I READ with interest the article on February 22 by Laura-Jane Filotrani, where she expressed concern about the move away from pastoral care in schools.

I completely agree learning cannot take place if there are underlying social and pastoral issues which need attention.

As a teacher and former year head, I now run a student support department of seven non-teaching staff in a grammar school, consisting of five pastoral leaders, an attendance officer and a teaching and special needs assistant.

The form tutor is still in the front line for help and advice with their students and works closely with support staff.

We are at the forefront of such changes in education and in our second year of using this system.

Change is not always negative. We found by moving away from having teachers in charge of pastoral care, we have been able to employ people with experience in counselling, child protection and other relevant experience and expertise.

They are not teaching and are therefore available to students at any point during the school day, in or out of lessons.

The pastoral support we are now offering students is second to none and vastly better than the patchy service we offered a few years ago, when a teaching year head was in charge of each year group.

Mrs H C Godfrey
Student support manager