Best Practice

Proactive pastoral care: Nurturing a culture of wellbeing

The pandemic is forcing us to redefine vulnerability and to prioritise diversity and inclusion as we build back better. Maria O’Neill looks at some key tenets of proactive pastoral care post-Covid


As we go from one wave to another, it is my hope that Covid-19 has made it obvious to the general public – as well as to those working in education – just how important pastoral leadership and pastoral care are for young people.

After some challenging times for our pastoral teams, not least when it comes to safeguarding disclosures, we are wishing for some normality and stability (while still of course planning for uncertainty).


Proactive pastoral care

“Proactive pastoral care is based on the old adage that prevention is better than cure.’’ (Collins & McNiff, 1999).

In my book – Proactive Pastoral Care: Nurturing happy, healthy and successful learners (2020) – I define proactive pastoral care thus: ‘‘Proactive pastoral care is the essential element of pastoral structures that focuses on creating, embedding and nurturing a community’s wellbeing culture.

Register now, read forever

Thank you for visiting SecEd and reading some of our content for professionals in secondary education. Register now for free to get unlimited access to all content.

What's included:

  • Unlimited access to news, best practice articles and podcast

  • New content and e-bulletins delivered straight to your inbox every Monday and Thursday


Already have an account? Sign in here