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Formative evaluation of the development of a Pastoral Care Standard for all Western Australian Government schools

This research study aimed to combine published evidence with actual Australian practice to provide recommendations for the Western Australian Department of Education and Training in the compilation of standards for the delivery of pastoral care in schools. Further, this research aimed to define a self-evaluation tool for schools to assess their pastoral care standards and activity for continual improvement.

The study resulted in a report that investigated current empirical and theoretical literature describing pastoral care standards to inform the development of new guidelines for all Western Australian government schools. The first section of the report began by reviewing definitions of the concept of pastoral care, and what these imply for the process of implementing successful strategies. The second section examined a number of best practice pastoral care standards developed nationally and internationally, and assessed their implications for Western Australian government schools. Subsequently, the report analysed the impact of these policies on: developing supportive processes for children, teachers and schools; shaping teaching and learning; encouraging dialogue with the students; developing partnerships with other services within the community; shaping the school organisation, ethos, and environment; and developing tools for evaluating pastoral care standards. Finally, the last section drew on the findings of both the literature review, as well as an audit of Australian government and non-government education sector pastoral care policies and standards, to compile a series of recommendations to inform future practice of pastoral care standards in schools by the Western Australian Department of Education and Training.

Project duration


Funding body

Department of Education and Training

For further information about this project contact Lydia Hearn on 9370 6848 or at


Associate Professor Stacey Waters
Professor Donna Cross
Dr Lydia Hearn
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