Draft PASTORAL CARE POLICY
Through its pastoral care arrangements and provision, Coláiste Aindriú demonstrates its continuing concern for the personal and social development of all its pupils. Pastoral care is at its most effective when it is fully integrated into the school’s daily curriculum, extra-curricular and co-curricular activities. This is the approach, which is promoted in Coláiste Aindriú. As such Pastoral care involves not only the pastoral care team but in various ways all members of staff.
The pastoral care aspect of the school community is a whole-school responsibility concerning students, staff and parents/guardians. It is a requirement of the 1998 Education Act that schools “promote the moral, spiritual, social and personal development of students.” This is reflected in the ethos of the school. This must be supported in a coherent manner and an effective pastoral care structure contributes significantly to this endeavour.
The pastoral care aims of the school have clearly taken into account the importance attached to the pastoral care of all its students. The aims are as follows:
§ To respond in a sympathetic and understanding way to the concerns, fears and worries of all students.
§ To encourage the students to value one another and to respect the views of other members of their community.
§ To develop the students self-confidence, self-esteem and self-discipline.
§ To give students the skills and abilities to overcome challenges they may face as part of growing up.
§ To provide opportunities for reflection and discussion enabling students to develop a framework for responsible decision-making.
§ To provide access to a broad and balanced curriculum for all students.
§ To prepare the students for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life.
The Role of the Board of Management:
The Board of Management is responsible for ensuring that:
· Coláiste Aindriú has a Pastoral Care Policy.
· The policy is reviewed on a regular basis.
· Support is given for all pastoral care initiatives in the school.
· The policy is made available to all members of the school community.
The Role of the Principal and Deputy Principal:
The Principal and Deputy Principal must take the lead role in the pastoral care of the students. It is their primary responsibility to ensure the wellbeing of the students in the care of the school. The school’s senior management carry out this function in a number of ways:
§ Ensuring that the programmes and curriculum on offer to the students is responsive to their needs and allows them to develop to their full potential.
§ Ensuring that the structures are put in place to support the students’ pastoral needs.
§ Creating and fostering a climate and culture of respect among all members of the school community that allows students to develop to their full potential.
§ Promoting a restorative approach to dealing with student discipline, which seeks to build relationships based on respect.
§ Supporting the continuous professional development of staff to manage the needs of students in our care.
§ Supporting staff in responding to the needs of students.
§ Coordinating a whole school approach to pastoral care.
§ Proactively engaging with the pastoral care of all students including responding to the needs of students who may need extra supports.
§ Supporting parents/guardians in the holistic development of their children.
§ Proactively facilitating the contribution of external agencies to the development of the students in our care.
The Role of the Student Support Team:
Coláiste Aindriú has a Student Support Team in place that deals with students whose need for support might exceed those of other students in the school.
The Student Support Team comprises of the Principal, Deputy Principal, the Career Guidance Counsellor, the SEN Coordinator, the Home School Community Liaison Coordinator and the School Completion Project Worker. A Senior Educational Psychologist with KCETB also links in with the Student Support Team on a regular basis.
The work of the Student Support Team includes:
§ The Student Support Team meets each week and reviews the needs of all of the students who receive extra supports in the school. A Student Support List has been established and this is reviewed each week. A consensus approach is used for determining which students are included on the list, how they are risk/needs assessed, and, how and when they are removed from the list.
§ The Student Support Team having reviewed the needs of the individual student may decide to link in with the student in school but may also decide to seek extra supports outside of the school.
§ Year Heads, Class Teachers and Subject Teachers may raise their concerns with regard to particular students and may refer students to the Student Support Team.
§ Members of the Student Support Team act as link people for different students who have individual needs. They check in with these individuals on a regular basis to monitor their needs and to ensure the appropriate supports are in place.
§ The Student Support Team also reviews best practice, reviews school policies from a pastoral perspective and plans for the future care needs of the students.
§ In the event of a critical incident in the school, the Student Support Team is the key body with responsibility for managing the school’s response to the incident and for managing the pastoral needs of the school community.
§ The Student Support Team has the responsibility for the advising on Child Protection issues with the Designated Liaison Person (the Principal) being a member of the team.
The Year Head
The Year Head monitors the overall academic progress and well- being of the students in each specific year. Year Heads have both a pastoral and disciplinary role and have access to information on all students in the year groups.
Year Heads will inform subject teachers of students in the year group who may be experiencing difficulties. Year Heads will refer students to the pastoral care team or other school supports as they find/ see necessary.
All teachers have responsibility for the pastoral care of students in the school. Through the various curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular programmes, they will, amongst other things:
§ Help build up students’ esteem.
§ Help students to make informed decisions about issues in terms of ‘right’ or ‘wrong’.
· Provide an environment conducive to the development of each student.
From time to time, some teachers may find that students reach out to them or engage them in a one to one conversation. If the teacher has a concern about a student, they should complete the student referral form available in the staffroom and submit it to a member of the Pastoral Care Team.
The role of the school’s Guidance Counsellor is to assist students to make choices about their lives and to provide care and support to students learning to cope with the many aspects of growing up. The Guidance Counsellor is part of the Pastoral Care Team.
The Guidance Counsellor may counsel students after referral through the Pastoral Care Team weekly meetings. Guidance Counsellor meets students one to one on an on-going basis to listen to students and to provide advice and support. Where the care needs of a student cannot be met within the school, the Guidance Counsellor will recommend support for the student from outside agencies and professionals through parent(s) or guardian(s).
The Role of the SEN Coordinator
The Special Education Needs Coordinator has a pivotal role in responding to the needs of the young people in our care who may have general or specific learning difficulties.
These needs are often complex and may extend beyond the academic to comprise of a wide range of interlinked social, emotional, behavioural and psychological needs. The coordinator:
· Coordinates the provision of all supports for students with SEN in cooperation with learning support staff, drawing up learning plans and strategies as targeted interventions for addressing the needs of the students.
· Liaises with all teaching staff relating to SEN students in their care.
· Coordinates the activities of our SNAs linking them in with specific students or class groups to ensure the needs of the students are being met.
· Manages the application for resources for our SEN students including securing teaching and SNA supports for our students as well as putting in place appropriate supports for all examinations.
· Liaises with the feeder National Schools about incoming students who may have SEN to ensure that the school is in a position to manage this SEN and to ensure the students have a smooth transition into Coláiste Aindriú.
· Liaises with parents/guardians of students with SEN to address all their needs including those of a pastoral nature.
The Role of Home-School Community Liaison
The Home-School Community Liaison Co-ordinator plays an important pastoral care role in supporting students and their families. In our school, this service is aimed in the first instance towards students in First Year ensuring a successful transition from primary school to secondary school. It is also targeted at students who are considered at risk due to poor attendance, poor application to work and/or students with emotional difficulties. Its aims are as follows:
· To maximise the active participation of the students in the school in the learning process, in particular those who might be at risk of failure.
· To promote active co-operation between home, school and relevant community and external agencies in promoting the educational interests of the students.
· To offer courses to parents/guardians to raise their awareness of their own capacities to enhance their children's educational progress and to assist them in developing relevant skills.
· To enhance the student's uptake of education, their retention in the educational system, their continuation to post-primary education and to third level and their attitudes to lifelong learning.
Signed: _____________________________ Signed: ________________________
(Chairperson of Board of Management) (Principal)
Date: ______________ Date: __________________
Date of next review: _______________