'Everything to everybody' : the profile and challenges of pastoral care middle leadership in New Zealand secondary schools
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Citation:Joyce, S. (2013) 'Everything to everybody' : the profile and challenges of pastoral care middle leadership in New Zealand secondary schools. Unpublished thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Educational Leadership and Management.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/2394
The aim of this research was to interpret, from multiple perspectives, the profile and challenge of pastoral care middle leadership in New Zealand secondary schools. It was based on the rationale that pastoral care middle leadership within New Zealand secondary schools is growing in its need. The issues secondary school students are bringing to schools are far more complex than they have been in the past. The pastoral care middle leadership role is intensifying as the leaders learn to cope with the growing complexities. Adding to the shifts in the role of the pastoral care middle leader is the expectation that they play a greater role in the support of the learner. The traditional disciplinarian role of the pastoral care middle leader has now evolved into one that focuses on improving student outcomes. The changes to the role have brought about challenges and a greater need for recognition of the role. Based on the current school leadership literature pastoral leadership as a topic is mainly notable by its absence. This qualitative research involved two interviews with two senior leaders, two focus groups with a total of nine pastoral care middle leaders and, finally two focus groups with a total of sixteen year 13 students. The findings highlighted the growing need for pastoral care middle leadership, the challenges the pastoral care middle leader experiences and how the pastoral care middle leader can better cater for the learning needs of the student. Pastoral care middle leadership has become a multifaceted role which, through its holistic, school-wide view, is attempting to bridge the pastoral academic divide in order to improve student outcomes. The high expectations placed on the pastoral care middle leader and the change in school leadership policy to focus on the improvement of student outcomes has created challenges for the pastoral care middle leader. The greatest challenges include the separation of pastoral care from the curriculum, the profile of the pastoral care middle leadership role, the barriers created by unrealistic resourcing and the intensification and broadening of the role. It is necessary for provisions to be made to meet the growing expectations and increasingly complex demands of the secondary school pastoral care middle leadership role.