Strabane Academy

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Pastoral Care

The school is justly proud of the happy environment and the excellent relationships that exist among pupils and between staff and pupils.

To help fulfil the school aims all teachers will have responsibility for the pastoral care of pupils, but in addition a Form Teacher will be given specific responsibility for the welfare of a class group. Form Teachers will play a vital role in the partnership between parents, staff and pupils. He/she will liaise with parents, monitor academic progress, and deliver the Personal Development programme. Pupils are assigned to the same Form Teacher throughout their time at the school. The Head of Year has responsibility for the whole year group and works closely with the Form Teacher on pastoral matters.

Parents’ Meetings will be arranged so that teachers, parents and pupils can discuss progress. Reports on pupil attainment will be sent home regularly. Parents may, at any mutually convenient time, make an appointment to talk to staff about any concerns they may have regarding their child.

A Student Planner helps pupils, parents and teachers to be better informed about daily progress and to make them aware of quality of work, punctuality, behaviour and other notable achievements. A copy of the school rules is in the front of the school planner. The planner is to be signed weekly by parents, pupils and Form Teachers.

Pastoral Team 

At Strabane Academy we have a dedicated pastoral team including, Senior Teacher-Pupil Welfare & Support, Heads of School and Heads of Years that remains with your child's year group until the end of their Key Stage. Below is an outline of our Head of Year Team 2023/24.

Vice Principal

Mrs. C Sayers 

Senior Teacher- Pupil Welfare & Support

Mrs. R Dunn

Head of Junior School

Mr. S Pollock

Key Stage 3
Year 8 Ms. J Griffin
Year 9 Mr. N McDonnell 
Year 10 Mr. A Bratton

Head of Senior School

Mr. G Hetherington

Key Stage 4
Year 11 Mrs. K Kearns 
Year 12 Mrs. H Phillips 
Key Stage 5
Year 13 Mrs. S Gallagher
Year 14 Miss R Donnelly


The school is completely opposed to bullying and will not tolerate it. The school actively promotes positive relationships between all members of the school community. Pupils are encouraged to report any form of bullying which is dealt with promptly and sensitively and in line with school policy. We are proud to have a group of anti-bullying ambassadors. These are pupil volunteers who have been trained to assist other pupils and provide a ‘link’ between staff and pupils in any matter relating to bullying.

addressing bullying type behaviour in schools parent guide.pdf

addressing bullying type behaviour in schools post primary.pdf


Pupil attendance is closely monitored as there is a link between educational attainment and pupil attendance. Form Teachers monitor attendance and liaise with parents when required. Rewards are distributed to acknowledge good attendance.

Child Protection

All staff have received Child Protection Training. The school shall refer any concerns about the well-being of its pupils to the Social Services Department to protect pupils in its care and to comply with the Department of Education (NI) regulations. Pupils may speak to the Designated Teachers for Child Protection, Mrs Sayers, or the Deputy Designated Teachers, Mrs Dunn, Ms Doherty or Mr Hetherington. 

Counselling Provision

To further support our pupils, the Department of Education currently provide a counsellor on each campus. Pupils who require this service may self-refer or speak to any member of staff who can arrange counselling sessions.

Leadership opportunities

Pupils are encouraged to take on leadership roles in school. Each form class votes for a ‘Form Captain and ‘Deputy Form Captain.’ Pupils also have the opportunity to become Senior Prefect in Year 14 as well as selection as captain on one of our many sports teams.

Policy on Drug and Solvent Abuse

The school policy on Drug and Substance Misuse will revolve around prevention and response.

Prevention – The school will aim to prevent the misuse of substances (illegal drugs, prescription drugs, controlled drugs, volatile substances, psychoactive substances) through its school rules, and drugs education programme. The school rules about substance misuse will be available to all pupils at all times (e.g. in the Student Planner).

Response – Each member of staff in Strabane Academy has been trained and is aware of the problems, signs and symptoms of drug and substance misuse and has a responsibility to adhere to and promote this policy. Parents are provided with relevant literature from time to time.

Positive Behaviour Management

It is our belief that positive behaviour is based primarily on good relationships between teacher and pupil and high expectations exists in terms of pupils’ behaviour and work. Good behaviour is an integral part of the learning process and is best promoted by a positive working environment. To achieve this there must be a shared understanding of rights, rules and responsibilities. Therefore pupils have produced their school charter which is on display in each classroom. To encourage and reward pupil achievement, achievement points are awarded for all types of successes including musical, academic, sporting or simply being helpful to others! Pupils work towards receiving their bronze, silver and gold badge at Key Stage 3, ASPIRE and Head Teacher badge at Key Stage 4 and leadership in Key Stage 5.  Also based on the number of achievement points they receive, end of year reward trips are awarded. In recent years’ trips have taken place to Portrush and Creggan Country Park.

Religious Studies

In Religious Studies pupils will have two periods a week in Years 8-10 and a GCSE course in Religious Studies will be taught in Years 11 and 12. An ’A’ level will be available in Years 13 and 14. Parents who do not wish their children to participate in Religious Studies classes, morning assemblies or special services should make such a request in writing to the Principal, who will make alternative arrangements for these pupils. Religious Studies in Strabane Academy is committed to a programme of study that is inclusive of all belief systems. This includes those of no personal faith, those who are undecided and those of minority faith groups in the community, as well as the more mainstream religious traditions in Northern Ireland. We seek to empower students to think independently as they consider their own ideas and traditions, and those of others. We promote valuing diversity in the world around them.

Student Council

Each form class elects one pupil as their representative on the School Council. The Student Council acts as the student voice in decisions which affect all pupils.