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Talk to me about Pastoral roles in school

(27 Posts)
MaryBoBary Thu 30-Aug-18 16:33:23

Hi, just looking for some experience from teachers and other school staff members.

I am interested in some sort of pastoral role within a school but I don’t know much about it. Can anyone advise any qualifications that are required, and what day to day duties may look like please?

OP’s posts: |
ElizabethMainwaring Thu 30-Aug-18 17:08:20

Hi. You will need to be a very experienced TA/HLTA/ Teacher with a lot of knowledge of the school, pupils and parents. Pastoral roles are usually given to those with lots of prior experience. It would be unusual to get a pastoral /safeguarding role in a school without working there already. There are safeguarding and nurture (Boxall) qualifications, but as I say, the school will probably prefer to offer them to people already employed there.

ElizabethMainwaring Thu 30-Aug-18 17:20:21

As far as day to day duties go, it will be talking to pupils and their parents about attendance, behaviour and safe guarding. You will also be dealing with other agencies (Social Services, CAHMS etc). It is no walk in the park.
If you don't know what the job entails then it's not really the job for you.

CraftyGin Thu 30-Aug-18 17:44:07

The Pastoral Leader will likely share duties with other senior leaders to ensure the smooth running of the school - for example, setting up duty and assembly rotas. There are loads of rotas in a school, and these will be shared out.

On a purely pastoral front, day to day stuff would be monitoring attendance and house points/sanctions, and intervening when the form tutor can’t manage these on their own. Together with the SENCO, build up a good picture of pupil’s home life, LDDs, mental health etc.

Pastoral heads are often the Safeguarding Lead.

They also provide pastoral care to staff.

MaryBoBary Thu 30-Aug-18 17:46:56

Thanks for the replies

Elizabeth I think that comment is a bit unfair - surely everyone needs to learn what is involved in a job before working towards it? But thank you for the useful info you’ve given.

OP’s posts: |
tilligan Thu 30-Aug-18 17:54:16

Think previous posters are correct, would need to have worked in a particular school/college for some time to even be considered for this type of role. The ongoing training is pretty full-on with constant changes in policies and procedures to keep on top of, not a job for the faint hearted or, indeed anyone with a life outside the office!

ElizabethMainwaring Thu 30-Aug-18 17:54:57

Hi.Sorry Mary, but I don't think that I am being unfair. Surely you need to know what a job entails before you decide that you are the person to do it, and then subsequently ask what it entails? How do you know that you are 'interested' in doing it when you don't know what it is?

SuburbanRhonda Thu 30-Aug-18 17:57:20

If you’re interested in working primarily with parents as well as students, look for jobs as a Home School Link Worker.

You’d need an NVQ level 3 in a relevant area but you could do it on the job, as I did.

ButFirstTea Thu 30-Aug-18 18:05:12

I worked as a guidance manager in a school sixth form for two years and categorically had zero experience in that area and no relevant qualifications (other than a degree but I can't remember if that was a requirement). It might not be a pastoral role in the strictest sense but it definitely has an overlap.

Day to day it was monitoring students who were struggling, liasing with parents and teachers, making referrals to counselling or doctors, supporting students' academic work, running programmes for higher ability kids, holding uni application sessions or drop-in lunches etc. No two days were the same and working with sixth formers was brilliant.

KeithLeMonde Thu 30-Aug-18 18:08:59

I would disagree with PP based on how these roles are being allocated at (state) secondaries in my area. They used to be done by experienced teachers but now, because of budget cuts, are being re-packaged as support staff roles with admin pay. There is a senior member of staff who heads the team and is the designated safeguarding lead, but most of the day-to-day work is done by support staff. The pay is rubbish but it can be rewarding.

Have a look at some job adverts on the TES or elsewhere to get an idea. In secondaries you will probably deal with first aid, attendance and poor behaviour in the first instance. A person without experience could handle these if they have the right character and attitude IMHO. The next step up is attendance intervention (home visits, mentoring etc), meetings with unhappy or difficult parents, safeguarding, and the more complex issues around students who are struggling at school.

fairgame84 Thu 30-Aug-18 18:11:48

I'm pastoral in a primary and have been for 4 years. I do safeguarding (deputy lead) so attend case conferences and cp and cin meetings. I do Early Help Assessments and take on Lead Practitioner role in TAF and Early Help cases. Attendance support plans and home visits with EWO.
Nurture groups, circle of friends.
1:1 interventions to support kids with self esteem, behaviour, anger and bereavement.
Parent information and coffee mornings.
I'm the SEMH lead in school so I'm the school link with CAMHS.
Work closely with SENCO to support families. Help families access parenting support, respite (disabled kids), housing and financial support.
General listening ear for parents and kids.
I'm also medical lead for school so work with school nurses to prepare flu vaccination sessions and I write care plans for children with medical needs.
Basically it's an anything goes job!
I've done everything from helping a parent clean up her house to supporting a pupil in their Sats tests.
I had never worked in a school before I got the job, however I'm a paeds trained nurse and used to be a school nurse.
The stress is high and pay is crap.

SuburbanRhonda Thu 30-Aug-18 18:12:13

I agree that you can move from a learning support role into a pastoral role but the money is loads better (it was for me).

You do have to do a lot of training and if you are a designated safeguarding lead you will have to update your training every two years.

Mrbatmun Thu 30-Aug-18 18:15:10

Hi.Sorry Mary, but I don't think that I am being unfair. Surely you need to know what a job entails before you decide that you are the person to do it, and then subsequently ask what it entails? How do you know that you are 'interested' in doing it when you don't know what it is?

I think that is why she started the thread, as a way to begin to find out. There are often 'pastoral' roles on the educational recruitment sites and I imagine that the OP wanted to start researching into what such a role might entail. Maybe in the end she will decide its not for her but if she doesn't know what the job is then she can't know that can she? And yes your post did come across as a bit sanctimonious, even if you didn't mean it to, especially If you don't know what the job entails then it's not really the job for you. If this was the case then no one would ever go for a new job would they?

LoafEater Thu 30-Aug-18 18:28:46

In the case of the school I work in, on order to become pastoral co-ordinator, you need to have worked in the admin office for 15 years and have annoyed everyone there so much that when the pastoral job comes up you are promoted to it with no training just so they can see the back of you to another office!

You can then carry on doing a bad job of being pastoral, forgetting appointments, losing paperwork, ignoring parents etc until you retire.

There are a lot of Peter Principle promotions in schools.

okeydokeygirl Thu 30-Aug-18 19:11:33

I work in a secondary school doing pastoral work. My role is a mix of safeguarding, mental health support for students and parental support. It sounds very similar to Fairgame (PP above) description of their role. IME every school has a very different pastoral set up. In some schools these roles are filled by experienced teachers or head of years and paid as such. In others they are on the same payscale as an HTLA (term time only) even if the workload and reponsibility is a similar level. Lots of training can be done on the job. If you have no experience in anything related at the moment then I would suggest you look at TA roles in schools to start off with then grab every opportunity to go on training courses in the areas that you are interested in and especially anything on mental health. If you have training or experience in something related like health or social care, nursery work, counselling or anything to do with education then have a good look at the job descriptions and person specifications for any jobs you see advertised. You might just have the skills that they are looking for in that particular post. It can be very stressful and often low paid but it is never boring. Look out for courses on mental health. Good luck.

MaryBoBary Thu 30-Aug-18 20:20:47

Very interesting, and very school dependant by the sounds of it.

I’m currently a stay at home parent but when I do go back I’m considering teaching, but the pastoral side of that is what I would really enjoy.

@Mrbatmun I’m glad someone understood what I was getting at!

OP’s posts: |
Holidayshopping Thu 30-Aug-18 20:22:50

The deputy heads in my two DC’s schools are the pastoral leads.

BakewellGin1 Thu 30-Aug-18 20:39:53

I work in pastoral support within Further Education.. Main duties..
Working alongside programme leaders to give best support to learners.. attendance, welfare and work as deputy safeguarding lead. Includes going to multi agency meetings (TAC, LAC, Child Protection) completing Early Help Requests and Safer Referrals
Work with agencies such as CAMHS, MIND, Housing Support, Social Care, Harbour and with Parents, Guardians, Foster Carers.
It's fast paced and emotionally challenging at times as well as both frustrating and rewarding equally...
Requires accuracy, continuous training, good reporting skills as well as being capable of building relationships and showing resiliance. Some of the lives are horrific and it is hard to not be overly affected. Its easy to let it sneak into your personal life so the ability to seperate the two is vital for your own sanity and well being. Overall challenging but rewarding.

PinguDance Thu 30-Aug-18 23:10:57

In my school they try and recruit from a social work background rather than TA background - no former TAs currently in a pastoral role. However in the past, as a PP mentioned, they seemed to have juts randomly appointed people from the admin staff so we now have a bizarre mix of characters on the team. You can really tell whose got relevant experience and who hasn’t tbh in terms of what they get done - not saying you wouldn’t be able to get a job but I’d actually try and get some experience outside a school with young people. Money isn’t bad - they get a fair bit more than TAs which is a bone of contention amongst my colleagues - in our set up they aren’t as involved as some of the above posters in camhs etc as there is a dedicated Child protection team for that. So basically they do detentions, sort uniform, take kids out of class, discuss bullying disputes etc annoy staff by being generally a big crap they have to talk to parents quite a lot though which must be a bit draining. They also have to administer medicines. Tbh in our school they have a relatively cushy set up without the aspects PPs have mentioned. So, aim for that!

SuburbanRhonda Thu 30-Aug-18 23:44:45

Some of the lives are horrific and it is hard to not be overly affected.

I have regular supervision included in my role. I couldn’t do the job without it.

ASauvignonADay Fri 31-Aug-18 06:42:25

Lots of pastoral roles - like family link workers in primary and pastoral leads in secondary. I'm responsible for safeguarding, behaviour, attendance and all things welfare related. Friendship issues take up most of my time! It's tough and stressful but very rewarding. Lots of difficult conversations and decisions. . I think my job said you need a a degree.

BakewellGin1 Fri 31-Aug-18 06:54:00

SuburbanRhonda I forgot that part..

We have supervision via our manager and are also offered it via another source if we choose to access it. Luckily because the programme leaders are very involved also I usually have someone to offload and share ideas with.

Katescurios Fri 31-Aug-18 07:02:30

Look at eteach website to see roles in your area, most job vacancies have a people and job spec which will help you to understand the role and what experience/quals you will need.

NellieBee Fri 31-Aug-18 10:57:38

I have a social work background and now work as pastoral lead in a secondary school. I love it. Had never worked in a school before. I'm also the DSP.

ElizabethMainwaring Sat 01-Sep-18 09:00:58

MaryBoBary - Hi, please accept my apologies for being a bit of a clown. All the best.

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