

They found that schools were using remote learning to reach those who had to stay at home. Some leaders in the schools talked about implementing a recovery curriculum, and in some cases, this involved more emphasis on personal, social and health education and wellbeing.

A few schools reported safeguarding concerns about the use of online learning and about learners having access to devices and the internet.

Leaders in the schools visited recognised the difficulties with communicating with parents during periods of remote learning and the difficulties that learners had in completing work at home.

Evidence was found that while learners were away from school, their communication skills had regressed, that they were finding it more difficult to concentrate and some were showing less resilience.

Several leaders in the schools visited said that learners were more subdued than normal.

It was noticed that some learners’ physical health had deteriorated while they had not been in school and a minority had been very anxious about returning to school.

There were examples of schools providing additional support for individual learners such as counselling and a phased return to school.

It was reported that in some schools there had been an increase of safeguarding concerns, linked to domestic abuse during the lockdown and some schools had provided food parcels because some families needed additional support to get the food they needed.

The report highlights the importance for pastoral leaders and staff to consider carefully how to meet the different needs of young people, in an unpredictable and quickly changing situation.

Schools will need to consider how to use available pastoral resources to support learners. Young people need to be able to make sense of their learning experience, their daily lives, and the world around them.

Tutoring provides a planned strategy for supporting young people in school. This is more important in the 21st century, than ever before when young people have access to information on the internet that can influence their thinking and actions. This information can be misleading and, in some cases, factually wrong.

If schools do not have an effective structured approach to tutoring, then young people will find other ways to get the guidance and information they need, from the internet and from their peers, to be able to make sense of their experiences and to have a purpose, to their daily lives.

The information provided by their peers comes with risks, because it is likely that the source was the internet, or they are giving the information they think their peer wants to hear.

Family life in the 21st century means that, in many cases, both parents are working and because of the pressures of full time jobs, they do not have the time to always explore the feelings and concerns of their children when it is most needed.

The family is less likely than in the past to have a regular routine of sitting down to dinner or sharing leisure time together and this means there are fewer opportunities to share and to discuss issues that are important to young people.

A purpose of tutoring is to help young people to make sense of events that are happening, that are having an impact on their daily lives or causing concern. A tutor period is a safe place for worries and feelings to be explored and discussed.

This is a time for issues in school, the local community and in the world, such as a global pandemic, to be discussed with the support of a tutor the young people know and have a trusting relationship with.

A tutor period provides a structured approach to exploring feelings and ideas. An effective tutor group with routines, established expectations and positive relationships can be a safe place where young people can test their ideas and challenge boundaries.

This, of course, does not just happen and there needs to be a planned approach to the pastoral care of young people in the school and the role of the tutor needs to be valued and supported.

It is part of growing up to question the status quo and to use their youthful energy to challenge custom and practice.

I remember being in a school where top buttons on shirts had to be done up and how brave we felt walking down the corridor, with them undone to rebel against the rules.

In one of my first teaching appointments the school had two buildings, separated by a field. At every change of lesson, the Headteacher could be found on the path, supervising to make sure there were no opportunities, for rebellious learners to take a short cut across the field.

I still had my bravery from my school days and one day, I asked him why he allocated so much time to supervising the path.

His answer was that he would rather young people challenge authority on something that does not really matter than on something more serious.

It is not unusual for young people to challenge authority, especially when they feel stressed or uncertain about a situation and this is when effective tutoring can provide young people with a safety net to catch concerns and negative feelings.

This is especially true during a time of crisis and uncertainty. A situation such as a global pandemic means that the need for pastoral support is going to be high, but it will be more challenging to deliver.

Young people need to be supported during changes to their normal experience, for example, during a period of remote learning.

Schools will need to be innovative, to find ways of providing effective support at the same time as having to deliver the academic curriculum. It will be challenging to maintain communication with learners and with parents.

Pastoral support will need to be planned to provide motivation and a sense of purpose for the learners.

Investing time in tutoring can be valuable during a crisis period, to keep young people engaged and feeling supported to make progress in their learning.

An established tutoring structure is an effective way of organising case work, especially when it increases at a time of crisis.

Tutors are in a good position, to know the young people from their regular contact with them and to be more aware of their family circumstances and backgrounds.

This knowledge and understanding informs decisions about appropriate interventions and support, to meet the individual needs of young people and build trust, to ensure that young people and their families are not dealing with issues in isolation.

Planning for remote learning needs to consider how pastoral support will be provided while it is needed and how pastoral resources will be allocated to support learners on their return to school.

Phil Jones
National Chair
The National Association for Pastoral Care in Education

GOOD PRACTICE: The First Article in a New Series Focusing on Success Stories in Pastoral Care from NAPCE Award Contestants


Welcome to the first in a series of “Good Practice” reports from finalists and winners of the NAPCE Awards 2020.

Every month we are going to share examples of some of the greatest work within pastoral care in the UK education sector, following the first NAPCE Awards.

In this opening episode, we are featuring Glenlola Collegiate School, a grammar school in Bangor, Northern Ireland.

Glenlola Collegiate School was a finalist in the Outstanding Contribution to Pastoral Care category and the Raising Awareness About Pastoral Care class at the NAPCE Awards 2020.

The following information was submitted to NAPCE by the school.

Glenlola Collegiate is a high achieving girls Grammar school in Bangor, Northern Ireland, and has a Pastoral Care team of four teachers and a pupil counsellor.

We endeavour to take a proactive approach to Pastoral Care and opened the Cygnet Wellness Centre in August 2019 with funding from our PTA.

This is open to all members of staff and pupils.
The Centre comprises a Wellness room, counselling office and a relaxation room and we are presently extending this to include a Wellness Garden.

The Wellness Room is supervised by the Pastoral Care Team and Peer Listeners.

For many years, we have had a team of Peer Supporters – these are sixth form students who apply for the post and have been trained in pastoral care and safeguarding issues using Childline Resources.

Last year, we formed a Pupil Wellness Team comprising Peer Supporters, Peer Listeners and a Pastoral Care Prefect.  The Peer Supporters are attached to Junior School Form classes and the Peer Listeners assist with the running of the Wellness Centre.

Our Pastoral Teachers also received training from AWARE NI and are certified Mental Health First aiders.

Our Counsellor is trained in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and she takes small group sessions in the Wellness room as well as being available at other times for counselling.

The relaxation room is used for Pilates and mindfulness sessions for staff and pupils and we are presently developing this to include a sensory area, the idea for which came from an Erasmus trip to Helsinki in November 2019.

Work for our Wellness garden is well under way and we hope to open this in August.  Many staff members have assisted with the recent development of the Wellness Garden and we found this to help with our own health and wellbeing as well as providing a space for pupils and staff to relax in.

The work completed thus far has been a whole school effort and we have also found this to be extremely positive in strengthening staff relationships and morale, particularly recently during the very strange and uncertain times we now find ourselves in.

The following photograph is of members of the Pastoral Care Department (From left to right:Brian Montgomery, Vice Principal for Pastoral Care, Ana Savage, Pastoral Care Prefect Heather Law, Head of Pastoral Care, Joanne Wilson, Deputy Head of Pastoral Care, Lorna Monroe, Pastoral Care Assistant. Eric Thompson, Principal, Cheryl Brown, Student Counsellor).

The following two photographs are of our Wellness Room.

The following photographs show members of staff recently working on the Wellness Garden – still a work in progress but we hope to have it ready by the end of August.

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