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NAPCE News – December 2021

NAPCE News – December 2021

Making a positive difference to young people through pastoral care

CONFERENCE:  “NAPCE Partners with ASCL Pastoral Leaders Conference 2022”

NAPCE is delighted to be an official partner of the ASCL Conference for Pastoral Leaders 2022.

The theme for next year is ‘Keeping Children and Young People Safe – Tackling Harassment and Abuse”.

The Conference will be held across two dates in two locations, Manchester  (27th January, 2022) and London (9th February, 2022).

NAPCE Chair Phil Jones will be a special guest for a panel discussion at both events.

The Conference will also include guest speakers speaking on a range of safeguarding matters.

For more information and to book tickets follow these links:-

GOOD PRACTICE: Outstanding Pastoral Care Practice from NAPCE Awards “Pastoral Leader of the Year” Finalists

The National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education organised by NAPCE were a opportunity to recognise the brilliant work that has been done in pastoral care.

It is a great opportunity to shine a light on the amazing efforts to support learners and the good practice that is taking place in schools across the UK and internationally.

NAPCE is proud to be able to highlight the excellent work that is being done in pastoral care in education through the 2021 awards.

This month it is the turn of the pastoral heroes who despite the challenges of the pandemic, through their work made a great contribution to the education and lives of children and young people in their care.

The Pastoral Leader of the Year award is sponsored by the publishers of NAPCE’s academic journal ‘Pastoral Care in Education’, Taylor and Francis.

This award goes to the 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 in 2021 was Luke Ramsden, Senior Deputy Head, at  St Benedict’s School, Ealing, London.  

Luke has been responsible for developing outstanding safeguarding and pastoral practice at St Benedict’s School and has introduced a range of initiatives that have promoted the safety and wellbeing of pupils.

This has included successful campaigns to tackle bullying, peer-on-peer abuse and mental health issues where Luke has made use of accurate data to identify, predict and effectively target problems.

Luke is also the Chair of a Safeguarding Advisory Panel that provides expert advice and is regularly invited to speak at safeguarding events and conferences.

His contribution to the development of effective safeguarding and pastoral practice has been truly outstanding.

The finalists for this award in 2021 were.
Miss Laura Fisher, Limavady High School, Limavady, Northern Ireland.

Laura travelled to San Francisco to explore LGBTQ+ inclusion and has since given training to the pastoral team, pastoral leaders across the ALC and the school’s Board of Governors, with plans now in place to support these vulnerable learners in school.

During lockdown, she organised mental health presentations and has been in the school building every day to support parents and pupils.

She has completed Place2Be Mental Health training, neglect and suicide awareness training and led an ACES TeachMeet. She is member of Action Mental Health focus group, is the ALC representative for the Pastoral Steering group and is currently leading whole school Take5 status.

Helen Burton (Deputy Headteacher) Belmont Community SchoolBelmont Durham.

Helen was nominated for an unwavering commitment to the welfare of all children, particularly the disadvantaged.

She is passionate about improving the life chances of children through education and pastoral care.

She uses her moral purpose and relentless drive to secure the best for children and in doing so inspires others to go the extra mile.

This is best exemplified through the many acts of kindness she is responsible for, including mentoring and tutoring the most challenging children; personally organising and delivering food, reading books and work to vulnerable families during lockdown.

She is a leader who genuinely walks the talk, never asking anyone to do something she hasn’t already done herself.

Micki Handford, The Children’s Hospital School, Leicester.

Micki leads a team who support children missing school due to mental health problems.

She introduced the Thrive programme to better identify wellbeing priorities for each child and then develop a bespoke package.

During lockdown she made weekly wellbeing calls, home visits and met a particularly anxious child at the Sure Start centre to help complete GCSE assessments.

She arranged Zoom meetings for parents on topics such as finance, housing, CAMHS and supporting study, recording sessions for those unable to attend on a You Tube channel.

She liaises with family support, health, social services and is a safeguarding lead.

Alison Simpson, Cobden Primary School, Loughborough, Leicestershire

Alison has formed, organised and lead a new team of professionals to provide outstanding nurture and therapy sessions and wellbeing initiatives, in a highly deprived primary school with an extremely vulnerable group of pupils.

Alison has tirelessly driven for improvements in the lives of children at school and at home and has developed feedback and pupil voice systems to ensure that children can be heard and that their needs are being met.

Over 25% of her cohort have now received quality provision around wellbeing and pastoral needs in 2020 – 2021 where in the previous year there was none.

The nominations for the 2022 National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education are now open.

To make a nomination in any of the categories please follow the link

SAFER INTERNET DAY 2022: NAPCE Will Officially Support the Event in February Next Year

Safer Internet Day 2022

NAPCE is pleased to once again to be working with UK Safer Internet Centre and the charities, Childnet International, Internet Watch Foundation and South West Grid for Learning to plan and support Safer Internet Day 2022.

Phil Jones NAPCE National Chair was invited to attend the national planning meeting on Monday 6th December to help plan the 2022 event.

The 2022 event takes place on 8th February, and it will include a live broadcast to promote safe use of the internet from the top of the BT Tower in London.

The aim for 2022 is to inspire a national conversation about using technology, responsibly, respectfully, critically, and creatively to reach more young people than ever before. It will encourage young people to speak up and adults to engage and listen. The activities planned for Safer Internet Day 2022 will equip young people with the skills they need to interact safely and respectfully, while enjoying their online communities.

Educational materials have been developed and are available for free at the website in the age ranges 3-7, 7-11. 11-14 and 14-18.

They include ideas for assemblies, videos, quizzes, and lesson plans.

Resources are available for adults to share with children and young people at home and at school.

For more information about Safer internet Day 2022 follow the link-
Safer Internet Day 2022 – UK Safer Internet Centre

FROM THE CHAIR: A Festive Message from NAPCE Chair Phil Jones

As we approach the end of the term many colleagues working in pastoral roles in schools have shared with me that this has been one of the most demanding and exhausting terms in their careers.

Despite the arrival of a ‘new normal’ we are still in schools living in a very uncertain world where it is difficult to plan ahead and know what challenges we are likely to face in the future.

Schools have been at the frontline of the nation’s response to the pandemic dealing with daily demands to support children and young people and provide some stability for their local communities.

The impact of the experience of the pandemic is still not clear with the priority being to cope daily and provide learners with the best possible educational experience.

One headteacher said to me last week that we have realised that our students do not even remember how to walk around the building.

Schools are realising that well established routines and expectations have been eroded by the experience of the pandemic and schools are having to invest time in reinforcing their culture and ethos that enables a school to function effectively.

Much of this daily work is being done by staff in pastoral roles in schools.

When children and young people look for answers about what is happening in their world they look to the people in pastoral roles in schools and this is difficult when the uncertainty means that the adults do not have the answers.

We may not be clear about what problems and challenges will emerge from the experience of the pandemic, but we can be sure that staff in pastoral roles in schools will have an important role to play.

NAPCE is determined to continue to highlight the good practice and excellent work that is being done in pastoral care in education.

January is the month for renewing memberships of NAPCE and if you are not already a member, we hope that you will make it one of your new year resolutions to become a member of NAPCE and support our work in the best interest of all children and young people to support them in achieving their full potential from their education.

Membership of NAPCE comes with a subscription to our academic journal ‘Pastoral Care in Education’, and this ensures that you are up to date with current research and ideas about pastoral care in education.

Once again in 2022 NAPCE will be celebrating the excellent work and good practice in pastoral care in education by organising the National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education.

Please take a few minutes to make a nomination to ensure that your excellent work or the excellent work of your colleagues is recognised.

The new year will be the 40th anniversary year for NAPCE and special events and activities are planned to celebrate the occasion.

These include a Conference and Anniversary Dinner at Worcestershire County Cricket Ground in October.

Make sure you are following NAPCE on Twitter and other social media platforms for the latest news about events and plans for other activities.

I hope you have been following the NAPCE advent calendar on Twitter with our ideas about the reasons why pastoral care in education is important.

Please interact with us on Twitter and let us know if you agree with our thoughts or whether you have got ideas that you would like to share about how effective pastoral care in education can make a real difference.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank everybody who has supported and contributed to the work of NAPCE in 2021.

A big thank you to everybody who attended and contributed to the online conference, wrote articles for the newsletter or journal, made nominations for the Awards and shared ideas about pastoral care.

Together you are all making a positive impact on the learning and lives of children and young people.

A special thank you to the members of the NAPCE National Executive and Editorial Board for your inspired ideas and determination to make a difference.

A very happy Christmas to everybody and my best wishes for a safe and fulfilling new year.

Phil Jones
National Chair

MEMBERSHIP: Renewals for NAPCE 2022 Membership Are Being Sent Out

2022 Membership Renewals – NAPCE

Invitations are being sent out to NAPCE members to renew your membership for 2022.

Next year it will be 40 years since the National Association for Pastoral Care was formed and the academic journal Pastoral Care in Education was published.

Special events including a weekend conference and Anniversary Dinner are planned to celebrate the 40 years that NAPCE has been supporting education.

Members will have priority for bookings so to make sure that you are fully involved in the Association’s special year renew your membership early and get the full benefits of being a member of NAPCE.

If you have shown your interest in the work of NAPCE by registering for the newsletter or following NAPCE on social media, then now is the time to become a member in time for the anniversary year.

The National Executive have made the decision to NOT INCREASE THE PRICE OF MEMBERSHIP for 2022 and full membership includes a subscription for four copies of the academic journal to be delivered to your home address.

Taylor and Francis publishers manage the membership subscriptions on behalf of NAPCE and their contact details are T&F Customer Services, Sheepen Place, Colchester, CO3 3LP, UK Tel: +44 (0) 20 7017 5543 . Fax: +44 (0) 20 7017 5198 . Email: Contact Taylor and Francis to find out about the different ways that you can pay your subscription.

APPLICATION FOR MEMBERSHIP –  Individual and Group memberships include a subscription to Pastoral Care in Education: An International Journal of Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PCE) Published by Routledge

INDIVIDUAL MEMBERSHIP including one copy of PCE Individual Subscription Rate £44 US$88 €57 NQT/Retired/Student Individual Rate £21 US$40 €33

GROUP MEMBERSHIP including two copies of PCE Group Subscription rate £66 US$132 €86 Primary/Special School Rate £43

ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP society membership only – does not include PCE subscription. Associate Subscription rate £10 US$16 €30

Follow this link to apply for membership RPED_NAPCEmembership-New.pdf ( or go to Apply Online – NAPCE to apply for membership online.

ARTICLE: Safeguarding Supervision in Schools – The Need and the Purpose by Carle Elder

Safeguarding Supervision in Schools – The Need to and the Purpose

Supervision – The Need

Education is a universal service. Therefore, it is inevitably serving some children and families with complex needs.

The idea that any child is exposed to abuse or trauma is abhorrent. Rightly, safeguarding is elevated and prioritised in order to protect children by seeking to reduce the incidence of these episodes and to provide emotional support to children and families in the unfortunate circumstances where they have occurred. Sadly, traumatic events are a part of life so there will always be a need for mechanisms to support people in the midst of them.

There is tremendous pressure on schools in the UK to have, as part of their safeguarding functions, a well-developed provision that compensates for some of the reductions in public resources that we have seen over the past few years.During my time as a school and trust leader I noticed that as schools became ever more knowledgeable and sophisticated in their safeguarding practices, the expectations around their depth of involvement in safeguarding matters was matched only by the increase in the sheer volume of cases they uncovered and were working on.

It was my privilege to be the Principal of an academy and then Director of Education for the same trust that largely operated in city settings in the east midlands. Unfortunately, these communities had a greater than national average incidence of deprivation and, although I have no data to confirm the connection, a similarly high level of incidence of safeguarding concerns.

These experiences of made two things clear to me:

• There seems to be a growth in the pressure, demands on schools and their safeguarding staff alongside an increase in the volume and complexity of the safeguarding issues they are facing
• The emotional toll of working closely on complex safeguarding cases is often enormous and it is essential to have a robust and effective support system for those staff involved.This leads me on to two important questions:

• How can we keep improving our safeguarding practices?
• Who supports those supporting the most vulnerable children?My own experience combined with further reading, wider research and engaging with professional learning (such as the NSPCC Supervision Skills training) has led me to the realisation that supervision for our safeguarding staff and leaders is the answer to both of these questions.

Supervision – The Purpose

Tony Morrison, regarded as an leading expert in this field for over 30 years, proposed a model for supervision that can be applied just as successfully in schools as in the social care settings it was initially based in. Often described as the 4x4x4 Model of Supervision, it connects the four functions of supervision with the four beneficiaries via the four elements of an adult learning cycle (Kolb, 1988).

Two of the four functions stated in this model of supervision are ‘development’ and ‘support’. Clearly, these directly address and resolve the questions posed earlier:

• The Development Function: Supervision, when done well within a model and framework, ensures the continuing professional development of those involved in safeguarding. It enables these staff to improve the knowledge, skills and competence to safeguard children.
• The Support Function: Supervision enables those staff directly involved in complex safeguarding cases to safely process their emotional response to this work. There are obvious benefits to them of being able to offload but the consequences of this help the other key stakeholders too. These staff are less likely to be burnt out; are more able to be effective and can therefore better serve the children, families and school. Also, it is reassuring to know that having invested in the knowledge and skills of these staff, the support function will impact on their ongoing motivation and capacity to do the role and have positive impacts on staff retention.Additional Functions of Supervision:

• The Mediation Function: Develops in the safeguarding staff a deeper understanding of how their role and work contributes to the overall aims of the school and organisation.
• The Managerial Function: Clarifies and reinforces the expectations of the safeguarding staff. It is essential that those working in safeguarding know what is expected of them, how they are expected to perform these tasks (procedurally and attitudinally) and also when they need to do them by.These functions have connections to the policies and practices in schools and trusts. Supervision creates the space for professional dialogue and discussion to ensure these are better than fit-for-purpose and optimised. Additionally, supervision complements some of the aims of existing performance management processes in clarifying expectations and reflecting on how well actions align with the framework of policy.

In conclusion, supervision of our safeguarding staff enables that key element of our work to be done more successfully for all concerned.

There is clarity on how this aspect of our work fits within the wider school and community context (mediation function); everyone involved knows exactly what is expected of them and how they are expected to do it (managerial function); the staff performing this work are developed and the benefit of this learning and experience is shared across the staff peer group and network (the development function) and everybody involved contributes to and is supported by a culture that promotes their wellbeing and emotional health (the support function).

It bears further repetition, Safeguarding Supervision helps us safeguard our children better.

Further reading:

Department for Education (2015, updated December 2020) Working Together to Safeguard Children: A guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. Available at Working together to safeguard children – GOV.UK ( (accessed October 2021)

Department for Education (2015, updated September 2021) Keeping Children Safe in Education: Statutory Guidance for schools and colleges. Available at Keeping children safe in education – GOV.UK ( (accessed October 2021)

Kolb DA (1988) Experiential Learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. London: Pearson Education

Morrison T (2005) Staff Supervision in Social Care (3rdEdition). Brighton: Pavilion Publishing & Media

Sturt P & Rowe J (2018) Using Supervision in Schools: A guide to building safe cultures and providing emotional support in a range of school settings. Brighton: Pavilion Publishing & Media

About the Author (Carle Elder):

Carl has been involved in teaching and school leadership, often serving challenging communities, for over 15 years with the notable achievement of leading a previously failing school in Nottingham to sustained and significant improvement. Carl has witnessed first-hand the incredible impact that improving schools by improving leadership undoubtedly has; a profound impact on the children and also the community as a whole.

Carl has a sound knowledge of the education sector, a track record of successful leadership, and a genuine interest in self-development regarding leadership theory and practice. Carl is now a full time Educational Consultant and Coach who has also completed the NSPCC Supervision Skills in Child Protection programme and offers supervision to school staff through Leadership Edge – Coaching in Schools.

AWARDS: Entry for the NAPCE Awards 2022 is Now Open

We are delighted to launch the National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education 2022 organised by NAPCE.

The third annual NAPCE awards will be in the 40th anniversary year for the Association and we are inviting everybody with a pastoral role or an interest in how pastoral care in education can support children and young people to achieve their full potential.

We are looking for the people, teams and organisations that make a real difference in the learning experience of children and young people and want to recognise their achievements and celebrate their good practice.

The categories for the awards this year are:-

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

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

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

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

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

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.
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.

The maximum number of words to support a nomination is being increased from 100 words to 300 words this year so there will be every opportunity to describe the good practice and the impact it is making.

Nominations can be made for excellent contributions to research, for raising awareness and for good practice in pastoral care in education from the 2021 -2022 academic year. The sponsors and panel of judges will be announced shortly.

The closing date for nominations is 30th May 2022 and the judges will then have the difficult task of deciding who the finalists and winners will be in each category.

A grand live presentation event is planned for the anniversary year in the autumn to announce the winners.

All finalists will receive a certificate form NAPCE to recognise their achievements and winners will receive a plaque and a £100.00 cash prize.

Make sure your good practice is recognised by making a nomination today.
To make a nomination for the 2022 National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education organised by NAPCE go to

NAPCE News – June 2020

NAPCE News – June 2020
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. 

FEATURE ARTICLE: NAPCE Chair Phil Jones on effectively handling “Pastoral Leadership In A Crisis”

It can be argued that when everything is going to plan leadership is easy! It is when you are faced with difficulties or a crisis that leadership becomes challenging.

Most pastoral leaders would probably agree that this happens every day in their role.

When I was a senior teacher, I had a middle leader come to me and complain about the performance of one member of their team. I think they were expecting me to summon the member of staff to my office and tell them off for not performing as expected.

My response was to point out that there may have be reasons why this member of staff was not performing as well at that time and that as a leader they needed to earn their money by finding out the details about the situation and provide support when things were not going well and it is not just about taking the credit, when the team is performing to expectations.

The middle leader was not aware that the member of staff was going through a difficult divorce and although they did not want their private life to become public knowledge it was making it more difficult for them to meet deadlines at work.

It is a much easier task for leaders to develop structures and systems and to implement strategies and developments, but the real challenge comes in leading the people involved in the process. Leaders need empathy to understand the feelings and pressures people are experiencing and to find ways to enable them to make a positive contribution.

“The most powerful thing you can do in a pastoral role is to give someone your understanding” (Daniel Sobel)

This is especially true when there is a crisis.

Pastoral leaders will be under pressure themselves, but this is when their leadership skills and qualities will really be needed and tested.

It is in these situations where it is important for leaders to build trust.  It is an important part of the role for all leaders, that they take every opportunity to build trust, as this will be an investment for when they are facing a crisis or other difficulties.

It is not possible for any leader to please everybody with the decisions they make but to build trust it is important that they always make every effort to act with integrity. With an ethical approach to leadership it can be demonstrated that all decisions are taken in the best interest of the organisation, the people in the organisation and its vision and values.

To achieve this, it is important that leaders are prepared to reflect on their actions and acknowledge where they have not gone to plan and achieved their intended outcomes. It is not about blame but creating a culture which builds trust, where everybody including leaders are encouraged to learn from experiences.

Pastoral leaders need to reflect on the appropriate style of leadership required in a crisis. A crisis can encourage a ‘knee jerk’ response from leaders, but this is a time when careful considered approaches to leadership, are more likely to be effective and achieve sustained outcomes.

“Involving all the people who are going to be affected by the change provides them with a basis for understanding what is going on and an opportunity to influence the change which in turn can generate ownership of it and a commitment to it”. (Daniel Sorbel)

An important role of pastoral leaders which becomes a greater priority during a crisis is to provide a safe learning environment.

This is extremely relevant during the current pandemic where the organisation of schools must change from what learners recognise and know.

The physical environment impacts on how safe people feel and this becomes incredibly challenging when actions must be taken for health reasons, that means normal interaction between people is not possible and buildings do not feel as warm and welcoming,

Safeguarding is a priority for pastoral leaders and this is because feeling safe is an important ingredient for effective learning to take place.

“When you think about a child’s mental, emotional and psychological health we need to prioritise their feeling safe, as they can be a major driving force of mental health disintegration” (Daniel Sorbel)

Changes in the organisation of the school and expectations about behaviours must be explained carefully and in a way that builds trust in the people, who are providing care and leadership for them.

There is an emerging view during the current pandemic, that the educational agenda that has focused on raising standards in recent years is widening its focus to include the socialisation of young people as an important part of a young person’s educational experience.

It has been recognised that the socialisation and personal development of young people has been damaged during the period where schools have not been fully open and that pastoral care needs to be a priority, as learners return to the classroom.

“School are aware that some pupils require additional emotional and pastoral support when they return to school, so making time for pastoral care is a priority”.
(Department for Education)

It has been acknowledged in government guidance to schools that pastoral support is an important part of the support that schools can provide for young people.

“It is up to schools to decide how they want to use face to face support in the best interest of their pupils as additional pastoral support, academic support or a combination”
(Guidance for Secondary School provision from 15th June 2020)

An article from Glasgow University published in April 2020 points out that, “apart from the obvious disruption to learning, school closures are likely to have far reaching negative effects”. (University of Glasgow of Education)

Pastoral leaders will have to plan how to use available resources to meet the pastoral needs of learners and this is likely to be a priority for some time into the future.

“When schools return teachers will be tasked with not simply resuming normal classes but with supporting their students’ emotional wellbeing”. (University of Glasgow School of Education)

The article calls on schools to make the development of resilience a priority to enable young people to cope with shocks in life whether they come from Covid 19 or other threats.

Pastoral support in school is likely to become more relevant, in supporting young people during and after the pandemic and this will encourage a greater understanding of its importance to the learning experience of all young people.

“Pastoral care is   not simply a sub plot in the central story of curriculum, teaching and learning but rather a foundation stone upon which everything else in school can take place”
(Daniel Sorbel)

The experience of leadership during a crisis, encourages leaders to reflect on priorities. It is likely that pastoral leaders will look to focus on the whole person in planning and delivering pastoral support in schools.

In a crisis the importance of developing the whole person is highlighted and encourages a focus on developing resilience and positive attitudes in young people, so they can cope and face challenges in their daily lives.

“There are few who would question that developing the whole human being is a legitimate part of the school’s work”. (Les Bell and Peter Maher)

Effective pastoral support will not be a ‘firefighting’ reaction to problems, but it will become a structure and system for preparing young people for challenges in their lives.

Primitive views of pastoral care, being responsible for maintaining discipline, may not be relevant in schools after the pandemic and pastoral leaders will need to explore how available resources can be deployed, to meet the different needs of all learners in the ‘new normal’.

There will be implications for curriculum planning and more emphasis may have to be given to developing and implementing a planned pastoral curriculum, to support learners in making sense of their learning and the challenges they are likely to face.

It was a founder member of the National Association for Pastoral Care in Education (NAPCE), Michael Marland, who first introduced the concept of a pastoral curriculum being needed in schools. For Marland the Pastoral Curriculum was part of the whole school curriculum.

“It was that part of the curriculum which more or less dealt with the development of the whole person”. (Les Bell and Peter Maher)

An approach to pastoral care that focuses on the needs of the whole person will become relevant in schools after the pandemic.

“For those who saw pastoral care as an emergency first aid system to deal with discipline problems Marland’s’ introduction of the term pastoral curriculum is certainly a quantum leap”. (Les Bell and Peter Maher)

A quantum leap will be required from pastoral leaders to respond to all the pastoral needs of young people during and after the pandemic and a planned proactive approach will be required that resists the temptation to not a react to problems as they arise.

The current crisis should encourage pastoral leaders to reflect on the role of the form tutor. Effective tutoring can help young people to make sense of their learning and support them in coping with the challenges that they face.

In the uncertain times that schools find themselves in, which is likely to continue for some time, they should reinvest in form tutors and value the important contribution that they can make.

“Where problems arise the form tutor is well placed to offer help and encouragement”.
(Les Bell and Peter Maher)

There has in the past been some tension from some staff about their role as a form tutor. Pastoral leaders need to make it clear how tutors can have a positive impact on achievement and make sure that the most important resource for this process the staff engaged in the role have the training and support they need to be effective.

Finding time for academic mentoring, could be a positive investment for pastoral leaders to identify gaps in students understanding and barriers to their achievement.

This could be one example of a positive outcome from the crisis that pastoral leaders can use to improve future pastoral support for learners in schools.

Phil Jones
National Chair
National Association for Pastoral Care (NAPCE)
June 2020

Bell, P and Maher, P. 1986 “Leading a Pastoral Team” Blackwell Marland, M. 1980 “The Department for Education. 2020 “Guidance for Secondary School Provision from June 15th, 2020”, GOV.UK website
Department for Education. 2020 “Pastoral Care in the Curriculum. How schools can provide additional emotional and pastoral support for pupils when they return to school following the coronavirus (COVID19) outbreak”, GOV.UK website
Pastoral Curriculum”.in Best, R. Ribbins, P. and Jarvis, C. (eds) 1980,
Perspectives on Pastoral Care, Heinemann
Sobel, D. 2019 “Leading on Pastoral Care”, Bloomsbury
University of Glasgow School of Education. 2020 “Supporting Resilient Learning in the Face of Covid-19”, University of Glasgow School of Education Website

ARTICLE: Bridging the Lockdown Learning Gap for Children (Part 1) by NAPCE Officer Noel Purdy

Dr Noel Purdy is a member of the NAPCE National Executive Committee and Director of the Centre for Research in Educational Underachievement at Stranmillis University College, Belfast.

This article, written by Mr Purdy, is the first in a two-part series focusing on Bridging the Lockdown Learning Gap, following the societal social distancing restrictions because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last Friday afternoon (5th June 2020) 369 educators from across Northern Ireland took part in a ground-breaking
webinar on the theme of ‘Charting the Way: Conversations on education in NI ahead of September 2020’.

It was by far the largest and most relevant-to-practice webinar on which I have ever had the privilege of being a panellist, and is a remarkable testament to the innovation of the @Blended_NI team who organised it in less than a week. In its sheer scale, it was also a clear sign of the thirst among dedicated classroom teachers for practical guidance, support and reassurance as they face the challenge of an educational earthquake (revolutions are planned after all) that no one could have predicted even six months ago.

The webinar discussion was wide-ranging but one of the key issues to emerge was the likelihood of a ‘lockdown learning gap’ arising from the current pandemic crisis during which the vast majority of children are not being educated at school.

In response I would suggest that there are three key questions to consider: (1) Is there a lockdown learning gap? (2) What does the lockdown learning gap look like? and (3) What steps can we take to bridge the lockdown learning gap?  In the first instalment of this blog I will address questions 1 and 2.  In the second instalment I will consider question 3.


The short answer to this is that we can’t know yet for sure, as we don’t have reliable evidence from large-scale assessment tests to tell us the long-term impact. That will doubtless come over the coming months.

In the meantime, we can however look at likely indicators from a number of recent studies: for instance, the pre-lockdown Ofcom survey revealed that online access is mediated by family background and that children in working class homes are less likely than those in middle class homes to access the internet via either a tablet (59% vs. 72%) or a mobile phone (49% vs. 62%); the early-lockdown Sutton Trust Report in April confirmed what I had predicted in an earlier blog that the lockdown has exacerbated existing inequalities in our education system with children from poorer backgrounds having less access to online resources and parental support, spending less time learning, and submitting less work than their less disadvantaged peers and those attending private schools. A month later, a report by the Institute of Fiscal Studies found that children from better-off families are spending 30% more time on home learning each week (amounting to more than two additional school weeks in total, assuming schools re-open here in late August/September) and have more access to individualised online resources than those from poorer families.

On 20 May our own Stranmillis report on Home-Schooling in Northern Ireland during the COVID-19 Crisisreported on a survey of over 2000 parents and found wide disparities in parental experiences of home-schooling, often mediated by their level of education and employment status.

Experiences ranged from, on the one hand, confident, highly educated parents relishing the opportunity to spend more time learning alongside their children, safely cocooned from the pandemic threat, to, on the other hand, highly stressed working parents struggling to access resources, lacking confidence in their own abilities and battling to motivate their children to engage in learning during the ‘nightmare’ of lockdown.

Based on these robust research reports, it is clear that there will undoubtedly be a lockdown learning gap. I would further suggest that the gap is likely to be wider than the traditional loss of learning experienced during the summer months, because unlike the normal two-month summer vacation, there will not have been such widely divergent experiences between children who have effectively been home-tutored by degree-educated parents and children who, through no fault of their own, have engaged in little or no learning at all.


report published earlier this month by the Education Endowment Foundation has attempted to predict the impact of school closures on the attainment gap, based on a rapid evidence assessment of a total of 11 previous studies of learning loss carried out since 1995.

The EEF predictions suggest that the current closures will widen the attainment gap between disadvantaged children and their peers by a median estimate of 36% (with a range between 11% and 75%). The authors acknowledge the limitations of their review which (inevitably) is based on studies of summer learning gaps rather than the experiences of previous current pandemic crises. The report notes that sustained effort will be required over the coming months to help disadvantaged pupils catch up.

There has been much general discussion of learning needs but little specific about the particular learning needs of pupils on their return to school. Consequently, I have developed a typology of learning needs (see below), beginning with the need for teachers to address pre-lockdown learning which may be lost (and needs reteaching) or rusty (and needs refreshing) as might be expected after a lengthy break from traditional schooling of 5 months.

This experience is similar to what might normally be expected following the summer vacation, and teachers are already skilled at recapping and refreshing knowledge and skills in September before moving on to new learning material.


While this might represent relatively familiar ground for teachers, the particular features of lockdown learning loss are different: based on the studies cited above, we can also expect many children to have missedlockdown learning where there was little or no engagement at all with learning activities since March (through no fault of their own) and where catch-up teaching is required; shaky lockdown learning (requiring consolidation) where lockdown learning has been partial, incomplete or insecure, the result of a range of possible factors including poor or miscomprehension, lack of pupil motivation, inadequate parental support, and limited opportunities for individualised teaching and/or feedback; and minimal lockdown learning (needing extension) where learning has been rudimentary, covering minimum content but falling short of the wealth of differentiated extension activities that would normally have been provided in school.

Typology of Lockdown Learning Needs

The fundamental consequence of this is that additional time and investment will undoubtedly be required to identify and address the various learning needs of individual pupils over the coming months. So let’s not imagine for a moment that this is going to be ‘business as usual’ in August/September.  With the prospect of widely divergent attainment levels following more than three months of widely divergent home learning experiences, teachers will need to draw on all of their professional expertise to meet the challenges ahead.

So, I would argue that there will undoubtedly be a lockdown learning gap come August/September, and that it will be wider than what might be experienced after the customary two-month summer vacation.

Furthermore, I would contend that the nature of the learning deficit will be more varied and differentiated than ever before, including lost, rusty, missed, shaky and minimal learning, all of which need to be addressed by professional, dedicated and compassionate teachers. In the second instalment of this blog, I will consider the third and most significant key question: what steps can we take to bridge the lockdown learning gap?

JOURNAL: Stan Tucker, the Editor of NAPCE’s globally renowned publication shares an excerpt from a recent edition – “Lost time


Lost Time

It has been almost impossible to miss the debate over the recent on/off opening up of  schools in the United Kingdom.

Debates about social distancing, classroom size and children’s safety are clearly very important.

Yet for all children and young people their return to school will be marked by a significant loss of educational time.

For me, one of the major concerns now revolves around the impact that ‘lockdown’ will have on the personal, social and emotional development of the young.

I have noted with interest the protestations of the Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, concerning  the potentially uneven and detrimental impact of Covid-19 on particular children and their families.

I have written in the recent past a short piece, for this newsletter, about homeless children and their families living in hotel accommodation; of course I still remain concerned about the educational, social and health outcomes for this group of young people.

However, the passage of time has greatly increased the likelihood of more young people experiencing significant problems on their return to school.

For some, loss of friends; contact with teachers; a daily routine; school meals and the prospect of forthcoming public examinations and SATs is likely have a very real impact.

What about significant  transition points between, for example, primary into secondary, or secondary into FE (an issue we have debated extensively in our journal Pastoral Care in Education)?

All of this points to the need for the development of a robust and resourced strategic plan for when children and young people return to school. Children will need space to talk about and reflect on their experiences.

Catch up programmes of study may well be required. Some may need targeted interventions. Whatever the need, a failure to think carefully and plan appropriately will only serve to cause further damage to the lives of many children and young people.

Stan Tucker
Emeritus Professor of Education
Editor of Pastoral Care in Education

AWARDS: First NAPCE Awards ceremony moved online because of Covid-19 Social Distancing measures 


The first National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education Awards presentation event is now to take place online later this year.

Despite plans for a winners ceremony in Birmingham, organisers of the NAPCE Awards 2020 have confirmed that the September celebration is now happening virtually because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The online presentation is expected to take place on September 24th at 7pm.

Finalists for the inaugural Awards were announced in May but, sadly, the winners will no longer be invited to a physical event because of potential risks and restrictions around social distancing.

It is fully expected that an in-person event will be held in 2021 and beyond.

Phil Jones, Chair of NAPCE, said: “The recent announcement that schools will not return fully until September at the earliest led us thinking very carefully about the planned presentation event for the Awards which was due to take place in Birmingham on September 26th.“We now think that this means that it is unlikely that school staff will be in a position to travel for an event in September with the current Government advice that all off site activities should not take place.

“We feel that it would not be responsible for NAPCE, as an respected organisation, to go ahead with a physical event in 2020 and we are now putting all of our efforts into organising a quality virtual event to announce the winner of the 2020 awards.”

The Finalists

Pastoral Development of the Year – Sponsored by NAPCE

(A pastoral initiative or idea that has achieved positive outcomes and has improved the learning experience and future life chances, for young people)

ACS International School, Boarding – Cobham, Surrey

Anneliese Walker, Nidderdale High School – Harrogate, North Yorkshire

Dan Midgley, Malet Lambert School – Kingston upon Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire

Malet Lambert , Peer Mentoring Scheme – Kingston upon Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire

Mr Shaun Easton, All Saints Catholic School and Technology College, Dagenham, Essex

Pastoral Leader Of The Year – Sponsored by Taylor and Francis 

(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)

Rebecca Finn, Cardinal Newman Catholic High School – Warrington, Cheshire

Dave Richardson, Kingdown School – Warminster, Wiltshire

Lena Dhrona, North London Grammar School – Hendon, London

Sarah Freeman, The Park Community School – Barnstaple, Devon

Laura Howieson, St Michael’s Middle School –Colehill, Dorset

Pastoral Member of Staff of the Year – Sponsored by TES

(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)

Ms Ceri Ellis, Rhyl High School –North Wales

Sunita Mall, Morecambe Road School – Lancashire

Mr Dominic Riste, All Saints Catholic School and Technology College – Dagenham, Essex

Melanie Ennis, Archway Learning Trust- Nottingham

Deborah Mason, Silver Spring Primary Academy – Stalybridge, Greater Manchester

Pastoral School of The Year – Sponsored by BlueSky Education

(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 Grove School – Tottenham, London

Shaftesbury High School – Harrow, Middlesex

The Stanway School – Colchester Essex

All Saints Catholic School and Technology College- Dagenham Essex

Brighton Hill Community School – Hampshire

Pastoral Team of the Year – Sponsored by The Thrive Approach

(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)

Moor End Academy – Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

Pastoral Support Team – Cardinal Newman Catholic High School – Warrington, Cheshire

Guidance Team –  Churchill Community College – Wallsend, Tyne and Wear

Pastoral Managers- Julie Ayres, Hannah Jolly, Gieves La Fosse and Lauren Koster, – The Ramsey Academy, Halstead, Essex

Silver Springs Primary Academy – Stalybridge, Cheshire

Raising Awareness About Pastoral Care – Sponsored by Association of School and College Leaders

(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)

Sean Henn – The Berne Institute – Kegworth, Derby

Pat Sowa – Starfish – Harrogate, North Yorkshire

Dr Bronagh McKee – Stranmillis University College, Belfast, Northern Ireland

King Edward VI Handsworth School for Girls – Handsworth, Birmingham

Glenlola Collegiate School Pastoral Care Team – Glenlola Collegiate School, Bangor , Northern Ireland

Outstanding Contribution to Pastoral Care – Sponsored by NAPCE

(A person, group or organisation that has made a real difference for the benefit of young people in the area of pastoral care)

Glenlola Collegiate School – Bangor, Northern Ireland

Jackie O’Hanlon, Shaftesbury High School –Harrow, Middlesex

Eileen Pavey, Litcham School – Kings Lynn, Norfolk

Tor Bank School, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Ann Armstrong, All Saints Catholic School and Technology College – Dagenham, Essex

The Awards ceremony was originally scheduled to take place in July but has been postponed because of the Covid-19 crisis.

NAPCE has made tentative plans to host an event in September 2020, but is also looking at back up plans to announce the winners online if a physical event is not feasible within the chosen timeframe.

There will be a prize of £100 for the school or institution for the winners of each category and individuals will also be recognised for their achievements.

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