pastoral care

Effective Pastoral Care in Schools

Why does pastoral care matter?

Pastoral care involves teaching and providing opportunities for young people to grow in their self-esteem, confidence, and independence of thought. This facilitates the development of their personal, social and emotional intelligence.

The quality of pastoral care influences the ethos and tone of the whole school and is, therefore, extremely important when creating an atmosphere in which young people can feel secure and achieve.

Pastoral care in schools can be considered ‘effective’ when the following is evident:

  1. Students feel safe
  2. Students can gain important insights about life and the world around them
  3. All staff are fully committed, trained and well informed about safeguarding and the importance of pastoral welfare and support
  4. Behaviour standards are high, fair and consistent
  5. Opportunities exist to encourage proactive liaisons between parents and external support agencies and school
  6. All student achievements are recognised and valued  

Who is responsible?

In many situations, responsibility for pastoral care can lie with both teaching and support staff. However, a whole school ethos needs to be developed by leaders and managers in order to facilitate the growth of effective pastoral policies and practices.

This might include a variety of initiatives undertaken across the formal curriculum of a school. It will include personal and social provision, ranging from that which is timetabled and structured (curricular) to the informal and unstructured (extra-curricular). In other words, pastoral care should not be restricted to caring and the affective domain and rejects the separation of pastoral and academic.

We want to know what you think – should pastoral and academic be separated and how effective is pastoral care is in your school? Push the button below to share your views on pastoral care.


By Yolande Herbst.

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Pastoral Care