As an NQT last year I was part of the year 9 team as an attached form tutor. I found the role to be a valuable experience which helps further embed the pastoral side of school from teaching placements. Being an attached form tutor is a great way to build a foundation to becoming a form tutor who is responsible for 28 pupils. I felt I wanted to find out about a variety of other things I could have done within the year group as part of my role.
This post will focus on a teacher learning community (TLC) session which concentrated on the role of the attached form tutor. Our TLC as a whole had a pastoral focus and after discussing the role of the tutor it became apparent that the role of an attached form tutor differed depending on the year group. Consequently, as a group we decided to discuss and find areas of similarity across year groups and ways the role could become more effective and clear.
So, what is the difference between form tutors and attached form tutors? We already know that attached form tutors are in a year team and do registrations for those form tutors who are away. We wanted to discuss the following:
What else can an attached member of staff do? How can they play a bigger role in the year team and for the year group?
After a discussion it was revealed that an attached form tutor can only realistically do a certain amount with a year group due to the fact that they already have a full timetable and are not a form tutor who teaches PSHRE. However, in the morning they still have 15 minutes that is still considered contact time that can be used in a valuable way, many attached tutors agreed they wanted to be more involved in the year team and pastoral side. It was suggested that attached form tutors could:
- Run focus groups with some pupils of the year, to help improve behaviour, conduct and respect.
- Work alongside ‘good students’ for a reward morning/ registration
- Have opportunities to develop skills and experience to help teachers become pastoral leaders
- Use morning registrations to have learning conversations with pupils- having more contact with certain pupils to offer more support.
- Share a consistent message to all tutor groups from the HOY to insure that all form tutors are delivering the same message.
To sum up, it has been highlighted that attached form tutors could play a varied and are a valuable part of the year team as a result of discussions in year team meetings and concern meetings. It should be recognised that the role of the attached form tutor should be kept flexible and used as the HOY sees fit.