Spare a thought for the Heads of House

Over the last 26 years teaching at St Edmunds College, I have had the pleasure of being an assistant Year Coordinator and/or assistant Head of House for over 18 of those years, these are just some observations from my time at nearly the top of pastoral care, of the people who perform countless hours of service to the students and the college.

From Year 7 to Year 12, your son relies on the efforts of 6 people to make sure from the time they leave your house in the morning, arrive at the college to the time they get home, their care and wellbeing is provided for.

From that talk in Year 7 from Menslink, about the issues of mental health, to the time at Year 12 Graduation mass and dinner when your son hugs and thanks to you for just being there, you can thank a Head of House.

Remember that time your son had fun and adventure at Tuross on camp with his friends from school? Heads of House do that as well, from about 6.00 am to about 12.00 pm each day on camp. From the swimming carnival to athletics, and everything in between, those magnificent 6 constantly try to make the time your sons spend at the college, one of safety and enjoyment.

The role of Head of House is not about the position at the college or the paycheck it brings…it is about a genuine concern about the pastoral care and wellbeing of your sons at the college, and the type of young man they grow to be. It is at times a thankless job, the one who gives out detentions, makes you stay in at lunch and the one who only calls your parents when you do something wrong.

This is true however they are the ones whom students confide in, with conversations they could not have with parents or guardians, they listen intently to the troubles of adolescents and are there to provide a shoulder, for a tear to be shed in times of grief.

In more recent times, COVID, Heads of House have had to step up the care and attention they give to the students of the college, and as ever, do it with the minimum of fuss or hesitation. This is what they do, day in day out.

So next time your son comes home happy or grumpy, spare a thought for a Head of House, I do.

Thank you

Fred Zarb
Assistant Head of House (Clancy & O’Brien)