Pastoral care in schools is not something that I was really aware of when my girls started school in the UK. Learning what pastoral leaders do, how they work with children to make their lives better from a more well-rounded perspective, it has made me so grateful and appreciative of the system. If lockdown and homeschooling our kids have taught us one thing, it’s that school for children is far more than just their education.
What is Pastoral Care in Schools?
Pastoral care in schools is essentially a system that supports all pupils’ physical and emotional well-being, ensuring they are happy, healthy, and given an opportunity to reach their full potential academically. You could argue that good pastoral care forms the foundation with which superior quality learning can take place. After all, if a child is struggling with friendship issues, problems at home or other personal challenges, it will be difficult for them to focus on their studies.
How Does Pastoral Care In Schools Help Children?
Children spend the majority of their time at school, so their personal needs must be catered to, in addition to their academic needs. Hopefully, as a result, not only will they be able to succeed, they will also look back on their time at school with fond memories.
Pastoral care shares many similarities to parenting in that both must protect children and help them deal with any problems as they arise. At this sixth form in Surrey, staff focus on developing a partnership with families to ensure the care that children are provided with is cooperative, pre-emptive and individual.
Pastoral Care Policies
There tend to be various policies and procedures in place with regards to pastoral care, which help ensure each member of staff are on the same page. With that said, it is often quite obvious when a pastoral care system in a school isn’t working effectively.
When choosing a school for your child, have a think about the pastoral care provisions; what are the aims and ethos of the school? Is there are on-site counsellor to offer support should your child need it? Are there house systems in place to promote a sense of community and healthy competition? Are their opportunities for older students to mentor younger students who may be struggling? Pastoral care isn’t one single thing – it’s embedded in all aspects of the school.
Simply put, pastoral care is vital within a school because it allows all pupils to grow up to be respectable, successful members of society. If you require more information about the pastoral care provisions in your child’s school, don’t hesitate to contact a member of staff.
Pastoral Care In Schools, following Coronavirus
Schools are aware that some pupils will require additional emotional and pastoral support when they return to school, so making time for pastoral care is a priority.Extract from the Gov.uk website.
If you want to find out more about what the government and department of education are saying about the efforts of schools to provide pastoral care to students following the impact of Coronavirus, you can read their update here.
In an article on the Headteacher.Com website, they spoke of how Vigilance is Key, and the 5 things that safeguarding leads need to consider as they return to school. It highlights the efforts and the concern that educators and pastoral leaders have for children who have been locked down, homeschooled as a result of Coronavirus. Whilst what it highlights is so sad and concerning, the fact that those responsible for Pastoral Care in schools are aware of this, really does go to show the importance of pastoral care in schools.