Ardtornish Primary School Saarinen Avenue St Agnes South Australia


Pastoral Care Worker Program

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Our School Chaplaincy Service
Chaplaincy is a well-accepted and valued pastoral care model in many parts of society (eg. defence forces, emergency services, sports, industry, hospitals etc.)
The Chaplaincy Service at this school is provided by a Pastoral Care Worker, on behalf of the local combined Christian community, employed by Schools Ministry Group (SMG).
The Chaplaincy Service is funded by the National School Chaplaincy Program (NSCP), administered by DECD SA, with additional contribution from the local community.
The aim of this service is to offer pastoral and practical support to students, staff and the school community.

Our Pastoral Care Worker supports our school community in the following ways:

  • Working closely and in partnership with leadership and other wellbeing staff in the school to provide pastoral care and practical support to students, families and staff as requested
  • Providing pastoral care in a ‘first response’ capacity to critical incidents, referring to specialist support, and to provide ongoing presence and follow-up
  • Being well positioned to work across the whole school to ‘build a sense of’ community, harmony and cohesion
  • Being trained and equipped to provide our school with 6 dimensions of chaplaincy:
    • role modelling and mentoring
    • social and emotional support
    •  spiritual support
    •  school engagement
    •  community engagement
    •  extra-curricular contribution

Chaplaincy Services promote student wellbeing, engaging young people in activities that are preventative and which support early intervention and referral of mental health issues.

Other facts about the SMG Chaplaincy Service in SA Government Schools:

  • The recruitment process for a Pastoral Care Worker is acknowledged by DECD, and meets the standards required for a religious based role such as a Pastoral Care Worker / Chaplain.
  • The Pastoral Care Worker job description does not include provision of Religious Education, and proselytising is explicitly prohibited.
  • Pastoral Care Workers appointed are required to have a minimum qualification of Cert IV in Youth Work (or equivalent), and to undertake relevant, ongoing Professional Development.
  • All Pastoral Care Workers have a DCSI child related employment screening check and are DECD trained mandated notifiers.
  • Access to the Pastoral Care Worker by students is voluntary and parents are asked to give written approval for the Pastoral Care Worker to provide ongoing personal support
  • Approximately 300 Pastoral Care Workers are employed in 64% of SA government schools by Schools Ministry Group, who has over 25 years of experience in supporting and partnering with school communities


  • SMG and Pastoral Care Workers partner with local churches and other community groups to provide financial, practical and volunteer support to schools where possible and relevant.


The School community is consulted and makes the decision to proceed with an application for NSCP funding for a Chaplaincy Service. Please talk to the School Principal for further details.
A Grievance Procedure for any formal complaint is available from the School Principal.
The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of DECD.
For further information, please refer to you PCW’s brochure.


I Isaac Prior, have a genuine care and compassion for all people, no matter what their beliefs, background or situation.

It is my desire to come alongside the school community and provide pastoral care, advocacy, helpful resources and referrals where needed.

There are six dimensions to my role:

  • Role Modelling & Mentoring by being a role model in the community and assist students to develop supportive relationships with other students and adults.
  • Social & Emotional Support by providing a pastoral presence to nurture student and staff emotional wellbeing and assist students to develop knowledge, understanding and skills that support learning, positive behaviour and constructive social relationships.
  • Spiritual Support by providing an enhanced dimension to the school’s care, guidance and support of students’ and staff spiritual wellbeing that respects diversity and facilitates their quest for meaning, purpose and hope.
  • School Engagement by providing social, emotional or spiritual support, especially for those at risk of disengaging, this can be done through personal support and/or group activities i.e. social skills and grief & loss programs.
  • Community Engagement by developing links between the school and its community, working with school based staff, community-based youth organisations, Churches, agencies, services, and other networks.
  • Extra- Curricular Contribution by participating in and contribute to general school activities, i.e. camps, excursions, sports day, choirs and bands etc.

I work in co-operation with the School Principal, School Counsellor and teachers to support students in classrooms, groups or one-on-one.

In a Government School, the Pastoral Care Program is primarily a service of pastoral care for students and their families, who want this support.

As Pastoral Care Workers I do not evangelise on behalf of any particular faith group. In my role I respect both the secular character of a Government School and the variety of thoughts and beliefs of all people within the school community.

As a Pastoral Care Worker, I am accountable to the Department of Education and Child Development through the School Principal, Schools Ministry Group and Schools Ministry Tea Tree Gully. I am bound by the Pastoral Care Worker Code of Conduct which is applicable both professionally and personally; including Duty of Care, Privacy and Confidentiality (within limits of Mandatory Notification), Protective Practices, Respond to Abuse and Neglect, First Aid and OHS&W.

I work within Ardtornish Primary School’s Policies and Procedures, follow DECD Guidelines and Practices, regularly participate in professional development, I respect diversity and multiculturalism and display school values.

Student access to Pastoral Care Workers is entirely voluntary.

For ongoing pastoral care, a signed parental consent form is required.

My working days at Ardtornish are:

  • Monday & Wednesday 8.30am – 3.15pm

I am highly committed to my role as I am passionate about the well-being of all, especially children.

I feel privileged to work with our young people and hope to be a positive influence in their lives.

Please drop by and say hello sometime. I have many brochures available that cover a wide range of topics that may be relevant to you and your family.

If you would like to contact me, you can do so by:

  • phoning the school 8264 8099,
  • emailing me
  • leaving a message in my mailbox which is located underneath the Community News Noticeboard near the front office.

I look forward to meeting you.

isaac Prior

“You are always welcome”

Isaac Prior

Department for Education Content enquiries:Ardtornish Primary School
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