The Importance of Pastoral Care in Schools

Jun 26, 2019 by

The Duke of Cambridge has sent a message to young people from Dover College to congratulate them on being amongst the first in the country to graduate from an award that bears his name.

The quality of pastoral care influences the ethos and tone of the whole school, according to a leading independent school in Dover, where the well-being of every pupil is the most important aspect of its community.

Pastoral care can be defined as the commitment to develop a child spiritually and emotionally, therefore the active demonstration of concern for the growth and wellbeing of each student, as well as the broader school community. Pastoral care is the focus on creating an environment and culture that supports the physical, social, intellectual, emotional and spiritual development of every student. Pastoral care in schools can be considered ‘effective’ when students feel safe.

Pastoral care supports children to achieve in all areas of their education and development and supports the government framework published in 2004 called Every Child Matters. This has five key outcomes to support the development of pupils: being healthy, staying safe, enjoying and achieving, making a positive contribution and achieving economic well-being. With that said, great pastoral care is so much more than just being nice to people, it’s about the school developing a culture where the child’s needs are at the centre of its operation.

Eventually, the true mark of great pastoral care is that pupils are taught the instinct to care for themselves and for others in later life and have an understanding of not only how to keep both themselves and others safe but understand the importance of making a positive contribution to society and living their lives with strong moral values.

All schools will have different approaches with policy and practice in terms of supporting the development of its pupils’ personal development and creating great, strong pastoral support within its community. However, when a school focuses on creating an atmosphere in which young people can feel secure, children will thrive and achieve and ultimately will reach their full potential.

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