Skip to Content

NAPCE News – July 2023

NAPCE News – July 2023

Making a positive difference to young people through pastoral care

LEAD ARTICLE: NAPCE’s Dr Matt Silver – Recovery and Reflection – Tapping into Your Energy

Recovery and Reflection- Tapping into Your Energy by Dr Matt Silver, CEO of The Glass House Leadership Lab and Vice-Chair of NAPCE

As this article is being written, it is the last day of term.

Whatever your role is in education, there is something so significant about it.

Most call it the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ or the end of ‘silly season’.

So what is it that shapes this narrative and what does it have to do with Pastoral Care?

Any period that is emotionally charged can equally be emotionally draining.

As we have the highs of end of year- whether that is productions, exhibitions, or transitions, we also face the low of coming down from these experiences.

The same can be said about the lows, drawing a close to community journeys, working through red tape to try and leave your summer free, or fretting about multiple anxieties that face uncertain parts of our future.

We seek a bigger high to outweigh the low, and if we can’t find it, it sends us in to grasping for a break that we perceive to find the ‘rest’ we think we need.

What is occurring is waves, much like a rollercoaster, on what is known as our hedonic treadmill.

We seek a high to get out of our low, and with this repeating pattern comes a greater seeking.

This is what I have re-termed the Goldilocks Effect.

In constantly seeking ‘just right’ we reject the ‘too hot’ or ‘too cold’ missing the energy and wisdom that sits in the struggles as well as the success.

So how do we overcome this sense of being drained at the end of term?

Begin to try to find the ‘just right’ right now. The opportunity of the break is not to perceive rest as the topping up of our energy tanks, but to reflect on what has been learnt and how we have developed our capacity, and that of others, over the past year.

In doing this, we top up our tanks with our wins, recognise and address the potholes that won’t empty them again next year, but most importantly, expand them with our own maturity.

This is essentially what adult development is based upon, finding satisfaction on the journey rather than reaching the summit.

Pausing along the way to rehydrate and refuel, taking in the expansive picture and making sense of where we are and where we are going, not sprinting through the race only to burnout.

At the Glasshouse Leadership Lab we have been working with leaders through coaching and team journeys on finding meaning as the world surrounding education moves at an accelerating pace whilst the system is overwhelmed by its consequences.

In better understanding yourself and those around you, as well as the system and how it is constructed, allows you to find a way of moving your own setting forward despite the weather outside.

What applies to leaders, also applies to learners. Do they have a sense of meaning? What is school to them now as the attention demand is tapping into their identity? If we do not understand our own identity, how are we to provide the maps for our learners to navigate theirs?

What has been a constant theme emerging is that Pastoral Care is more essential than ever, but potentially being more and more sidetracked for performance metrics catalyse behaviour issues to overtake teacher workload for the first time ever as a reason for leaving the profession.

Yet much like the hedonic treadmill, the harder we seek the ‘highs’ of performance the lower the consequences sink.

The purpose of our energy expenditure in education is becoming more erratic and the tipping point, potentially, ever closer.

Refocusing on the human state of education, whether that is student or staff, is essential.

There is hope, but it begins with us as individuals becoming aware of the blueprint towards this, being capable of forming a team and developing their capacity to not just think differently but act differently. If the system is too mature, so must we.

In summary, all of us at NAPCE wish you a fantastic summer, one that is deserved for all of the energy you have put in to the human element of education we all know actually enhances performance.

It is not an either/or, but a both/and. So both relax and reflect, finding energy in both. Energy is essential to change.

The demands of the education system creates immense pressure to perform. The Glass House Leadership Lab guides your team to develop deeper insight into sophisticated system design to enhance student performance and community outcomes so we can evolve education for all.

REPORT: NAPCE’S Sell-Out Northern Ireland Symposium – FULL REPORT

NAPCE’s First Northern Ireland Pastoral Care Event – Who Cares About Pastoral Care – REPORT

Who cares about Pastoral Care?

This was the title for the event organised in Belfast on Wednesday 21st June by NAPCE and Stranmillis University College.

The idea for the day came from conversations over breakfast in October last year.

This was the morning after the first live presentation event for the National Awards for Pastoral Care for Education, organised by NAPCE.

The Awards evening had been a brilliant opportunity to share good practice in pastoral care and to recognise the excellent work that makes a difference to children and young peoples’ learning experiences and future life chances. People had travelled to the Presentation Evening from all around the United Kingdom including a large number from Northern Ireland.

Many of the people who attended the presentation were staying at the Premier Inn at Worcestershire Cricket Ground in Worcester, where the event took place and the following morning no longer in the formal wear, met up for breakfast and to share thoughts and ideas.

The conversations over breakfast showed how much can be gained, from spending time with people with similar interests and from different backgrounds and experiences and how much can be learnt from these discussions.

It was from these breakfast conversations and the enthusiasm built from the positive experience of the previous evening that the idea emerged of NAPCE organising an event in Northern Ireland.

When NAPCE was first founded over 40 years ago, there were regional groups all over the UK who shared an interest in pastoral care.

This included Northern Ireland, which as a region made a big contribution to the work of NAPCE, to raise awareness about pastoral care.

The inspiration and motivation for planning the event came from Professor Noel Purdy who is the current editor of NAPCE’s academic journal ‘Pastoral Care in Education’ and a member of both NAPCE’s National Executive and Editorial Board.

The venue for the event was Stranmillis University College in Belfast. Together with NAPCE they worked on the planning and organisation, of the face-to-face symposium, to share good practice in pastoral care and address the challenges facing schools in Northern Ireland.

I was delighted as NAPCE National Chair to be invited to Belfast to host the event on behalf of NAPCE along with Professor Noel Purdy from Stranmillis University College. Anne, my wife, who is part of the administrative support team for NAPCE made the journey with me to support the administration of the symposium and to represent NAPCE at the event.

When we left for Birmingham Airport for the flight to Belfast on the Tuesday, we were informed of a 30-minute delay.

By the time we arrived at the airport it had become a 2-hour delay and we were then made aware that the flight had been cancelled.

Determination to overcome all challenges and to attend the symposium took over and a frantic search on the internet using my phone found two seats on a later flight.

This then meant that we were going to spend nearly 10 hours in the airport!

It felt a little like we were doing a remake of the Tom Hanks film, ‘The Terminal’!

It became a little desperate at one point when we started playing, ‘I spy’!

I never realised how competitive that game can be in certain situations! The worry was that our long wait might end in disaster with another cancellation, but the flight  eventually took off with a 30-minute delay and we arrived in Belfast in time to go to bed in preparation for the symposium the following day.

The good news was that there had been a very positive response to the opportunity to attend the event and all available places had been taken.

As hosts it was a pleasure for Noel and I to welcome delegates to the symposium and to introduce the programme.

The first speaker was Koulla Yiasouma, the former Children’s Commissioner for Northern Ireland, who spoke on the title “Education needs pastoral care to succeed-addressing pastoral care challenges facing schools in Northern Ireland”.

In an honest and passionate presentation, she reminded the audience that every child is a unique person with rights that include the right to be safe and the right to be heard.

She explained how there is a link between pastoral care and academic progress and how pastoral care is an integral part of education and needs to be part of a whole school approach to meeting the needs of children and young people.

She talked about how different language is used to describe pastoral care in schools. She reminded the audience that all children have pastoral care needs and some vulnerable children have more than others.

She argued that we need to learn from the experience of the pandemic and that supporting children with social and emotional learning is important.

The next speaker was Catherine Davidson, Vice-Principal of Ballysillan Primary School. The title for her presentation was “The Importance of a nurturing approach to primary schools”.

Catherine gave some brilliant examples of how the school supports nurturing and commented that ‘small changes can make a huge difference’.

She pointed out that it is important to model the nurturing that the schools do with the children, with the parents.

She described some of the many initiatives the school has implemented to support the personal development of the children in their care.

These include, ‘Kindness Ambassadors’, ‘Star of the Week’ and ‘The Treehouse’, which is a self-funded nurturing room.

Another speaker was
Claire Breen, Principal of Tor Bank Special School, in Dundonald.

The school was the winner of the NAPCE Award in 2020 for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Pastoral Care’.

The title for the presentation was ‘Supporting the school community through their bereavement journey’.

The presentation raised the audience’s awareness about the challenges that staff in pastoral roles in schools may face.

It was an important reminder that it is the pastoral structures and systems that support schools and their learners when they are faced with the biggest challenges.

The final speaker was Catherine McHugh, who is Principal of St Patrick’s College in Dungannon.

The school was the winner of the 2022 NAPCE Award for Pastoral Team of the Year and Pastoral Development of the Year.

The school have been chosen by the judges as a finalist for the 2023 National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education, School of the Year award. The title for the presentation was, ’All Children, All Backgrounds, All Succeeding’.

In the presentation Catherine expanded on the title, to share the good practice in the school and the positive impact it has on the children in their care

She recognised that it is difficult for schools to prepare children for a changing world and that there are many financial and educational challenges to overcome.

Catherine was clear that despite the challenges inclusion and equity are rooted in the provision of the school.

She explained that pastoral care in the school is about recognising the potential of all learners.

The event was a brilliant opportunity to share good practice taking place in pastoral care and to bring people together who despite the many challenges currently being faced by schools, had a determination to make a difference for the learning experience and future life chances of all children.

After joining me to thank everybody for their contribution to a very successful event there was time for Noel to change his role and give Anne and I a tour of the city of Belfast as our tour guide.

The following morning, we were up early for our return flight to Birmingham. This time the flight left on time and arrived back in Birmingham early!

The symposium in Belfast is an inspiration to organise further regional NAPCE events in the future.

It is great to be able to bring people together with enthusiasm and a passion for pastoral care to share ideas and good practice.

I am looking forward to the breakfast conversations after the presentation event for the 2023 awards which takes place in Worcester, at Worcestershire County Cricket Club on the evening of 29th September.

I am sure there will once again be some great conversations during the weekend and will lead to some more good ideas for NAPCE events and activities to support pastoral care in education.

Phil Jones
National Chair
National Association for Pastoral Care in Education (NAPCE)


AWARDS: National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education 2023 – TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW


Tickets for the National Awards For Pastoral Care In Education 2023 are available now.

Now in its fourth year, the NAPCE Awards is a standout event on the education calendar.

With finalists announced last month, attention now turns to the Presentation Evening on September 29th at Worcestershire County Cricket Ground, Worcester.

The ceremony is open to all people working in pastoral care in education roles.

It offers a unique opportunity to celebrate the work and achievements in pastoral care and is a wonderful networking event.

NAPCE National Chair Phil Jones said: “Following last year’s incredibly successful event, we are delighted to return to Worcester.

“The NAPCE Awards offers a unique opportunity to get so many people working in pastoral care in education together to mark all of our great achievements.

“We are anticipating the demand for tickets to be very high and so I would recommend early booking.”

Tickets for the NAPCE Awards are FREE and the event includes a fizz reception, guest speaker, pay bar and the grand presentation.

To book FREE tickets for the showpiece Presentation Evening on September 29th at Worcestershire County Cricket Ground, Worcester, click here:

The NAPCE Awards was launched by  in 2019 and is the first UK-wide scheme to recognise outstanding achievements across pastoral care in education settings.

It was created to highlight excellent practice in pastoral care and to celebrate the people making a real difference in the educational experience of young people.

It also encourages new initiatives and ideas in pastoral care and recognises the contributions being made to developing policy and practice in pastoral support.

Details about how to book tickets will be sent to finalists directly, before being made available to people from across the education sector.

The 2023 Finalists

Pastoral School of The Year sponsored by Schools Consent Project

(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)

Up Holland High School, Lancashire

Richard Cloudesley School

St Patrick’s College, Dungiven

RGS The Grange

Holy Trinity Primary School

Pastoral Team of The Year sponsored by Connect to Purpose

(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 Team at Shireland Collegiate Academy

SENDi Team Tudor Grange Academy, Worcester

Pastoral Team, Stockport Academy

Institute of Policing’s Work Based Education Officers Team

Team of Student Managers, Preston College

Pastoral Member of Staff of the Year sponsored by North London Collegiate School, Jeju, South Korea

(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)

Matt Pont Beck Primary School

Raymond Kelly, St Patrick’s College Dungiven

Thomas Carter Stead, NLCS Jeju

Liz Tzouliou, East Barnet School

Aine Deane, Sacred Heart PS, Derry

Pastoral Leader of Staff 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)

Donna Merry, Southend YMCA Community School

Liz Weddle, JCoSS, Barnet

Aine Deane, Sacred Heart PS, Derry

Kathryn Bates, Shireland Collegiate Academy, Smethwick

Andrew Keep, St Bees School

Pastoral Development of the Year sponsored by Crown House Publishing

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

Christ the King Sixth Forms

Inclusion Hub, Friern Barnet School

Leighton Park School

Louis Grammar School, Ballymena

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

Outstanding Contribution to Pastoral Care sponsored by Eileen Donnelly Educational Development Limited

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

Girls on Board

Heather Tuffs, Nidderdale High School

Lads Like Us

Sacred Heart PS, Derry

Mohammed Adam, Manchester Academy

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)

Stephen Page, All Saints Catholic College

Ellie Costello, Team Square Peg

Pastoral Care Department, Glenlola Collegiate School

Highfield and Brookham Schools

International Contribution to Pastoral Care sponsored by Global Equality Collective

(An international school or 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)

Bromsgrove International School Thailand


Charlene Secondary School Kiryandongo Uganda

University of Malta

International School Ikast-Brande

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.

EVENT: Major Online Pastoral Care Conference – Claim Discounted Tickets Here

Delivering Outstanding Pastoral Care Conference 2023

We’re delighted to announce that NAPCE leader Phil Jones will chair an important online pastoral care conference in October.

The Delivering Outstanding Pastoral Care 2023 event, on October 5th, is the latest in an exciting programme of events for NAPCE this year.

It is run by Education Conferences UK.

As a reader of NAPCE News we’re delighted to offer you a 20% discount on tickets for the event which is available for booking now.

About the Online Conference & How to Claim Your 20% Discount

Covering the newest pastoral challenges affecting pupils including cost of living crisis, poor mental health and cyber-bullying

The direct link to the conference & tickets is

20% Discount code: hcuk20spkr

Thursday 5th October 2023, Virtual Conference

The role of the Pastoral Lead is broad, complex and one of the most difficult jobs in school – not only because of how varied the challenges are but how often they change – new ones are appearing all the time.

But demanding roles often don’t allow individuals to keep abreast of updates – from legal requirements to best practice, it’s crucial you stay on top of it all.

Your invitation to attend the Pastoral Care Conference

Chaired by Phil Jones, National Chair, National Association for Pastoral Care in Education this full day conference will look at recent changes to guidance on behaviour, exclusions, attendance and safeguarding so that you are able to remain compliant and understand the impact that these will have on your day-to-day work.

Our experts will also be delivering sessions on some of the biggest challenges facing pastoral leads in schools, including; responding to the cost of living crisis, supporting student mental health and wellbeing and addressing the difficulties arising out of cyber bullying.

Learning Outcomes:

    Get essential updates on key topics for pastoral leads in schools
•    Understand how the cost of living crisis might impact your pupils
•    Come away with practical ideas to support children and families facing poverty
•    Improve how you work with hard to reach and disengaged families
•    Gain a deeper understanding of how to work with children facing mental health challenges
•    Improve how you respond to incidents of cyber bullying to ensure pupils are effectively supported
•    Update your knowledge on school attendance and the changes to guidance and proposed changes in the Schools Bill
•    Go back to your school with practical ideas to improve your behaviour management strategy
•    Hear practical case studies from pastoral leads in schools about changes they have implemented
•    Supports CPD professional development

Your speakers

Phil Jones
National Chair
National Association for Pastoral Care in Education

Sam Garner
Mental Health & Inclusion Consultant & Director
Garner Education Services

Joanne Sierzega
Senior Attendance and Welfare

Deborah Innes-Turnill
Child Protection Lecturer & Safeguarding Consultant

Who are Education Conferences UK?

We provide conferences and training aimed at senior leaders, teachers, SENCOs, safeguarding leads and support staff working in early years, primary and secondary education.

You can pre-purchase conference places in bulk at discounted rates, for your organisation to use throughout the year. Email for more information. 

The team at NAPCE would like offer to our sincere thanks to all of our readers. You play a key role in the development of NAPCE and the education community at large. A key part of our mission statement is to continue to expand the NAPCE community. If your staff team are not ‘pastoral care aware’ please send on the link below to your colleagues. The more we share, the more we can make a positive difference to young peoples’ wellbeing throughout their school education experience.
Click here: An Introduction to Pastoral Care

NAPCE News – May 2022

NAPCE News – May 2022

Making a positive difference to young people through pastoral care

FEATURE ARTICLE:  NAPCE Vice Chair Dr Matt Silver Explores the Value and Management of Energy During a Crisis

Energy During a Crisis

We are all seeking change, yet require the energy to action it. 

This pandemic has hit us in phases and as a result each phase has demanded a different energy from the whole education sector. Unlike typical change, the pandemic has seen the number of phases continue to mount, some expected overnight, some slowly burning our resources almost unconsciously.

Two years ago, it was very much crisis. I sat at my desk as a head teacher in denial.

Surely the news was exaggerated? Surely the talk of lockdown was the media gaining clicks? What was coming wasn’t going to truly close the country and our school down?

As the guidance came in (and then changed), it felt like a scene out of a movie. Concern swept across the face of every learner and teacher.

Doubt. Fear. Anxiety over whether they should be in school, protecting themselves or their loved ones. A war cabinet was drawn up and battle plans made to execute orders in order to navigate safety and survival for our community and global pandemic.

Tough decisions were made, and looking back now you can pick which ones saw an emotional overload take over the control panel.

A Downward Spiral 

We were in the survival stage. This demanded us to lead and try to remain stable in a context of stress, anxiety and panic.

Much like a sprinter it demanded adrenaline and produced much cortisol but instead of a short journey, this has become a marathon of sprints, almost normalised, and as a result burnout is evident.

For many, this has led to a negative cycle that still has many leaders running it in a state of fight, flight or freeze.

I coached a client last week who had refused to book in a session since December, simply because they were too concerned with their staff to take an hour for themselves and this is after the restrictions have lifted.

Such an imbalanced physiological and psychological state has kept our parasympathetic nervous system switched on constantly, meaning that with no recovery, a less active immune and digestive system, stress has become anxiety and anxiety is leading to depression and disconnection.

Without the awareness, literacy, or management to shift out of this state, professionals have resorted to different coping mechanisms.

Flight from the profession has clearly be seen with the great resignation, as has the freeze when it comes to the national shortage of those seeking to step into leadership and guide their communities for the storm (53% of deputy heads do not want to take the step).

In many conversations and reports, the top layer of education is crumbling and further exposing their communities to the same suffering when they need stability.

Wellbeing initiatives are not the solution as the majority are extrinsic and temporary glimmers of positivity.

To develop our capacity and wisdom to evolve with change must be intrinsic. It has to be the body and mind making the decision together and to choose to unite with others if rejection is going to be prevented.

The only consistent wellbeing that is present is our emotional state and this must remain positive to move forward.

Moving up the Spiral

To address this negative spiral of ourselves and our communities requires us to recognise that all we can control during a time of sensory overload, is our own physiological and psychological state.

This is not about chunks of time, but instead regenerating energy. Space to allow for an awareness of where our energy levels are and how we are using it for optimal recovery and then performance. The same to reconnect with those around us are and the climate surrounding us (in multiple forms).

Is the internal and external energy gain and spend where we want it to be? Is there balance? Only with awareness and a common language can we apply the tools to navigate our state.

Our schools are our boats. The captain has to know where they are going, how to pace the journey subject to conditions so it is sustainable for the crew, our engine.

I was fortunate enough to integrate self-management tools into my own practice and the school’s culture before the pandemic having been coached by a group called Complete, who focus on vertical development (upgrading the processor, not adding more apps). By no means did this mean plain sailing, but it did allow our team to seek balance in the eye of the storm, gain a greater capacity to adapt and therefore be there to guide others.

What we looked to provide was the awareness of our human bodies attention to homeostasis (balance).

The space to understand this allows us to take the first step to understanding why it is we are having such reactions to change, such outbursts that flare up in resistance or shutdowns and denial. Our bodies pH, oxygen levels, blood sugars (the list goes on) is so acute that the body goes to extremes to maintain it. The same can be said with the biological lab that is our body.

What we are seeking is to counter what lies behind most forms of coping; fear of losing balance. Why is this not more obvious? When we are in a negative state, our mind does not alert us to this in order to ensure we can run through pain barriers in order to survive.

When not using our pre-frontal lobes (our smart thinking) we still believe we are making rational decisions.

To address stress and anxiety build up, we can foster our DHEA production- the performance hormone and an antidote to cortisol.

Our coaching programme often starts with polyvagal exercises that inform our brains that all is OK and in a safe state to switch our parasympathetic nervous system on and allow rest and recovery mode. This allows us to move into positive emotional states and our pre-frontal lobe to switch on once more.

The key question to ask yourself is do you know when you are making erratic decisions and if you do, can you self-manage yourself out of this state? Do our learners not need the same? Imagine. We can no longer seek the conditions to do this as the conditions are in constant flux. We need to step back, enquire, gain awareness, and only then can we set a wiser course.

Whilst much has been rightly made of education reform, we must be able to consciously be in a balanced state if we are going to reduce the resistance and increase the quality and therefore coherence of the direction we are to take. So before reform, we feel you need to overcome the resistance and prepare for the journey. To begin this we require:

External and Inner Space

Often with coaching leaders or their teams, it is the simplicity of stepping out of their typical routines and providing them with a safe space to reconnect with their essence, examine their own personal and professional journey and resulting state from multiple angles held most value.

Having facilitated in various forms with hundreds of leaders over the pandemic, this is the most consistent pattern.

It is not that they need expertise or training of processes, but the space and map to look beneath their own surface and in doing so discovering their own state at multiple levels, their own purpose, and aligning these to function at peak performance.

The simplicity of such space and the common frameworks of adult development to guide the next steps have increased leaders’ capacity despite a global crisis.

When they experience the payback for themselves, they begin the same exploration within their teams, and it spreads to their learners. This allows them to maintain their captaincy, ship and align their course, ensuring others are still on board, have agency and remain for the journey despite the waves of constant flux we will continue to navigate.

As each lockdown receded and restrictions eased, we felt the need to rebalance and realign as we began to reconnect in physical form.

The appreciation for connection left us in a positive emotional state that allowed us to see hope again.

Whilst digital platforms provided an invaluable bridge, they serve only two senses.

Let us not forget how valuable those spaces to connect with each other and ourselves are.

Change is constant but so is growth.

To get you through to the end of term and start next year as a new chapter, Pathways Development is delivering a virtual masterclass on energy management. 

Click here to book your ticket:

We cover the 5 E’s of Energy:

  1. Environment
  2. Emotion
  3. Eating and Exercise
  4. Essence
  5. Encompass

Dr Matt Silver is the CEO of Pathways Education and the Vice Chair of NAPCE. He is a system designer that implements deep learning and expansive development in a meaningful digital hybrid for leaders and learners alike whilst creating outstanding provisions. 

Pathways group of schools, colleges and leadership programmes live their mission by facilitating the individual and collective journey we are each on, driving learners to enhance their capacity, becoming self-determined and self-authoring so that they can dynamically connect with change. 

To create equitable communities, Pathways is building a flourishing co-operative that provides seed funding and incubation of social enterprises created by a network of the least served members in society, those with additional needs. This is supported by the profits generated by their international coaching and consultancy development offer. They created this during the pandemic.

GOOD PRACTICE: We Shine a Spotlight on the Great Work of the Finalists in “International Contribution” at NAPCE Awards 2021

Good Practice in Pastoral Care in Education

NAPCE is pleased to raise awareness about good practice in pastoral care in education highlighted by the National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education.

This month it is the turn of last year’s finalists in the International Contribution to Pastoral Care category sponsored by the Hult International Business School.

This award is for an international school or 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.

The winner in this category in 2021 was Bromsgrove International School, Thailand. 

Their nomination was for the creation and launch of the Bromsgrove Boarding Skills Awards scheme, which allows students a unique opportunity to reflect on their development and growth in boarding as well as obtaining micro-credentials.

The modules focused on characteristics required for later life and have a positive impact on academic work.

While the boarders do not have much time to ‘get bored’, equipping them with new skills to ensure they keep active helps with their mental health, an area increasingly prominent in pastoral care.

The scheme empowers students to better themselves and the community they live in, setting them on a path to become outstanding global citizens.

Other nominations in this category included Stephany Herzog, International School of Zug and Luzern. 

Stephany’s work with inclusion at ISZL has had a powerful impact on many young people’s lives.

She works with students, staff, and the wider community to ensure the school stands behind its inclusion policy.

The nomination included the comment, “We Are All ISZL”, whatever their gender expression, identity, sexual orientation, race, or religion.

She has developed and nurtured the school’s Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion Network. Her work with students and staff has given an opportunity for people who may feel reluctant to share their voice a safe place to be heard and the chance to drive change forward.

Another example of good practice in this category was the nomination for Child1st Consultancy Limitedfor the work of Ann Marie Christian.

Ann Marie has delivered training and consultancy to international schools since 2008. She was headhunted and recommended to a CEO of a school in Dubai and continues to deliver this work.

She has spoken at International Conferences in the Middle East, the Caribbean, and the Far East. She writes articles and raises the awareness of the importance of well-being and educating people internationally about child abuse and how to report it and spot the signs.

In 2019 Ann Marie was recognised and won the Wintrade International Award for Women in the Public Sector. She is an associate consultant for COIS and BSME.
The closing date for nominations for the 2022 National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education organised by NAPCE is on 30th May, 2022, so now is the time to spend a few minutes making a nomination to recognise the good practice and hard work of people working in pastoral care in education to make a difference in the education of children and young people.


Nominations are free and a grand presentation event is planned for October to announce the winners in each category.

More information can be found at                                                                                         


WELCOME: Meet New NAPCE NEC Member Luke Ramsden

Welcome to Luke Ramsden

We are very pleased to welcome Luke Ramsden as a member of the NAPCE National Executive Committee.

Luke is Senior Deputy Headteacher and senior Safeguarding Lead at St Benedict’s School in Ealing in London Luke was the winner of the Pastoral Leader of the Year Awardsponsored by Taylor and Francis, in the National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education 2021 organised by NAPCE.

This award is for a leader 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.

His nomination for the award explained how Luke had been responsible for developing outstanding safeguarding and pastoral practice at St Benedict’s School and how he 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.

Luke started his teaching career at Tonbridge School where he was Head of History and was then a Housemaster at Ampleforth College before moving to Ealing.

In his role as Senior Deputy Head he is responsible for the day-to-day running of the school, as well as the pastoral oversight of all the students and overseeing the school’s PSHE programme (among a number of other roles).

In his time at St Benedict’s the school has become a flagship school for safeguarding and pastoral care, with the happiness of every student placed firmly at the heart of all the school does.

Luke regularly talks at educational conferences, and writes on safeguarding, pastoral care, and in particular the use of data to inform excellence in both these areas.

Among other positions Luke holds outside St Benedict’s is as Trustee of the School’s Consent Project charity.

We are delighted that Luke has become a member of the National Executive Committee and he has already started contributing to the work of the Association and will be speaking at the June online conference and at the National Safeguarding Conference in London in September on behalf of NAPCE.

If you might be interested in contributing to the work of NAPCE as a member of the National Executive Committee then you first need to become a member of the Association.

Please contact to let us know that you are interested in contributing to the work of the Association and for further details.

It would be great to hear form you if you are interested in pastoral care in education and are passionate about supporting children and young people to achieve their full potential from their education.                                                                                            


CONFERENCE: FREE Tickets Available Now for NAPCE Online Spring Conference 2022

Online Spring Conference 2022

‘How can effective pastoral care support learners and prepare them for their future roles in society’? 

After months of planning for the NAPCE Online Conference 2022 we now have less than one month to wait for the event.

If you haven’t secured your place already, now is the time to book your ticket, so you do not miss out on the brilliant line up of speakers who are covering important issues for everybody interested in pastoral care or working in a pastoral role in education.

You can join one of the biggest events on the pastoral calendar with the ‘Pastoral Question Time’ on the Thursday evening of the Conference.

Pour yourself a glass of wine or cup of tea, send in your questions (to ) and listen to the views of our expert panel from around the world.

Join other people interested in pastoral care in education live on the evening by registering on Eventbrite for your ticket.

The links for the events will be sent out to ticket holders in the next few weeks.


Wednesday 15 June
2-00pm Welcome to the Conference – Phil Jones Chair of NAPCE
2-10pm Presentation 1– The School Response to Online Sexual Harassment and Abuse., Professor Kaitlyn Mendes, University of western Ontario Canada.
2-40pm Questions
2-45pm Presentation 2 – Developing Effective Supervision for Safeguarding, Carl Elder, Educational Consultant
3-15pm Questions
3-20pm Presentation 3 – The Rock and Roll Years for Education and the Lessons for Pastoral Care, Les Walton, CBE, Educationalist and Author
3-50pm Questions
3-55pm Close – Phil Jones Chair of NAPCE

Thursday 16th June
7-00pm to 8-00pm NAPCE QUESTION TIME – How can pastoral care and support in schools enable young people to achieve their full potential? 
Chaired by Phil Jones – Chair of NAPCE
Invited onto panel,
Dr Noel Purdy– Deputy Editor of Pastoral Care in Education.
Maria O’Neil – Author ‘Proactive Pastoral Care
Dr Mark Diacoupolos, Assistant Professor, Department of Teaching and Leadership, Pittsburg State University. USA
Charlie Walker, Student member of NAPCE National Executive.
Luke Ramsden, Senior Deputy Head, St Benedict’s School, Ealing, London.
Dr Helen O’Connor, St Swithins’ School Psychologist.

Friday 17th June 
10-00am Welcome – Phil Jones Chair of NAPCE
10-10am Presentation 4 – Using data to Create a Proactive Pastoral Strategy, Luke Ramsden, Senior Deputy Head, St Benedict’s School, Ealing, London
10-40 Questions
10-45am Presentation 5 – Lessons from Pastoral Care in a Special School, Nadine Huseyin, Family Support, Pastoral and Safeguarding lead, the Grove School Tottenham
11-15am Questions
11-20am Presentation 6 –The future Challenges of Managing Behaviour, Phil Jones, National Chair, The National Association for Pastoral Care in Education
11-50 am Questions
11-55am Close – Phil Jones Chair of NAPCE

Speakers and guests on the Question Time panel include:

Dr Helen O’Connor – Following a Clinical Doctorate from Royal Holloway University in 2001 Helen developed a specialist interest in OCD and eating disorders and worked for 14years within CAMHS and in her last position before leaving the NHS as the Lead Consultant Psychologist for a Psychological Therapies team within an adolescent inpatient unit. Helen left the NHS to work at St Swithun’s in 2015 as the schools Psychologist. Whilst working primarily with girls both preventing and managing mental health problems, Helen has developed an interest in helping teachers and education leaders consider ways of improving wellbeing for pupils in the classroom. Helen has introduced a positive education curriculum and this has now been nominated for a TES award for Pastoral Initiative of the Year 2022.

Dr Kaitlyn Mendes – Kaitlynn Mendes, PhD, is Associate Professor of Sociology and Canada Research Chair in Inequality and Gender at the University of Western Ontario, Canada and Honorary Professor of Gender, Media, and Sociology at the University of Leicester, UK. She has written widely about young people’s experiences of sexual violence, and the creative ways they have used digital technologies to challenge it. She is author of numerous books and articles including: Digital Feminist Activism: Girls and Women Fight Back Against Rape Culture (2019) and is currently co-writing a book called: Life After Lockdown: Young People, Schools, and Recovering from the Pandemic.

My presentation will focus on the crisis in schools around sexual violence, stemming from the Instagram site and website Everyone’s Invited, and the ways schools and teachers have struggled to respond. The talk is based on research conducted between March 2021-March 2022 with nearly 1000 young people and 77 teachers in England.

Dr Noel Purdy

MA (Cantab), MA (Ed.), MEd, PhD, PGCE, PGCCET, SFHEA, FLF, FCMI, CMgr
Director of Research and Scholarship, Head of Education Studies
Stranmillis University College, Belfast

Dr Noel Purdy is Director of Research and Scholarship and Head of Education Studies at Stranmillis University College, where he is also Director of CREU (the Centre for Research in Educational Underachievement).  He lectures at undergraduate and postgraduate level and has a particular research interest in educational underachievement, special educational needs and tackling bullying in schools.  He studied Modern and Medieval Languages at Cambridge University before teaching French and German in two post-primary schools (one all-ability, one grammar) in Northern Ireland. He has also taught in Germany and Switzerland.  He was the northern co-chair of the all-Ireland Standing Conference on Teacher Education North and South (SCoTENS) 2016-2021 and remains on their steering committee.  He is a member and former chair of the Northern Ireland Anti-Bullying Forum (NIABF 2013-2016) and was President of NASEN in Northern Ireland (2014-2016).  Recent research projects include a two-year Erasmus+ project working with 4 other EU partners to address cyberbullying in schools, a study of parental experiences of the SEN system in Northern Ireland funded by NICCY, two surveys of parental experiences of lockdown home-schooling in Northern Ireland in 2020 and 2021, a report on loyalist and republican former prisoners’ attitudes to educational underachievement, and (currently) a study of perceptions of level 4 and 5 vocational qualifications in Northern Ireland funded by the Department for the Economy. He is Editor (Acting) of Pastoral Care in Education – An International Journal of Personal, Social and Emotional Development. He chaired the Expert Panel on Educational Underachievement in Northern Ireland 2020-2021 whose final report and action plan A Fair Start was launched on 1 June 2021.  Most recently in February 2022 he was appointed Chair of the Steering Committee to review the 2013 Action Plan on Bullying in Ireland, appointed by Education Minister Norma Foley TD.

For more information about the presenters and guests 
on the Question Time Panel please follow us on Twitter @NAPCE1 or visit the ticket link here

CELEBRATION DINNER: Join us to Celebrate NAPCE’s 40th Anniversary

You are invited to the Anniversary dinner to celebrate the 40 years since NAPCE was formed.

It will be an opportunity to meet with other people who have contributed to the history of NAPCE and to celebrate the difference it has made for raising awareness about pastoral care in education and the difference it makes to the learning experience for children and young people and supports their personal development to prepare them for their future lives in society.

This event will take place at the Worcestershire Cricket Ground, overlooking the Severn River and cathedral in Worcester.

It takes place on Saturday 8th October as part of a weekend of events to celebrate the anniversary which include a two-day conference and the presentation for the National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education 2022.

The event is open to members and non-members.

Availability is limited and you are advised to reserve your ticket early to avoid disappointment.

Tickets can be reserved by visiting

The programme for the evening is,

7-00pm Guests Arrive – Prosecco Welcome Reception.
7-30pm Three Course Anniversary Dinner.

Dinner menu

  1. Starter                       
  2. Cream of Leek, Potato and Watercress Soup, Croutons (V) (GF)
  3. Main course             
  4. Roasted Chicken Supreme, Gratin Potato, and Red Wine Gravy (GF
  5. Dessert
  6. White Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake (V)

Vegetarian/Vegan Gluten Free option 

  1. Starter
  2. Leek, Sweet Potato and Spinach Soup (GF)
  3. Main course
  4. Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato and Roasted Red Peppers, Parsley and Dill Sauce with Tender Stem Broccoli (GF)
  5. Dessert
  6. White Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake (V)

Please advise in advance of the evening if you would prefer the vegetarian option or if you have any additional dietary requirements.

8-30pm After Dinner Speaker – Les Walton CBE

Les as he explains in his recently published book ’Education the Rock and Roll Years. A Northern Perspective on A lifetime of learning Teaching and Leading’, was one of the leading educationalists involved in the forming of NAPCE in 1982.

As the title of the book suggests, Les has a wide experience of education in recent history that he will share with guests at the dinner.

9-30 pm Pay bar available until 11-00 pm to meet old friends and make new friends. Please note this is a cashless venue.

The cost of the Anniversary Dinner is £35.00 for full members of NAPCE, £40.00 for Associate members and £45.00 for non- members.

Please dress to impress.

Please note that tickets will not be refunded unless the event is cancelled by the Association for reasons beyond its control when a full refund will be made.

There are direct train services from London to Worcester Foregate Station which is a ten-minute walk or short taxi ride from the venue.

Cross country trains call at the new Worcestershire Parkway, which has connections to Foregate Street. There is parking available at the venue and at public car parks nearby.

The venue has a Premier Inn Hotel on the site and there is a good choice of other options for accommodation in the city of Worcester.

Please book your tickets early to ensure that you do not miss this important event in NAPCE’s history to celebrate the contribution it has made to education in the last 40 years.

If you have any questions about the event, please contact NAPCE administration at


40th ANNIVERSARY: Weekend Conference Details Released to Mark Four Decades of NAPCE

We are very proud to reveal details of the weekend conference to mark NAPCE’s 40th Anniversary in October.

Further details are being added in the coming weeks.

Dates for the Diary

The 40th Anniversary Conference and Events Weekend – October 2022

Worcestershire County Cricket Club
County Ground
New Road

Friday 7th October

Conference Day One

‘Is There a Need for a New Direction for Pastoral Care in Education’? –  Research and Policy making.

Confirmed Speakers

Dr Noel Purdy – Director of Research and Scholarship at Stranmillis University College, Belfast, and Deputy Editor of ‘Pastoral Care in Education’
Maria O Neil – Educationalist and author of ‘Proactive Pastoral Care’
Professor Helen Cowie – University of Surrey

Invited and waiting for confirmation 

The Rt Hon Nadim Zahawi, Secretary of State for Education
Full programme and other speakers to be confirmed

Saturday 8th October 

Conference Day Two

‘Is There a Need for a New Direction for Pastoral Care in Education’? –  Good Practice.
Daniel Sobel – Educationalist, author and founder and CEO of Inclusion Expert
Ron Skelton – Headteacher and CEO of Broadway School, Perry Barr, Birmingham
Dr Helen O Connor – Psychologist at St Swithun’s School in Winchester
Invited and to be confirmed
Mrs Heather Hansbury, President, Girls School Association

Workshops include:

Jill Robson – NAPCE National Secretary – Effective PSHE

Full programme and other speakers to be confirmed


Reduced price tickets will be available for NAPCE members, and a reduced-price ticket will be available for both days of the conference.

Other Events planned for the Anniversary weekend in Worcester include 

Friday 7th October 7-00pm
Presentation Event for the National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education 

AWARDS: Entry for the NAPCE Awards 2022 Closes on May 30th

There are just a few days left to enter the National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education 2022 organised by NAPCE.

The third annual NAPCE awards takes place in our 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.

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.

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.

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

We use cookies to improve your website experience. To learn about our use of cookies and how you can manage your cookie settings, please see our Cookie Policy. By closing this message, you are consenting to our use of cookies.