What is clear about this book by Stephen Lane is that there is an overdue need for all those involved in pastoral care and leadership to question what is right, what is needed and how to create schools that place humanity and the safeguarding of children and young people at their heart.
Extensive research forms a clear thread throughout the book. Stephen has not only offered an extremely balanced argument for the varying methodologies to support pastoral care but has also given us gems of wisdom, gained from his own experience and application of such approaches.
While Beyond Wiping Noses is mainly aimed at schools and educational establishments in England, all schools could learn from it as it has been carefully crafted to address what Lane believes are the foundations for a robust pastoral care system. Stephen advocates that every school should have a chaplain, a counsellor, a designated safeguarding lead and a mental health lead and more, and that teachers should be fully trained in delivering PSHE and RSE so that they are not seen as an -˜add on' to pedagogy and practice.
From behaviour management, bullying and restorative practice to computational thinking, cognitive load theory and much more, this book is jam-packed with gems of brilliance. A balanced critique of literature and educational approaches to ways of supporting children and young people is crucial, and this is Stephen's mission: getting us to reflect on what we offer and how we offer it, and suggesting ways to develop an even better pastoral care system in our school. His support of the four Cs - care, curriculum, cultivation and congregation - will resonate in my heart and mind for a considerable time.
Beyond Wiping Noses is a gem of a book. Read it and make use of it to question the pastoral care system in your own school and how you can ensure it meets everyone's needs.