Pastoral care needs attention

An increasing focus on subject leadership has undermined pastoral support, argues Sam Draper – but we need to re-enforce pastoral leadership to help students thrive

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Let me take you back through the mists of time to when I was an NQT at a “trying-to-improve” inner-city comprehensive. Back then, my lessons were punctuated by daily visits by one or more of the heads of year. There would be a knock at the door and a confident figure would stride in. The pupils would immediately stop throwing things and return to their seats.

“Morning Sir, how are Year 9 doing today?”

“We’re getting there, Miss.”

This sign of support, in the form of a truly non-threatening classroom visit, happened every day. There was a physical pastoral presence. We knew that each child ...

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