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The Importance of Pastoral Care in Schools

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Pastoral care is a term used regularly but often without a true understanding of what it actually is. We will certainly notice when it’s not working the way a school promises it will, but do we know what actually goes into successful pastoral care? It essentially refers to the dedication the school staff have to ensuring every student is safe, happy, healthy, and reaching their full potential academically. No child should be neglected or overlooked, otherwise the pastoral care have failed in their core duty. A private school in Surrey explores in further detail below.

In some ways, pastoral care and parenting are very much alike; they both involve protecting children from emotional or physical harm and supporting them through their academic journey. This means dealing with any problems as they arise, like if a child is struggling with a particular subject or dealing with friendship issues. However, pastoral care is far more complicated, is it involves safeguarding hundreds of children, as opposed to a few. As a result, it’s important that schools have policies and procedures in place, to ensure all staff are following the same protocol. 

One of the main pastoral carers in your child’s life is their form tutor, who will provide a bridge between their school and home life, as they will interact with your child on a daily basis. It would be wise to make your child’s form tutor aware of anything going on at home that might interfere with your child’s wellbeing and performance at school. For example, you might be moving to a new house, having another baby or there may have been a death in the family. Informing the form tutor of these big events will encourage them to keep an eye on your child and make sure they are coping well. 

As well as focussing on the personal and academic success of each and every student, pastoral care also involves enhancing community spirit at the school, by ensuring all children feel like part of one big team. Consequently, students should graduate from their school having formed strong bonds with their teachers and peers. They will have also learnt how to make sensible decisions when it comes to their future and will be able to take the next steps in their lives as a kind and helpful member of society, no matter what those next steps might be.

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