10 Top Tips For Pastoral Leaders (Part 2)

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Phil Naylor

Phil is a Deputy Headteacher , a Science SLE and a Local Authority Primary School Governor. Phil is the host of the podcast Naylor's Natter.
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How can you raise the profile of the pastoral leader in your school?

Pastoral care matters hugely; it always has and always will.

Following on from yesterday’s 10 Top Tips For Pastoral Leaders Part 1 blog, here are tips 6-10.

Recommendation 6

Be proactive about mental health

  1. The role of schools in supporting mental health is increasing. This requires support, funding and training.
  2. School leaders can begin to be proactive about supporting the mental health of both staff and students. The impact of the pandemic means this involves much more than wellbeing; it requires a systemic change to how schools could operate.

Recommendation 7

Mobile technology

  1. Think carefully about policies around mobile phone usage. Where do you want the pastoral team’s focus? Probably not sorting out issues from outside of school that could and arguably should be addressed by parents and other agencies.
  2. Do not be afraid to initiate strict protocols to ensure phones are not used during the school day. The positive changes and lack of resistance may surprise you and children may welcome the opportunity to be unconnected for a few hours.

Recommendation 8

Consistency is crucial

  1. Consistency underpins everything with regard to pastoral matters.
  2. Be mindful of implementation and consider the need for routines. Think about the type of routines required in your setting, referring to the examples of routines provided here. Also consider how many routines to introduce at a particular time.
  3. Look at communicating and teaching your routines like a curriculum. Behaviour needs to be taught and reinforced like a curriculum.
  4. Apply wisdom within the routines and use your acquired experience to make nuanced decisions in the best interests of individual pupils.

Recommendation 9

Use nurture and pathways groups for a more nuanced approach to behaviour

  1. The use of nurture and pathways groups may support students with SEND and additional needs, especially if they are at the edge of exclusion.
  2.  Consider a more nuanced approach to behaviour that takes into consideration the individual context of students with additional needs.

Recommendation 10

Model self-care and look after yourself

  1. As Patrick Ottley-O’Connor is fond of saying, put on your own oxygen mask before you attempt to fit anyone else’s. Pastoral work is relentless, emotionally exhausting and extremely rewarding.
  2. Ensure that you put yourself and your family at the centre of your work, grounding you to be able to make better decisions for staff and students in your care . Finish early sometimes, don’t reply to emails in the evenings, weekends and holidays. This will put you in the best headspace to continue to do the life-changing work that you all do, day and day out.

How will these tips improve the pastoral care offered in your school?

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