Pastoral care is essential in any school; it’s a chance for teachers to make a personal difference amongst their students, outside of the general subject timetable. A Sixth Form in Middlesex describes good pastoral care as taking on “the form of both good counsel and comfort when needed, and also high expectations of manners and conduct”. The health and wellbeing of every student is an extremely important aspectwithin any school environment.
Good quality pastoral care engages every student. One of the main pastoral carers within a school is the form tutor. They see their form group every day, at least once, and they act as the link between the home and the school. What’s more, the form tutor is able to develop a strong understanding of a student’s overall development, not just academically but also personally and socially.
Research suggests that there is a link between good pastoral care and academic progress. This is because when something happens within one aspect of a child’s life, such as their friendship group or relationship with their parents, it will affect other aspects of their life, such as their education. Pastoral care aims to create a sense of belonging for each child within the broader community of the school. It celebrates achievements, boosting self-esteem, and provides guidance for those who are dealing with personal issues.
Parents will be able to easily determine whether or not pastoral care is working in their child’s school. In many ways, it’s very similar to parenting, as it shares the same goal to protect a child from harm. If your child is happy, safe, involved and reaching their full potential, it means their school offers an excellent support system. If not, you should plan to speak to your child’s teachers as soon as possible.