Pastoral Care & PSHE

In the context of English education, pastoral care has a distinctive (and broader) meaning than those words might convey to anyone primarily concerned with religion. It includes all kinds of support for students experiencing problems of a personal, social, emotional or behavioural nature and it is usual in secondary schools, for some roles (such as ‘form tutor’, ‘head of year’, ‘school counsellor’) to be defined as having specific pastoral responsibilities. I co-edited/co-authored two early books on this area:

  • R. Best, P Ribbins, C Jarvis and D Oddy [1983]: Education and Care: The Study of a School and its Pastoral Organization. London: Heinemann, Organization in Schools series.
  • R Best, C Jarvis and P Ribbins (Eds) [1980]: Perspectives on Pastoral Care. London: Heinemann, Organization in Schools series.

Because of its concern for the well-being of the child as a ‘whole person’, pastoral care is often associated with personal, social and health education (PSHE) and similar components of the curriculum (such as Citizenship). I maintain some interest in this area through the National Association for Pastoral Care in Education (NAPCE) of which I am a life member. I co-edited a major text in this field:

  • R Best, P Lang, C Lodge and C Watkins (Eds) [1995]: Pastoral Care and Personal-Social Education: Entitlement and Provision. London: Cassell.

The common ground between pastoral care, PSHE and emotional experience is sometimes referred to as affective education. I am a founder member of the European Affective Education Network (EAEN) and a regular presenter at the EAEN biennial conference.

Selected publications

Best, R [2008]: ‘Education, support and the development of the whole person’. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 36(4), 343-351.

R  Best [2007]: ‘The whole child matters: the challenge of Every Child Matters for
pastoral care’. Education 3-13, 35(3) 249-259.

R Best [2003]: ‘New Bottles for Old Wine? Affective Education and the “Citizenship Revolution” in English Schools’. Pastoral Care in Education, 21(4).

R Best [2001]: Pastoral Care and Personal-Social Education: a Review of UK Research. Southwell (Notts): British Educational Research Association.

R Best [2000]: ‘Empathy, Experience and SMSC’, Pastoral Care in Education, 18(4).

R Best [1999]: ‘The impact on pastoral care of structural, organizational and statutory changes in schooling: some empirical evidence and a discussion’. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 27(1).

For a full list of my publications, see my CV