Pastoral Support

The pastoral system underpins the academic curriculum by offering support and guidance to all students. Topics such as self-awareness, self-esteem, physical and mental wellbeing and personal development of each individual student are viewed by the staff as fundamental to the education provided at Burnham Grammar School.

Our pastoral work involves everyone, whether or not they are SLT, the Wellbeing Manager, Heads of House, Deputy Heads of House, Form Tutors, class teachers or members of support staff as all teaching and non-teaching staff have a responsibility of care to all students.  Parents/carers are viewed as essential partners in this process and contact with appropriate support agencies is made whenever this is judged necessary.  Students are also encouraged to play a pastoral role by being sensitive to others' needs and by helping each other whenever possible.  Relationships built on trust and mutual respect are deliberately fostered within the school.

A formal system of referral exists to support this policy. All teaching staff may be deployed as form tutors and a managerial role has been given to a non-teaching member of staff in the school who is dedicated to supporting pastoral care. Also as part of this team are: Heads of House, Deputy Heads of House, Pastoral Administrative Managers, Receptionists and members of the SEND team where appropriate.  There are also counsellors available. Form tutors are the named people responsible for the pastoral care of students in their tutor groups. Heads of House and Deputy Heads of House provide guidance and support as necessary, as do the Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher and Assistant Headteachers. Some instances must always be referred to the leadership team: child protection, drugs, crime or any other grave issue.

The school counsellor’s role is to offer counselling and support to students. All staff may refer students to pastoral staff to access the counsellor and to benefit from his/her specific skills. Where there are more referrals than counselling places a waiting list will be held by an appropriate member of the pastoral team. Students will usually see the school counsellor for regular counselling by appointment.

Confidentiality is never promised to students. Members of staff are made aware of pastoral concerns about individual students on a need-to-know basis. All such information is confidential within the school limits and, if parents are involved, the need for confidentiality for the student's family is made clear.

The pastoral work in the school upholds the code of conduct, and disciplinary episodes will, wherever possible, have a pastoral dimension so that the students learn from their experience.

The school will keep abreast of current pastoral issues, local and national and will ensure policy and practise reflects this, including the implementation of staff training.

In summary, the personal development of students is a prime concern to all staff and is always considered when decisions are made affecting any aspect of school life.