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BSA Certificate in Professional Practice for Pupil Welfare & Support

December 4 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Live Online BSA Certificate in Professional Practice – Pupil Welfare & Support

New 24/25 course dates added!


Welfare and support staff, such as Matrons, House Deputies, Boarding Assistants  and Boarding Tutors form a key part of the safeguarding and pastoral care framework within our schools however staff CPD opportunities seldom focus on the key areas to support their professional development. As part of a refocus of the training available through the BSA, we can now offer a standalone Professional Practice Certificate for school pastoral staff.

This course will link professional practice with current research and best practice to provide a unique opportunity for pastoral staff, whether working in relative isolation or as part of the House team, to development their knowledge, skills and practice across a wide range of the key current themes/topics most relevant to their role. In addition, there will be a linked research project which will provide the chance to focus on a specific aspect in more detail.

Course Outline:

The course will consist of 4 separate Study Days spread over a full academic year. The sessions on each study day will be a mixture of presentations often with an external expert, and group discussions.

BSA Cert in Professional Practice for Pupil Welfare & Support 2024-2025

  • Study Day 1: December 04, 2024
  • Study Day 2: January 28, 2025
  • Study Day 3: March 17, 2025
  • Study Day 4: June 06, 2025

All study Days will be held online via Zoom.


Timings for each study day – 10.00 to 15.45

Sessions for this course include:

  •  Vaping : What you Need to Know,  Guest Speaker Aric Sigman
  • Perspectives on Pastoral Care
  • An Afternoon on Disordered Eating, Guest Speaker, Rachel Hart
  • Understanding Adolescence & Meeting the Needs of Children & Young People, with Professor Carrie Winstanley, PhD MPhil (Cantab) MA BHEd NFF NTF PFHEA FRSA
  • Equity, Diversity and Inclusion with Gaelle Sullivan, Director Research and Inclusion, Director TIOB
  • Emotional Health Issues & Building Resilience
  • Promoting well-being
  • Partnership with Parents
  • Communication skills
  • Conflict management
  • Supporting Vulnerable young people; what works
  • Safeguarding and information sharing with Dale Wilkins, Director of Safeguarding Professional Development and Accreditation
  • Putting into practice what you’ve learned, moving forward
  • Assignment and course reflection

Understanding Adolescence & Meeting the Needs of Children & Young People with Professor Carrie Winstanley, PhD MPhil (Cantab) MA BHEd NFF NTF PFHEA FRSA

Carrie Winstanley has taught in schools and higher education for more than twenty years. Currently Professor of Pedagogy at Roehampton University, London, she works on various education programmes with undergraduate, Masters and Doctoral students and with staff. She is interested in all types of learning, focusing on concepts and practices of creating challenge, particularly for able learners with learning difficulties, disabilities and disadvantage. She continues to run holiday and weekend workshops with children in museums, galleries and science centres where possible. Carrie is an Executive Council member of the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain, running the annual conference, and introducing undergraduate and postgraduate Summer School programmes. Her monograph ‘The Ingredients of Challenge’ (2010, Trentham Books) investigates the notion of providing worthwhile challenge for children in schools. This follows on from her co-edited collection considering the role of Philosophy in Schools (Bloomsbury, with Hand, 2008). In more recent publications she has also explored ways to improve teacher education (Ethics and Education, 2016, 11:1); the relevance of John Dewey’s ideas about museum learning (Education 3-13, 2018, 46:4), and is developing (forthcoming) work on Community Philosophy, and on appropriate challenge and engaging activities for staff and students in Higher Education.

Vaping : What you Need to Know with Dr Aric Sigman

Dr Sigman, from the U.S., is a health education/PSHE lecturer to children, parents and staff at schools, and to medical schools and NHS doctors. He is a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on a Fit and Healthy Childhood, co-author of 4 of its latest reports on mental health in childhood. He publishes medical papers on health and development subjects and addresses PSHE subjects including: screen time/dependence, ‘soft’ drugs & vaping, alcohol, understanding boys, sex and relationships, body image, and preventing mental health problems in children. Dr Sigman is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, and a Chartered Scientist awarded by the Science Council. He is the author of five books on PSHE-related topics, including Getting Physical, which won The Times Educational Supplement’s Information Book Award.

My talk on pupils Vaping: What you Need to Know Now, trying to dissuade pupils from vaping involves an eclectic mix of harnessing their suspicion of big business exploiting them as well as clearly explaining new found effects of vaping that would matter to them today – with clear evidence to back it up. There are significant medical concerns regarding vaping even without nicotine due to the flavours and scents used.  If students do vape, are they are addicted and if so, how they can quit?

An Introduction to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Schools with Gaelle Sullivan, Director Research and Inclusion, Director TIOB

Using the BSA Index (Inclusion and Diversity Excellence) Framework and Toolkit, this session will provide an introductory overview to this important work in schools.

Gaelle is Head of Research Services and Inclusion and joined the BSA in January 2023. She is an experienced senior leader and has worked in a range of state and independent schools. She is a qualified SENCO and holds a Masters Degree in Inclusive Education. Prior to joining the BSA, Gaelle was Deputy Head Pastoral, DSL and Head of Boarding at an all-girls independent school in the South-East.

Safeguarding and Information Sharing with Dale Wilkins, Director of Safeguarding Professional Development and Accreditation, BSA Group

This session will look at safeguarding concerns and considerations with a focus on assessing and minimising risk.  Relevant legislation and Information sharing and handling.

Dale joined the BSA during Summer 2017 with responsibility for safeguarding and standards.  In July 2019 he also assumed responsibility for the BSA’s training programme, including both day seminars and accredited training courses.  Dale leads on all safeguarding and inspection matters for the BSA, including managing the Commitment to Care Charter, the annual Safeguarding Conference, the Safeguarding Forum. He has also developed a process of BSA Accreditation for our overseas members. For 31 years Dale was a boarding practitioner. After boarding positions at Norwich School and Tettenhall College, Dale became a Housemaster at Old Swinford Hospital in 1992, and was promoted to Deputy Head in 2007, and subsequently also DSL. He has also been a multi-agency trainer for the Dudley Safeguarding Children’s Board and has been closely involved in inspection in state and independent boarding since 2002. Dale had previously been a BSA course tutor since 1998 and developed the BSA Self-Assessment Toolkit.

Tutors for this Course Are:

Mark Robinson – BSA Senior Consultant and Course Lead

Mark has a Product Design Degree from Brunel University and a PGCE. His first post in independent education was as Assistant Master at Christ’s Hospital in Horsham where he held several positions including Assistant Housemaster to a junior boy’s boarding house. After five years he moved on to Ardingly College in West Sussex as a Head of Department and Housemaster to a joint day and boarding house.

Mark has been an inspector onboarding inspections, an Assistant Housemaster to a girls’ boarding house and fully involved in teaching up to ‘A’ Level. In 2002 Mark gave up teaching to set up Mentor Education Services Ltd, a business offering education-related consultancy services to the independent sector, initially training, interview coaching and professional development but also marketing and pre-inspection to schools both in the independent and maintained sector. Mark was appointed as Assistant Director of Training for the Boarding Schools’ Association in 2010, where he continued offering training and consultancy to independent and state schools both in the UK and around the world. In 2017 he was appointed as Deputy Head Pastoral at College du Leman in Switzerland, a large international boarding and day school. After gaining some valuable international experience, Mark has returned to the UK to continue his training and consultancy in the Independent and state school sectors.


Sandi Kaaber – Head of Boarding, Burford School, Oxfordshire

A former Police officer, Sandi was also a member of the GB Gymnastic team and was trained as a Head of Delegation for overseas events. She retired from sport in 2006 and moved to a role in an independent Boarding school and is currently Head of Boarding at Burford School, Oxfordshire.

In 2010 Sandi completed her Advanced Certificate course and in 2017 she became a BSA tutor for the Professional Practice Certificate. She is a Level 4 Accredited Boarding Practitioner.

BSA Cert in Professional Practice for Pupil Welfare & Support 2024-2025

  • Study Day 1: December 04, 2024
  • Study Day 2: January 28, 2025
  • Study Day 3: March 17, 2025
  • Study Day 4: June 06, 2025

All study Days will be held online via Zoom.


Course Assignment:

The course assignment provides course students with an opportunity to focus on a specific area of particular relevance to their school/role. This can range from ‘supporting overseas student; a complex pastoral need such as diabetes; working with a student/boarder who is self-harming; health promotion models; to a student guide to accessing specific support for an emotional health issue.

The assignment will take the form of a 2500 – 3000 word written project which can be a resource pack, an essay or a report which must be submitted by 31st July. These will be assessed by the course tutor and the results published/certificates issued in the early Autumn.

NB: Please be aware that it is crucial to remain on your assigned course path and tutor group to gain the very best out of your training. Of course, we understand some things are unavoidable however we cannot guarantee alternative placement days, and this may incur an admin charge


December 4
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


The Boarding Schools’ Association (BSA)
+44 (0) 20 7798 1580
View Organiser Website


Virtual – Zoom
United Kingdom + Google Map