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Kerry Dixon

Pastoral care in other countries

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I would be interested to hear what the pastoral care systems are like in the countries other forum members teach in. My impression from being a language assistant in Germany was that the systems of form tutors / heads of year etc and the general sense of taking a more active role in pupils' emotional wellbeing is more pronounced in England. I wonder whether this is because of whole day school - obviously we spend more time with our pupils, therefore we take on a greater in loco parentis role.

Is this just my naive experience or is it true? Do other countries have heads of year or similar teachers in responsibility post who deal with pastoral care, discipline etc? Or is this a very British thing?

I've also heard about the American system of Guidance Counsellers, but if I understood correctly these are not necessarily trained teachers?

All input / anecdotes / opinions welcome!

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Pastoral Care in Atlanta Georgia

During a visit to North Springs High School in the Fulton County area of Atlanta as part of an educational trip funded by the TCT I was impressed by the efficiency of the pastoral care. Students were assigned to trained counsellors who were responsible for monitoring progress, helping students with time management and planning, careers advice, reporting to parents and contacting outside agencies on matters linked to the students wellbeing. This system left teachers free to teach without the time consuming constraints of pastoral work. I have always thought that the roles of the form tutor and particularly that of Year Head are particularly demanding when in addition to a teaching timetable. I would be interested to hear more about systems of pastoral care in other countries.

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I thought so - this was why I was interested to see what other members had to offer on this subject. As an assistant head of year, I do my best but with so little time, it's difficult to deal with all of the students who would benefit from the attention. Unfortunately, most of our time is taken up with admin, discipline and academic tracking (as well as teaching a full timetable and being a form tutor), leaving little or no time for those students who need a listening ear for whatever reason.

How about members from other countries? Does any other country have this kind of non-teaching pastoral care? Or are other countries more like my experiences of Germany, where pastoral care is dealt with ad hoc by staff who teach the students concerned?

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