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Main school pastoral system

Our Lady’s is justly proud of its pastoral system. We know that young people need support with many situations and circumstances. It is part of our mission and ethos that we do not confine ourselves to helping only with academic problems but that we offer as much care as possible and appropriate wherever we can improve a student’s general wellbeing or life chances.

Every pupil has a Form Tutor, usually for the full five years of their main school life, and this ensures that each child is known, valued and supported as an individual with their unique combination of gifts, personality and aspirations. Each year group has their own designated Progress Leader who is supported by a full time Pastoral Support Officer. This triangle of support ensures that any problems that might arise are solved promptly and efficiently and also that parents have an immediate point of contact at all times.

In addition to this core Pastoral Team, we have other staff who are trained in certain aspects of care and counselling and they will step in when circumstances require special or expert help. We also have a specially selected and well-trained team of Year 11 Prefects, and younger pupils can approach one of them if they feel a fellow student is more appropriate to help them with a particular problem.

It is also important to understand that if any member of staff has any welfare concerns at all about any pupil at our school they will report it to the Senior Designated Leader for Child Protection. The concern will then be investigated properly. Not only is this because the safeguarding of children and young people is the school’s number one priority, it is because school staff have a legal duty in this respect. For further information please see ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ in the Policies section of this website.

When a pupil comes to us for the first time, usually in Year 7, the Head of Year explains what sources of help are available and how to contact the appropriate person. If a parent is at all concerned with regard to the wellbeing of their child, they should contact their Pastoral Support Officer in the first instance, as they are often easier to talk to as they are not teaching. Ring the school number and ask for the Pastoral Support Officer for whichever year your son/daughter is in.