The role of the tutor teacher in secondary school pastoral care : challenges and expectations

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Evans, Sian
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Master of Educational Leadership and Management
Unitec Institute of Technology
Bassett, Martin
Cardno, Carol
Masters Dissertation
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
New Zealand
secondary schools
pastoral care
tutor teachers
secondary students
senior leaders
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Evans, S. (2017). The role of the tutor teacher in secondary school pastoral care: Challenges and expectations (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Educational Leadership and Management). Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved from
RESEARCH QUESTIONS: 1. What are the current practices of pastoral care in New Zealand secondary schools? 2. What are senior leaders’ expectations of tutor teachers in New Zealand secondary schools? 3. What are the successes and challenges of a tutor teacher in a pastoral care role? ABSTRACT: The social, emotional wellbeing of students today is as of great a concern as their academic achievement. In New Zealand secondary schools, special arrangements are made for pastoral care. The purpose of this research was to examine the role of the tutor teacher in two secondary schools and to examine the expectations and challenges of this role. The role of the tutor teacher is frequently cited as an important role in the care of secondary school students yet there is no current research on the role of a tutor teacher in the secondary sector in New Zealand. Therefore, this research will contribute to the knowledge of pastoral practices in a New Zealand setting. This qualitative research comprised document analysis of pastoral care documents such as pastoral care curriculum documents and school website information on pastoral care. Eight semi-structuredThe findings established that although both schools deemed pastoral care important, only School Two resourced and led their tutor teachers to fulfil the role adequately. Subsequently the quality of pastoral care provided for students in School One was completely dependent upon the individual teacher’s motivation to provide pastoral care for their students. interviews were conducted at two New Zealand secondary schools with a Dean and two tutor teachers at each school and a deputy principal at one school. In conclusion, pastoral care is important for students, but schools need to ensure that their teachers are sufficiently resourced and trained to provide such care. Further research on the practices of tutor teachers in a variety of schools is required to extrapolate the findings of this research.
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