Pastoral care or student wellbeing, as it is

often referred to, now straddles educational

institutions from early childhood centres to

university graduate schools.2 Whether in the

public, independent or Christian school sector,

it appears no longer optional; it is more than de

rigueur, it is integral to the life of effective and

caring learning communities in Australia. In the

UK, Ron Best has for some years advocated an

interesting and widely accepted pastoral care

structure that attempts to meet four identifiable

types of needs encountered in schools.3 In his

proposed “pastoral tasks”, students’ needs are

being addressed through casework, where the

curriculum provides students with knowledge

and skills for becoming more resilient, where

a strong sense of community rather than

punishment focuses on developing responsible

behaviour, and where a whole-school approach

results in achieving planned outcomes. How

might chaplaincy fit into such a structure?

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