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NAPCE News – September 2019

NAPCE News – September 2019
Making a positive difference to young people through pastoral care

Pastoral care in schools across the UK and further afield is proven to be critically linked to the academic and personal-social development of young people. NAPCE continues to support education providers in the process of pastoral care implementation and development. It is here that we share important news of our latest activities, events and best practice guidance. 

THIS MONTH’S FEATURE ARTICLE: “The Importance of the Student’s Voice” by NAPCE’s Jill Robson

I was interested to read Professor Stan Tucker’s Editorial in the June 2019 edition of “Pastoral Care in Education”, in which he considers the recent youth protests on climate change and the issues of children’s rights and empowerment.

He asks an important question, “When we talk of the importance of “listening”, of “enabling” of “facilitating”, of “empowering”, are we willing to accept within such discourse the right of a child to take action if/when they believe adults are failing to respond to their needs, perspectives or ambitions.

This is an interesting point, as a teacher of over 30 years, I was always an advocate of student voice and established and developed Student Councils in several of the schools in which I worked, often with opposition from colleagues, who did not share my views on extending the democratic process to students.

My legitimisation of the process always extended to quoting Article 12 of the United Nations Declaration on the rights of the child, which states that children have the right to have views and be consulted on issues which affect them.

In today’s world of instant access to information via the Internet, there are numerous resources available to teachers and pastoral staff on how to set up and run democratic student councils, but my concern, based on my own experience and discussions with school staff is that often the school or student council is still seen as a peripheral or add on activity.

Even in schools where students are involved in staff appointments and other strategic decisions, the views of students are not always given due consideration, unless they reinforce the accepted view.

I have recently been involved, as a governor of an SEMH school, with their school council.  The students are at the school, as they found it difficult to cope in mainstream schools, however their ability to discuss and present their views and contribute positively on all school issues is incredibly impressive and has reinforced my view on the importance of student voice for all young people.

I believe that students are an underused and undervalued resource in many schools and that their opinions, contributions and actions are essential components in the drive for school improvement.

If we are going to use their views to shape policy and actions however, we need to be prepared for them to voice concerns and opinions and to take action that isn’t always in agreement with the organisations existing philosophy and practice.

At a time in our country’s history when the democratic process is constantly under discussion and so many voters do not participate in elections,  it is essential that we encourage all young people to express their views, and that we give those views and consequent actions, due respect.

Jill Robson
National Executive Committee

AWARDS: NAPCE joins forces with UK Pastoral Chat to launch the National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education 

NAPCE is delighted to have joined forces with UK Pastoral Chat to launch an exciting new awards scheme for pastoral care providers in the education sector.

It was announced at our conference in May that NAPCE had plans to promote good practice in pastoral support and recognise the work that is being done to develop good quality pastoral care, through the launch of the NAPCE Awards.

Since May we have been in discussions with UK Pastoral Chat, who have a similar interest in recognising good practice in pastoral support, about working in partnership for an awards programme.

So, we thought it made perfect sense for both organisations to work together in partnership to create the first ever National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education.
Both NAPCE and UK Pastoral Chat will have their own categories for the awards and will manage their own process for entry, finalists and selection of awards winners.

Of course, working in partnership means the Awards instantly becomes a much bigger event, with a bigger audience and we’re going to be combining our energies and expertise to organise an awards programme that significantly raises the profile of pastoral care in the educational world.
The closing date for all categories (both NAPCE and UK Pastoral Chat awards categories will be Monday 2nd March, 2020.

The finalists of the inaugural National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education will be invited to attend a ceremony in 2020 and we’ll be announcing details of the event shortly.

UK Pastoral Chat is inviting nominations for awards in the following categories;

  • SLT
  • Head of Year (Including Head of 6thForm)
  • Head of House/Head of Boarding
  • PSHE Lead
  • Nurse/ Counsellor
  • Pastoral Support Staff (including Learning Mentor)
  • Tutor/Classroom teacher
  • Unsung Hero
  • Guidance teacher
  • DSL/CP Co-ordinator
  • Governor

Details about how to make nominations can be found on the UK Pastoral Chat Twitter pages.

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

Nominations are encouraged for awards in different categories from schools and educational institutions. The Awards will be an excellent opportunity to share good practice in pastoral care and through the social media and websites of both organisations to raise awareness of where pastoral support is making a real difference in the educational experience of young people. The awards will encourage 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;
Award Criteria

  • 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.Nominations for the NAPCE Awards are welcome from member schools and institutions and from schools and institutions that are not currently members of NAPCE. Nominations can be made online via this link:

You can also enter by e-mail to NAPCE Base at with the following information:

Award                          __________________________________________

Nomination                  __________________________________________
Support for nomination (maximum 100 words)

Nominated by _______________________________________________

Email contact _______________________________________________

The Awards Programme and partnership with UK Pastoral Chat is an exciting opportunity to raise the profile of Pastoral Care and give hard working pastoral staff and schools with positive approaches to supporting learners the recognition that they deserve.

Good luck!

Phil Jones
National Chair
National Association for Pastoral Care in Education

Article: “Cyberbullying – What schools and teachers can do” by internet security company ESET

The dramatic and, often dangerous effects of cyberbullying is an issue we cannot afford to ignore.

The impact of cyberbullying has widely and regularly been reported in the media and too often we are seeing the results being a serious effect on the mental health to young people, sometime even leading the suicide.

At NAPCE we are committed to sharing information about cyberbullying, in terms of evidence, case studies and effects.

We also seek regular advice on how, as education providers, we can support our young people and each other with instances and circumstances of cyberbullying.

Earlier this month we discovered a summary of advice on the issue from award. winning global internet security company ESET.

Here is the article, written by Cecilia Pastorino. It was published on the ESETblog welivesecurity on August 23rd, 2019.

Cyberbullying: What schools and teachers can do

These days, the internet is woven into people’s everyday lives, and children’s lives are no exception. For all its benefits, the technological evolution has also brought, or magnified, some problems, and cyberbullying is one of the most pervasive threats that youth face online. In fact, when a kid starts to be bullied at school, the harassment usually continues on social networks, messaging apps, and elsewhere on the internet. Educational institutions may think that the issues of the digital world lie outside the scope of schooling or that they don’t warrant scrutiny. However, online abuse and harassment often have a bigger impact on the victims than in-person bullying – and yet they may be ignored until it’s too late.

Importantly, on the internet everything can become more powerful. A social media post can reach hundreds or even thousands of people in a matter of minutes and before you know it, all those people may be talking and expressing opinions about the post or image. The impact of abusive content on the victim is magnified when there’s an increase in the number of people seeing, liking, sharing, and/or commenting on the post. Indeed, if the content has gone viral, it’s impossible to stop or delete it, even if the aggressors come to regret their actions.

On a related note, the sense of decreased inhibition afforded by screens and social networks due to the sense of anonymity may make many kids feel empowered enough to say and do things in the digital world that they would never do in the physical world.

Against this backdrop and as way to encourage a proactive approach in tackling cyberbullying and other types of online harassment, here are four principles that every school and teacher can apply in order to deal with this problem:

1. Educate students to be good digital citizens

Since the digital world is part of our real lives, the rules that apply on the internet should be the same as those we are already familiar with in the physical world. When teaching kids about respect and social conventions, it’s important to include the realm of the internet and ensure that they are also taught how to behave and communicate through digital media.

Subjects like civic education and citizenship should go beyond traditional boundaries to touch also on ethics, morality and respect in the digital world. Team exercises and activities are another powerful way to get groups to work together as one. The purpose of such activities is to get all the members of the class to work together toward a common goal, using all their individual strengths and valuing each person’s abilities to complete a task.

2. Prioritize awareness-raising over banning

Awareness is very powerful, not least because it changes social perceptions. Rather than creating panic over the use of technology or spreading misunderstandings, awareness allows a positive atmosphere to emerge.

Many schools choose to ban the use of technology, which can actually backfire in that pupils and students will use their phones on the sly. Young people identify with technology and adapt it to fit into their daily lives. That’s why it’s important to show students how they can use technology for the common good, such as to share knowledge or to support one another. Furthermore, by bringing technology into the classroom, teachers can focus on its ethical use.

3. Collective solidarity in reporting cyberbullying

A report by the Safe2Tell initiative found that, in 81% of cases of bullying at school, some group of students would have known about an attack, but would have decided not to report it. In most of these cases, the silence is mainly due to the fear of becoming the next victim or of facing punishment by adults. In these cases, children need to know that the problem is not technology, but rather people using it for the wrong ends. Promoting free-flowing dialogue and providing a space for listening also contributes to children knowing who to turn to if faced with abusive behavior.

On the other hand, online abuse can, and should, be reported on the platforms themselves. All social networks have the option to report posts, comments and even profiles that harm or harass someone. This is the only way to eliminate abusive content on social networks, because after a series of reports are received, the post or profile is deleted. These reports are completely anonymous, so there is no need to fear retaliation.

4. Dialogue: the basis for all support

Students need to know who they can reach out to before a problem arises. And in this area, trust is the key to open a dialogue. A recent survey (in Spanish) found that 25% of children and teenagers believe their elders know less than they do about technology. This perception makes them feel that their online problems are played down and not understood. What happens on the internet is viewed by children as very serious. Their digital identities are essentially the same for them as their real-world identities. For that reason, if a student approaches a teacher or other responsible adult with an online problem, the teacher needs to take it as seriously as a similar real-world issue and seek out the resources to deal with it.

It’s important to remember that while youngsters know a lot about how technology is used and how it works, adults have more real-life experience. With this in mind, exploring topics like technological risks, safety on the internet and appropriate online behavior are vital to encouraging dialogue. And it’s essential to break the silence around bullying and cyberbullying, by talking about instances of cyberabuse and their solutions. In doing so, teachers need to be clear and empathetic and to communicate openly with their students.

In conclusion, if we view digital communication as part of each person’s own little world, we can apply these thoughts expressed by Eleanor Roosevelt:

Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home – so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm, or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.

MEDIA WATCH: A round-up of the latest news stories involving pastoral care in education

At NAPCE we work very hard to stay across the national and international news media to store and share the latest stories involving pastoral care in education on our own platforms.

In this new feature for NAPCE News, we are sharing with you a selection of the biggest stories hitting the headlines this month with the aim that some of these reported developments may provide useful context within your work as a strategist or practitioner of pastoral support.

Here is a summary for September 2019.

“Poor pupils nearly twice as likely not to pass maths GCSE as richer peers, analysis reveals” from The Independent

Read here:

“Pastoral care tips for the new academic year” from Independent Education Today

Read here:

“Children without bed of their own or enough clothing struggle at school, report warns” from The Independent

Read here:

“Almost one in five children have contemplated suicide because of bullying at school, a new study of 1,003 students has revealed” from The Independent

Read here:

“‘My pupil was expelled for breaking a teacher’s fingers. I have to help him” from The Guardian

Read here:

“Teacher: Depression and anxiety threatened to kill my career. So I came clean about it” from The Guardian

Read here:

“Facebook and Instagram tighten rules on self-harm images” from The Guardian

Read here:

“Off to ‘big school’? Some pupils need extra support, says Ofsted” from BBC News

Read here:

“Top teacher warns on mental health time bomb over autism training from News Letter

Read here:

“The BBC is launching a new app to try and help the wellbeing of young people online” from BBC News

Read here:

“Bullying behaviour often emerges in childhood, and the consequences for victims can last a lifetime. But what makes a child become a bully?” from BBC News

Read here:

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