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Student Pastoral Support in School

General Points:

Thornden school aims to be a safe and affirming place for children. We want them to develop a sense of belonging and feel able to trust and, when needed, talk openly about problems. To that end, we aim to ensure that there is good communication between staff to ensure a coordinated approach to supporting our students.

We recognise that mental health problems affect many people, and we will, therefore, have students at Thornden who need support in this area.

Our approach is as follows:

  • Tier 1 support is provided to students by the tutor and/or the Head of Year (HoY).
  • Tier 2 support is provided to some students, e.g. mentoring, the Hub, the library, Young Carers group, Pride group, Wellbeing Den and breakfast club (bereavement club). 
  • Tier 3 support is provided to students by the Pastoral Support Team who can complete wellbeing check-ins. Our qualified Elsa can also provide Elsa support sessions. We also have trainee counsellors on-site who are able to work 1:1 with our young people.  

Most support is confidential unless a disclosure is made, in which case the Designated Safeguarding Lead will be contacted.

If a student is being seen by an external agency, we do not recommend that they are also seen by one of our counsellors. However, it would be useful to be made aware of this support, so we can compliment this within school. 

External Request:

If parents/carers have a concern about a student’s mental health and wellbeing, our initial advice is to take them to their GP, whilst making their HoY, tutor or school nurse aware. In addition, we would ask parents/carers to advise us about current and previous support that students are accessing/ have accessed and when. We believe it is vital that, following the conclusion of any support, students have an opportunity to establish new patterns of behaviour and thinking before subsequent additional support is offered. Constantly trying to access new strategies can be counterproductive for the young person.

Following communication with the family, if necessary, the HoY will complete an Internal Pastoral Initial Referral (IPIR) form or signpost to an appropriate external agency.

Pastoral Initial Referral forms are reviewed and triaged by the Pastoral Support Manager.

Please refer to the wellbeing hub for further resources.



SSS Learning - Parental Resources



Self-referral & Peer-referrals:

If students have a mental health or wellbeing concern about themselves or a friend they should speak to their tutor, HoY or pastoral support team.

They can also email:

If you have any general comments regarding the Pastoral Support offered at Thornden School, please email