Pastoral Care

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Moate Business College has a pastoral care approach which seeks to respect and nuture the quality of all relationships in the college community. It promotes effective and caring leadership and partnership among all the members.
Pastoral care is taken as a whole college responsibility engaging students and all staff members. The essence of our policy is to ‘promote the moral, spiritual, social and personal development of students', as stipulated in The Education Act (1998).
Our pastoral care policy has been drawn up in the context of our college/college mission statement, code of discipline and other policies. Pastoral care is integrally linked with our guidance counselling.

Responsibilities & Procedures

  • Reporting and reviewing the progress of students and identifying any apparent difficulties, and any strategies or interventions that may be required to be put in place
  • Liaising with external support agencies and services – Community Guards, social workers
  • Arranging seminars and programmes for the personal development of both pupils and staff
  • The College maintains a broad based curriculum and extracurricular activities to cater for a wide range of individual needs.



Personal students information will be shared only in a ‘need to know' basis as laid out in the ‘Child Protection Guidelines'.

Critical Incident Plan, Response and guidelines

A critical incident may be defined as the traumatic death of a student or staff member. Whether by suicide or major incident, recognising natural death can be traumatic to an individual or whole college community.
A response plan will be put into action involving the particular skills of the pastoral care team, college chaplain and counsellor, and the necessary support of external community agencies – i.e. local GP's, an Garda Siochana, HSE, Department of Education and Science.
Certain issues are beyond our competence and recognise our limitations. Particular issues will necessitate the intervention and support of external community agencies. Good communication by informing the staff first, then breaking the bad news to the students in an appropriate way, by assembly or class groups. Acknowledging the loss followed by a short prayer. Reactions or shock to the tragedy may vary from person to person, requiring keeping extra vigilance and providing immediate and ongoing support.
Timetable changes and availability of rooms may be required, providing a focus for grief where symbols and flowers can be placed. After appropriate time holding a mass or prayer service to bring closure.

The Role of the Guidance Counsellor in Pastoral Care Provision

The Guidance Counsellor helps students to make decisions, solve problems, change behaviour or effect changes in their lives. Counselling is offered on an individual or small group basis. The focus of counselling may be on personal, educational and career issues, individually or in combination. The Guidance Counsellor engages in a two way process of consultation with students, tutors, college management and referral agencies.

The following are the key elements of referral and counselling:

  • College management, tutors, the chaplain may refer students to the Counsellor. Students may also self-refer and friends sometimes consult the Counsellor resulting in the issue of an appointment.
  • The voluntary participation in counselling of the referred student must be respected by all concerned.
  • The Guidance Counsellor may recognize that an individual student needs assistance from other qualified helpers outside of college and organizes the provision of such assistance following agreed procedures with the college and local agencies.
  • The college employs a Counselling Psychologist. As well as her own referrals, the Counsellor manages referrals from the variety of sources outlined above.
  • Particular care is taken to involve all interested in the student’s welfare and information will be shared as appropriate on a need-to-know basis.
  • Recommendations are made about appropriate agencies.
  • Where a referral is made, a detailed referral document is prepared and forwarded to the appropriate agency. The Counsellor liaises with the individual psychologist/psychiatrist and provides subsequent support for the student.


Pastoral Programmes

There are a number of programmes with a strong link to the Pastoral Care Programme of
the College.

College Mentoring Programme.

This programme is organised annually by a designated staff member. Students who are experiencing some difficulties with their courses are invited to attend a weekly mentoring session. In this session another student ( if applicable from the second year of the same course) will aid the student with any difficulties regarding course work, assessment, and exam work.

Student Welfare Week

Organised by the Student Welfare officer this week long annual welfare week provides information to students on a range of topics. Such topics include Drug & Alcohol awareness, mental health, sexual health, financial issues, tax, housing and rent topics. The week is presented through a variety of mediums including talks, posters, leaflet handouts, guest speakers etc.

Policy Monitoring and Evaluation

Effective policy requires constant monitoring and evaluation to ensure successful implementation and to review what adjustments may be necessary from time to time.

The Director will be responsible for monitoring the implementation of this policy and will inform the Board of Management annually of this.

At specified times during the life of the policy an evaluation of its effectiveness is required. This review will have the following elements:

  • The Pastoral Care Team is charged with leading the evaluation of the Pastoral
  • Care Policy.
  • The evaluation will include consultation with students and staff as to it effectiveness in meeting its stated aims.
  • Leading a process to articulate and implement new developments in the pastoral care area with particular reference to the Pastoral Care Policy. Such a review should occur every two years.




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