Best Practice

Pastoral leaders: 5 ways to hit the ground running

The role of pastoral leader is crucial and yet quite often wide-ranging and perhaps undefined. Mohamed Ibrahim looks at how colleagues taking on pastoral leadership roles can hit the ground running
Image: Adobe Stock

Taking on any pastoral leadership position can be a daunting and yet incredibly rewarding proposition.

Not only are you responsible for the wellbeing and conduct of a significant group of students – perhaps as many as 200 young people depending on your role – but you are expected to know each student and their family intimately and be the embodiment of in loco parentis.

Whereas academic middle leadership positions have long been supported with evidence-informed strategies and procedures, the role of pastoral leader is often dependent on relationships and rules, positivity and perseverance, and a whole lot of luck.

Whereas previously pastoral leaders were simply responsible for the behaviour of their cohort and were essentially reactionary “guards”, dealing with incidents, the role has now developed into one that is much more preventative and data-driven and based on extensive planning and preparation.

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