The Real Purpose of Education "There are two educations:
the one that teaches how to make a living
and the one that teaches how to live"
(Anthony De Mello, The Heart of the Enlightened)
For many years there has been much debate as to the 'real' purpose of
education. With the introduction of the National Curriculum much
emphasis was placed on the academic success of schools with a school
being labelled 'good' or bad' depending on the academic attainment of
its pupils. However, the 1988 Education Reform Act laid out guidelines
across the whole school curriculum for the provision of SMSC stating
that schools should promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and
physical development of the pupils and prepare pupils for the
opportunities, responsibilities and experiences in adult life. This
shift in emphasis meant that schools now had greater responsibility
for the education of the child as a person and not primarily just an
academic student. Education should engage every pupil as a person.
This means that the quality of pastoral care has become increasingly
The aims and ethos of a school are particularly important when
pastoral care and SMSC delivery in schools. OFTSTED inspection
that the "analysis of the school's aims â€¦â€¦.gives a preliminary view of
how the school seeks to promote pupil's spiritual, moral, social and
For example some of the aims listened in one school's mission
* Expect all pupils to achieve their personal, academic and social
potential and to raise their self-esteem in these terms;
* Enable pupils to challenge discrimination and stereotyping,
promote pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development
and develop their knowledge and understanding of beliefs and
* Promote, through the school curriculum, pupils' self esteem and
emotional well being and help them to form and maintain worthwhile
and satisfying relationships based on respect for themselves and
for others at home, at school, at work and in the community.
It is interesting to note that very few, if any, of the aims relate to
the academic curriculum.
Pastoral care is intrinsically linked to the delivery of SMSC with the
form tutor being at the hub of pastoral care. Even administration
tasks, much hated by teachers, can be used to promote individual
learning and growth. Monitoring homework, detentions, attendance and
reports on pupil progress are integral to the development of the
child. Many activities undertaken in the...