Maximising student potential.




1. Framework for Formulating School Policy

Pastoral Care Policy Team – Met on a number of occasions over a two year period. Conducted review of existing Pastoral Care Policy. Drafted new Policy, Policy Draft then presented to Student Council, Parent Council, staff and adopted by Board of Management.

2. Relationship to School Ethos, 

School Mission/Vision/ Aims


St. Declan’s aspires to enable students to:

  • Reach their full potential by encouraging the individuality of talents and gifts unique to each.

  • Develop a sense of self-respect and dignity in their growth.

  • Mature in spirit, intellect and body.

Underpins school Ethos and aims by:

  1. Allowing students reach their full potential.

  2. Developing a sense of self-respect.

  3. Developing maturity in Spirit, intellect and body.

3. Rational for Policy:

  • To provide safe learning environment.

  • To enable each student to reach their potential

  • To foster a caring and community spirit within the school.

  • To provide respect and acceptance for all members of the school community.

  • To encourage a sense of belonging and ownership of our school.

4. Goals of this Policy (i.e. objectives)

  1. To create a clear vision of pastoral care systems within the school.

  2. To reach a common understanding of Pastoral care among stake holders

  3. To encourage active participation in Pastoral Care by all members of the school community.

5. Roles and responsibilities in developing and implementing this policy.


Senior Management, Pastoral Care Committee, B.O.M., Students Council, Parent Council and all staff have an input into the Pastoral Care Policy.


The whole school community has responsibility for the implementation of this policy.

6. Policy Content:

Definition of Pastoral Care:-

We understand Pastoral Care ‘as an approach to education which endeavours to value and develop each member of the school community. It promotes learning at every level of the student (The Year Head, Monahan 19/98 IAPCE). (Pastoral approach in our school).


B. Pastoral Roles, definitions, and Responsibilities.

(i) The Principal and Deputy Principal will have overall responsibility for the implementation of the Pastoral Care Policy.

(ii) The Year Head has general responsibility for the welfare of a year group. The Year Head monitors student attendance and punctuality, academic performance and behaviours and liaises with the parents of the year group.

(iii) The Class Tutor works closely with the student, subject teacher and Year Head. The Class Tutors monitors pupil journals and helps pupils to be positive in their behaviour and work.

(iv) The Class Teacher is vital in promoting a safe and respectful school community. When the need arises a student may be referred to the Tutor/Year Head/Deputy Principal/Principal/Guidance Counsellor.

(v) The Guidance Counsellor

Pastoral Care

  1. Students are referred by Class Tutor, Year Head, Parents or may self-refer.

  2. The Guidance Counsellor provides support in a caring and safe environment.

  3. Students are met individually or in small groups.

  4. A student may be referred to outside agencies when necessary, e.g. NEPS, CAMS, Squashy Couch, etc.

  5. Counselling may be in relation to personal, educational or career issues individually or in combination.

  6. The Guidance Counsellor is actively involved in Pastoral Care team meetings.


C. Care Team Structure

  • Comprises of Principal, Deputy Principal, Year Head, Learning Support Representative, Guidance Counsellor, SPHE Representative. As appropriate other Year Heads may be invited to meetings or to submit reports.

  • Principal will act as co-ordinator and Deputy Principal as secretary.

  • Referrals from meetings will be made to appropriate personnel and agencies.

  • An annual report will be given by the co-ordinator to the B.O.M.

  • Confidentiality of these meetings will be respected by all


D. Pastoral Programmes: Introduction Days, 1st, LCA, 4th Yr.

  1. School Procedures and Rules

  2. Study Skills – 3rd Year.

  3. S.P.H.E. – Junior Cycle.

  4. R.S.E. – 4th Years

  5. Re-tracking for disruptive students.

  6. Individual Guidance Counselling.

  7. Referral to outside agencies and Squashy Couch, Self Harm Intervention Programme (SPHE), (NEPS), (HSE).

  8. Tutor Group Meetings.

  9. Year Group Assemblies.

  10. Principal meets with Year Heads and Class Tutors on a regular basis.

  11. Critical Incident Plan and Team.

  12. Mentoring Programme.

  13. Friendship week.

E.Confidentiality within Pastoral Care

All information received or discussed in relation to students is to remain confidential and will be passed on to relevant staff with this understanding. Students at risk, to themselves and others, or in break of the law will be passed on to designated Liaison Person within the school.

7. Performance Criteria (i.e. criteria by which the policy will be judged to be effective).

  1. Roles are clearly defined and understood by all involved.

  2. At risk students are identified and supports put in place.

  3. Short questionnaire to be completed by each year group.

    Pastoral Care Team review their work at end of year.


8. Person(s)/Groups responsible for monitoring the implementation of this policy:

The Principal will be responsible for monitoring the implementation of this policy.

9. Reporting Procedure from the monitoring person/group to senior management/B.O.M.

Principal will report annually to B.O.M. on work of Pastoral Care Team. At each B.O.M. meeting he reports of referrals have been made to H.S.E.

10. Time frame for Review of Policy, Person(s)/Groups responsible for reviewing this policy (if different from monitoring group).It is to be reviewed every 3 years by members of the Pastoral Care Team and others deemed appropriate by the Principal.


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