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NAPCE News – October 2023

NAPCE News – October 2023

Making a positive difference to young people through pastoral care

LEAD ARTICLE: “NAPCE’s Georgina Saralis Discusses the Value of Recognition and Awards in Pastoral Care

The Value of Recognition and Awards in Pastoral Care by Georgina Saralis

For those who were present at the NAPCE National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education 2023 evening, on 29th September at the Graeme Hick Pavilion, Worcestershire County Cricket Club, it was an opportunity to celebrate the hard work of the deserving finalists and to recognise the outstanding achievements of the eight winners.

To be able to shine a light on the great practice that is happening day in and day out and to hear accounts of how individuals and teams are dedicated to supporting children and young people in their learning made this a special evening, especially for those who acknowledge the imperative of excellence in frontline pastoral care in any educational institution.

This is the fourth year of these awards and there is no doubt they boost the morale of the educators and support staff involved and encourages them to continue their good work.

They promote, too, the sharing and implementation of effective approaches across the education sector and are setting a benchmark for other schools to strive for.

The National Teaching Awards have been running since 1998 and as yet have not evolved to include a discrete pastoral care category; it makes the NAPCE Awards all the more significant in highlighting the importance of holistic development in education, sending a clear message that academic achievement is not the only focus, that the overall development of the child is equally important.

Recognition in this way can raise awareness among parents, educators, and the wider community about the crucial role of pastoral care.

It can give an insight into the efforts being made to help address the social, emotional and mental health needs of students, at a time when the charity YoungMinds report on their website an increase in referrals to CAMHS by 53% since 2019 suggesting ‘that more children and young people than ever before are struggling with their mental health’ (June 2023).

The Pastoral School of the Year was awarded to the Richard Cloudesley School and collected by headteacher Mr Francis Gonzalez, who is clearly very proud of his staff who, he says, work tirelessly to get the best outcomes for every single child and their family.

This respect for the efforts of his colleagues to support the 80 students who attend this school, who have profound learning difficulties, physical disabilities and complex medical needs, is rooted in his commitment to their right to access learning and to the life that learning makes possible.

This is underpinned by a determination to ensure every student has an opportunity to express an authentic voice and the school invests in a range of communication systems and training for all of its staff members to make this possible.

Having a voice raises self-esteem and confidence and may engender in a young person a feeling of social inclusion and having agency in their own life, which are key social and cultural components of mental wellbeing (Mahmud and Satchell, 2022).

Working at Richard Cloudesley can be both rewarding and challenging; sadly, the fragility of the students means they may succumb to their health condition.

The essential features of proactive pastoral care focus ‘on creating, embedding and nurturing a community’s wellbeing culture’ (O’Neill, 2021) and the staff’s mental health is included in this and is taken very seriously.

There is a well developed coaching culture to encourage reflective practice, along with wellbeing champions and, more recently, mental health first aiders and a staff social events group.

Physical development is an important aspect of a student’s overall well-being and the school’s July newsletter gives an account of how they have been carrying out pioneering research on Innowalk, having raised £60,000 to do so, to explore whether the use of a robotic rehabilitation trainer could influence the quality of life of their students with severe cerebral palsy.

They are working also with The Department for Health on their cross party research into acquired brain injury.

Striving to create a learning environment where everyone feels valued, respected and supported is at the heart of this school community. At Richard Cloudesley, as Francis Gonzalez says, no child is too anything to learn.

The equity, diversity and inclusivity that underpin this example of best practice requires the collective effort of all stakeholders, which makes the Award for Pastoral Team of the Year an essential celebration of the teamwork and collaboration involved in this shared responsibility.

This year it was won by Stockport Academy and Assistant Principal Katherine Appleby fully believes that they nurture community that is within and outside school contributing to positive family lives and the happiness and success of all as a result.

The context of the school reveals it sits within an area of socio-economic disadvantage with many children from some of the most income-deprived households. In addition 24 per cent students at the Academy have an identified SEN need and 41 per cent students are pupil premium with 37 per cent entitled to FSM.

Partnership working is an essential part of supporting vulnerable students and in addition to an extensive pastoral team of five heads of year, five pastoral managers, a positive behaviour mentor and full time counsellor there is also an Early Help Assessment coordinator, a home liaison officer, attendance support team, young carers lead, a mental health lead and a safeguarding team who have been recognised for their exceptional proactive approach.

In particular, alongside the home liaison officer and attendance lead who visit homes of many families to remove barriers such as providing uniform or transport, the safeguarding team provide early help interventions for students that include their families.

The outcomes achieved are reduced exclusions and improved attendance and engagement; the work Stocktport Academy is doing gives evidence of when a school encourages increased parental engagement with their children’s learning ‘overall children’s achievement tends to improve’ (Goodall & Montgomery, 2014). Furthermore, when considering a students ’s overall wellbeing’ family and social relationships are a crucial element.

Kate Appleby speaks with passion about how the pastoral team ensure that all students are supported to be successful in school, to access opportunities and positively impact the lives of others around them and generations of their own families.

The pastoral team she explains, see this as their responsibility and their privilege. The outcome – students are unanimous in their feelings of being safe and happy at their school.

Pastoral care matters: how we make young people feel on a daily basis in school shapes their personal and social development.

Every child deserves to be in an environment where they feel safe, cared for, and supported and NAPCE national awards for pastoral care in schools promote this ideal.

Georgina Saralis
National Executive Committee

The photograph was sent by Francis Gonzales of Richard Cloudesley School and shows a student presenting him the Pastoral School of the Year Award from the National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education 2023.


Goodall, J. & Montgomery, C. (2014). Parental involvement to parental engagement: a continuum. Educational Review66(4), 399-410.

Mahmud, A., & Satchell, L. (Eds.). (2022). Mental Wellbeing in Schools: What Teachers Need to Know to Support Pupils from Diverse Backgrounds (1st ed.). Routledge.

O’Neill, M. (2021) Proactive Pastoral Care: Nurturing happy, healthy and successful learners. Bloomsbury.

YoungMinds Press Release (June 2023). Accessed 4 October 2023:

AWARDS: “What a Wonderful Evening” – National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education Awards 2023 – WINNERS ANNOUNCED

NATIONAL AWARDS FOR PASTORAL CARE IN EDUCATION 2023 – “A  WONDERFUL EVENING”                                                                                                                                                 

The nominations for the 2023 awards closed in April and the judges then spent the next month reading through the high-quality examples of good practice in pastoral care in education.

The finalists were announced by NAPCE in June and the preparations started for the Presentation Event in Worcester on the 29th September to celebrate and recognise the achievements of all the finalists and to announce the winners.

The venue for the Presentation event was the Graeme Hick Pavilion, at the Worcestershire County Cricket Ground in Worcester with the amazing views across the cricket pitch towards the River Severn with the Cathedral in the background.

The event was sponsored by Majesticare, who have been providing award-winning, outstanding care for older people for over 20 years.

On the Friday morning the venue staff arranged the tables and the yellow and blue balloons in NAPCE colours and other decorations were placed on each table.

In the afternoon there was time to prepare the prosecco and refreshments ready to welcome the guests.

The photographer arrived and set up on the red carpet at the entrance to the pavilion to capture the special moment as the guests arrived.

The guests included sponsors, judges, NAPCE members and of course the finalists all dressed to impress for the evening.

When Phil Jones, the national Chair of NAPCE, stood up to welcome everybody to the presentation the room was full, and many others joined the event through the live streaming including guests from Malta, Denmark and Switzerland.

It was brilliant to have so many people at the event with an interest in supporting children and young people to achieve their full potential from their education.

The guest speaker was Ron Skelton the Headteacher and CEO of Broadway School in Birmingham.  He gave an excellent presentation, sharing his experiences of building the values and culture of a school and the important contribution that pastoral care makes.

The entertainment on the evening was provided by performers from Alderbrook School in Solihull, Chipping Campden School in Gloucestershire, and McCarthy Felton School of Irish Dancing in Bidford on Avon in Warwickshire.

The finalists were introduced in each category and the winners announced to collect their plaques and prizes.

The winners of Awards were:

International Contribution to Pastoral Care 
Sponsored by Global Equality Collective
Presented by Chloe English, World Irish Dancing Champion

  • Charlene Secondary School Kiryandongo Uganda

Raising Awareness about Pastoral Care Finalists
Sponsored by The Association of School and College Leaders
Presented by Margaret Mulholland from ASCL

  • Ellie Costello, Team Square Peg

Outstanding Contribution to Pastoral Care 
Sponsored by Eileen Donnelly Educational Development Limited
Presented by Eileen Donnelly, Member of NAPCE National Executive Committee

  • Mohammed Adam, Manchester Academy

Pastoral Development of the Year – 
Sponsored by Crown House Publishing
Presented by Ron Skelton Headteacher and CEO, Broadway Academy, Birmingham.

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

Pastoral Leader of the Year
Sponsored by Taylor and Francis
Presented by Mel and Ellie from Majesticare

  • Mrs Aine Deane, Sacred Heart Primary School, Derry

Pastoral Member of Staff of the Year 
Sponsored by North London Collegiate School, Jeju, South Korea
Presented by Jill Robson, NAPCE National Secretary

  • Liz Tzouliou, East Barnet School

Pastoral Team of the Year
Sponsored by Connect to Purpose
Presented by Georgina Saralis Founder and CEO, Connect to Purpose

  • Pastoral Team, Stockport Academy

Pastoral School of the Year
Presented by Luke Ramsden, NAPCE National Executive and previous winner in the National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education.

  • Richard Cloudesley School

The Headteacher of the School of the Year Award winner made the following comments after their victory was announced.

“My name is Francis Gonzalez and I am the Headteacher at Richard Cloudesley special needs school in Islington, London.
This award means a lot because at Richard Cloudesley School supporting pupils with the social and emotional aspects of learning, their pastoral needs, underpins everything we do.

“We are a school for children with complex physical and medical needs and many of the children we teach would but have even made it to school not so long so.

“Our pupils are vulnerable in many ways so pastoral work to build emotional and physical resilience, and to promote wellbeing, is vital and something we work really hard to get right. Our children have many struggles.  But we don’t just aim for our children to cope in the big wide world. We want them to the contribute, to particulate, and most of all to thrive.

“So to have this work recognised makes me and everyone at the school so proud. Getting to work with our children is a gift, getting to work with my staff is humbling, and receiving this award is an as an absolute honour.

“On behalf of my staff, the families and most of all the pupils of Richard Cloudesley School…Thank you.”

After the winners in each category had been announced there was time to meet other guests and celebrate the good practice that had been highlighted by the awards.

The guests had travelled from all parts of the United Kingdom to attend the Presentation for the 2023 awards and this is illustrated by the chart below.

Theses are some of the comments that were made about the Presentation Event for the 2023 National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education.

  • “Many thanks for a wonderful occasion and for making me feel welcome”.
  • “What a wonderful evening arranged”.
  • “Well done to the organisers of this touching event. It reaches many hearts”.
  • “I had an enjoyable time at the event and got the chance to speak with some interesting people”.
  • “We had a lovely night and were proud to be in the final 5 for Pastoral School of the Year Award. Thanks so much for a lovely evening”.
  • “To have this work recognised makes me and everyone at the school so proud”.
  • “Thank you so much for the wonderful NAPCE Awards Presentation in Worcester. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and it was wonderful hearing about all the amazing thigs being done in education”.
  • “The event, the venue and the organisers were all exceptional”.

Future editions of the newsletter will share good practice highlighted by the nominations for the 2023 awards.

The nominations opened on October 1st for the
National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education 2024.

Nominations can be made by following the link NAPCE Awards 2024 – Entry Form (

Follow the awards on X (was Twitter) (@napce1) using #napce24.

The Presentation Event for the 2024 Awards will take place in Worcester on Friday 11th October 2024.

More information about the 2024 National Awards and the Presentation event will be shared in future editions of the Newsletter.

Autumn Meetings

The autumn meetings of the NAPCE National Executive Committee and the Editorial Board for the journal ‘Pastoral Care in Education took place in London on Saturday 14th October.

The meeting was an opportunity for members of the committees to meet face to face to discuss recent events and issues and to plan actions and activities on behalf of NAPCE members and subscribers to the journal in the future. The National Executive Committee meeting included a discussion of members actions on behalf of NAPCE in recent months a report on conferences, events including the 2023 national awards and updates about publicity, marketing, administration finance and membership.

Ideas were shared and plans made for NAPCE activities in 2024 including an online event and a conference to explore current issues in pastoral care in education. the Editorial Board were given positive reports about the journal and discussed plans for future special editions.

More information about NAPCE activities planned for 2024 will be included in future editions of the newsletter.


NAPCE is once again pleased to be a partner organisation for Safer Internet Day. Phil Jones, the Associations’ National Chair attended the online planning meeting for Safer Internet Day on Thursday 28th September. This annual event raises awareness about how children and young people can use the internet safely. Safer Internet Day 2024 takes place on Tuesday 6th February. The theme for 2024 is “Inspiring change, making a difference managing influence and navigating change online”. Please visit for information about the plans for the event. NAPCE will be represented at the next planning meeting in November and further details about the plans for the day will be shared in the NAPCE newsletter.

ASCL 2024 Conference for Pastoral Leaders

In recent years the annual conference for pastoral leaders has become an important event on the educational calendar. The 2023 conference took place in Manchester and NAPCE partnered ASCL in organising the event.  As in previous years it was an important opportunity for pastoral leaders and staff in pastoral roles to meet and discuss the current issues and challenges they face. Once again NAPCE will be supporting ASCL with the planning of the 2024 conference and National Chair, Phil Jones has attended planning meetings. More information about the conference will be available on the ASCL website and shared in future editions of the NAPCE newsletter.


BOOK: New NAPCE Book Published


The new pastoral care book edited by NAPCE will be published in hard back by Cambridge Scholars Publishing. It is available to pre order now from Cambridge Scholars Publishing website, on Amazon and in Bookshops. Follow the link

The Book edited by Dave Trotman, Phil Jones, Noel Purdy and Stan Tucker with contributions from NAPCE members is called Pastoral Care in Education. New Directions for New Times.

This book is both a celebration of 40 years of the National Association for Pastoral Care in Education (NAPCE) and a forward-thinking volume examining the key pastoral issues of our time. Bringing together a range of expert contributors from a variety of educational settings, the book offers fresh insights and evidence-based strategies which will be of immediate relevance for all educators.

This unique volume considers a wide range of themes, from charting the early days of pastoral care in education in the UK and the establishment of NAPCE through to the discussion of contemporary pastoral challenges facing children and young people around the world. This timely volume makes the case for the centrality of pastoral care in education and offers new directions for pastoral education, research, policy and practice.


AWARDS: NAPCE AWARDS 2023 Photo Gallery now LIVE


The National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education 2023 was a tremendous success.

It took place at the Graeme Hick Pavilion, Worcestershire County Cricket Club on September 29th, 2023 and was sold out.

Winners were crowned from eight categories and the deserving finalists were also celebrated on a special night for people who work in pastoral care roles in education settings.

We are delighted to now share a full photo gallery from the event.

You can view the full gallery and choose which photos you would like to download right here:

MEETING: Free Training Session on November 16th – BOOK NOW 

Ever Considered Becoming a Reviewer for NAPCE’s Journal?

Have you ever considered becoming a reviewer for an academic journal and learning more about what makes a good research article?  Perhaps you already review articles but feel that you need some refresher training?

If so, then please consider registering for a FREE online training session facilitated by Victoria from Taylor & Francis (publisher) and myself as Editor of the journal Pastoral Care in Education.

The session will be held on Thursday November 16, 2023 4:00 PM (UK Time) and will cover all aspects of how to be a peer reviewer, including ethical considerations in peer review, responsibilities of a reviewer and how to write a report, as well as example cases.  The session will last around an hour (max 1.5 hours) depending on how long the Q&A lasts.

Most of the content is generic to any discipline, but this training also offers participants the opportunity to learn more about being a reviewer forPastoral Care in Education in particular and thus to gain further experience and build connections in the field.

Whether you are new to reviewing or looking to polish your skills, sign up here:
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
With best regards,

Professor Noel Purdy
Editor, Pastoral Care in Education

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