Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Education


School of Education


Faculty of Education

First Advisor

Dr Norm Hyde


The problem addressed by this research project is expressed in two parts. Firstly an examination of the pastoral care needs of students at a particular independent secondary school. Secondly, an examination of the needs of the teachers (as providers of pastoral care) who are attempting to understand and deal with the pastoral needs of the students. The research takes the form of a bounded case study, employing techniques of data gathering and analysis from each of the positivistic and naturalistic paradigms. As such then the study is described as mixed - mode research allowing for the triangulation (Jick, 1979. p.602) of both qualitative and quantitative data. Data were gathered from students by means of an attitude survey and through the use of personal interviews. Information was collected from teachers by means of two rounds of interviews and through a whole-staff seminar. Methods of analysis of these data were appropriate to the types of data involved. The quantitative data were analysed via the application of a computer-based data analysis programme and the qualitative data were analysed through emergent categorisations. The findings from each set of data were then examined side by side to provide a broad understanding of the case. The findings of the research, provided useful information about the attitudes of the students to a wide range of aspects of school-life, and highlighted general and specific areas of pastoral care related need. Similarly, for the teachers, attitudes, needs and indications of strengths and weaknesses of the school's pastoral care provisions became apparent. Significant amongst the specific needs of teachers was the need for increased and improved training in pastoral care skills at both the pre-service and in-service levels.