Review of Pastoral Care Structure
A review of the pastoral care structure in a large secondary was carried out by an Ahead Associates Ltd consultant at the request of the principal. In the principal’s view, most pastoral care staff were working with dedication and skill but under considerable pressure. Over the years the school roll had grown, personnel had changed, workloads had increased, and new pressures had emerged in working with external agencies. New initiatives such as PB4L had been established in the school. Some staff had grown professionally as their responsibilities had increased. Others had taken on responsibilities for which they had not been professionally trained.
The review included interviews with the Principal and all key pastoral staff, with those who reported to them and those to whom they reported. A clear picture emerged: there was overwhelming evidence of committed and effective pastoral care in the school but workloads were unequal, there were gaps in administrative support, and there was a need for targeted professional development.
The independent review allowed those involved in pastoral care in the school to reflect and speak openly about their work and how their contributions related to those of others. The confidential report prepared for the principal identified key issues and priorities and suggested possible steps of action. These recommendations incorporated valuable insights and ideas that had come from the staff most closely involved with and knowledgeable about the school’s needs and strengths. An independent review provided the school with an objective but constructive overview and provided a sound base from which to strengthen the school’s pastoral care systems.