By Michael Marland and Rick Rogers
At a time when the pastoral side of education can feel under threat it's good to see the publication of a book that powerfully restates the rationale and context for the role of form tutor. Michael Marland's previous contributions in this area are well known and respected, and this book is an update that includes reference to such current preoccupations as Ofsted, learning styles and the diverse social issues affecting pupils and their wellbeing.
It covers a wide range of issues, from pupils' personal and social development and managing tutorial sessions, to working with families and dealing with individual casework. It combines a fair amount of theoretical context and idealism with practical examples and advice, most of which are sound rather than innovative. The writing style occasionally seems dated and, in places, even a touch pompous, but within these pages is reflected a vast amount of experience and a good deal of wisdom. This is a principled, optimistic and thorough compendium of the issues surrounding the form tutor's work.
Wynn Rees is deputy headteacher at King Edward VI school, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk