Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Social Work Honours


Faculty of Regional Professional Studies


This inquiry examines teacher's pastoral care roles in a government secondary school. Its purpose is to determine firstly what pastoral care is for teachers within these positions and secondly to articulate why pastoral care is needed in schools, and to discover how teachers and social workers can work together in school to find a common ground within pastoral care. The study explores both the individual experiences of the teachers as they enact this role within the school, but also examines the broader structural factors that are related to pastoral care in schools. The literature acknowledges the importance of pastoral care in relation to the key functions of schooling and highlights the ambiguity and lack of definition surround the term in secondary schooling. The study utilizes the methodology of critical ethnography, which informs the methods of semi-structured interviews undertaken with the participants. This will conduct four interviews with teachers who are currently or recently (within the last year) have held a pastoral care position within their school. The data was analysed using coding, content analysis, interpretations and triangulation, which involved linking of care categories in prominent themes throughout the participants’ responses. The data obtained from the interviews indicated that teachers' perceptions and understandings of their roles are similar, yet how they enact their role within the school is influenced by their own discretion. The results suggest that teachers have a limited understanding of social work, yet have a view on how it should be practice within the school context. The findings also indicate that there are commonalties within the two professions yet more conversations are needed to explore this area further.