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The impact on pastoral care of structural, organisational and statutory changes in schooling: some empirical evidence and a discussion

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Against the historical background of institutionalised pastoral care in schools, the results are reported of a questionnaire survey of 159 members of the National Association for Pastoral Care in Education (NAPCE) with regard to the impact of post-1988 changes on pastoral care and personal and social education (PSE). Five hypotheses are generated concerning the likely effects of the 1988 Education Reform Act, the National Curriculum and associated developments in educational policy and management. The data reveal that, for the sample surveyed, the importance, time and resources given to pastoral care and PSE are considered not to have declined in the way predicted. Respondents were also more positive than expected about the impact of a range of related changes, including school-centred initial teacher training, teacher mentoring, the introduction of statutory training days, National Curriculum cross-curricular elements, and SCAA and OFSTED guidance. However, there were some developments which were considered to have had a negative effect. These included the National Curriculum programmes of study and key-stage assessments, published league tables and collective acts of worship. Respondents were divided as to the impact of other developments, including the advent of local financial management (LMS), grant-maintained status and OFSTED inspections. There was little visible effect on the role structures in schools, with traditional â–˜horizontalâ–™ arrangements of years and schools-within-schools predominating. In sum, the picture as regards the impact on pastoral care and PSE of a decade of educational policy change is more optimistic than might have been supposed.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Faculty of Education, Roehampton Institute London, Froebel Institute College, Grove House, Roehampton Lane, London, SW15 5PJ, UK

Publication date: 1999-02-01

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