Health and Well-Being

At Bootham we set our reputation on the strength of our pastoral care and maintaining the health and well-being of our students and staff is extremely important to us.

Our staff take special responsibility for the academic performance and the social well-being of each individual in their care. They work with parents and guardians to ensure the School provides the right structures and atmosphere for our students. We therefore welcome active support and involvement. Good work habits, co-operation and tolerance create the happy, family atmosphere for which the School is known.

Small tutor groups, supervised by Heads of Year provide daily care, and The Lodge, our on-site medical centre, looks after the all the health needs of boarders and provides some support for day students and staff, including the services of a school counsellor.

Tutor Groups

When students join the School they also become part of a tutor group. The tutors take special responsibility for the academic performance and the social well-being of each individual in their care.

Tutor Groups in College are small and are a mix of both years. Tutor Groups are allocated based upon the individual A Level courses being studied. Students will usually be placed in a tutor group with one of their A Level subject teachers.

If there is a problem

Minor problems often occur with individuals and groups in any community. These are usually solved fairly quickly. Sometimes, however, some quite serious problems may occur to a student or to someone they know. It may be something that has happened outside school; it may concern relationships between students, or adults and young people. The most likely persons to turn to, will be either the tutor or a member of the boarding house staff. A student might prefer to talk to someone else in the School, perhaps the Year Group Head, Deputy Head, Head or the nurse in the Health Centre.

If a student feels a need to describe a specific concern or even make a specific complaint, there is a procedure for following this up discreetly. It is possible to discuss the matter with the tutor or house staff; on the other hand if it is very serious a student should see the Deputy Head or the Designated Safeguarding Lead (Lis Hooley). The matter will be investigated sensitively. Sometimes people may prefer to speak first to someone outside the School. ChildLine ( offer a national freephone helpline number: 0800 11 11. There is also a counsellor who can be contacted through the Health Centre.

It can happen that the problem or concern means that Social Services need to be consulted. It will normally be the Head or Deputy Head who contacts them.

Whatever a student’s concern is, it will be followed up as discreetly and helpfully as possible. If parents wish to follow-up a concern, they should follow the normal channels through the Tutor, Year Head, Deputy Head (who is the Head of Pastoral Care) and, if needed, the Head.

Who to contact
  • For minor day to day matters, you should normally contact your son or daughter’s tutor, subject teacher or Housemaster/mistress. In many cases, the matter will be resolved straightaway by this means to the parents’ satisfaction. If the tutor, subject teacher or Housemaster/mistress cannot resolve the matter alone, it may be necessary for him or her to consult a Head of Year or Head of Department.
  • For more serious academic concerns the appropriate person will again be the Housemaster/mistress, the Head of Department, the Head of Year or Ruth Crabtree (Academic Deputy).
  • Major issues should go straight to either the Head or Deputy Head.
  • Any matters concerning finance, fees and other administrative matters should go to the Bursar.

If you feel that an expression of concern has not been handled to your satisfaction, please contact the Head.

For further information on any of the above issues, please refer to our policies section

Health Centre

An established part of the fabric of the school, our Health Centre, or The Lodge as it is historically known, meets the needs of students and staff who require medical attention, health education or simply a quiet place to rest when respite is required.

The Lodge is led by Nurse Manager Alice Ovenden, with the support of nursing staff; Melanie Carter and health care assistant Sharmayne Repetto-Lee, School Counsellor Luke Highstead and the School Doctor, Robin Ghosh.

The remit of the team is very wide, from the pastoral care and personal welfare of students, to watching over their physical health and fitness. The nursing team also contribute to the delivery of the school’s personal, social and health education (PSHE) programme to students in Lower, Middle and Upper Schoolrooms and Lower Seniors.

If a student is unwell at school, they will be taken to the Health Centre. As a result boarding students may be admitted as they would not be expected to stay in the boarding house. If a day student is too unwell to return to class, it is likely that nursing staff will contact home.

During term time the Health Centre offers extended weekday opening hours 08:00 to 20:00. On a Saturday it is open from 08:00 to 16:00.

GP surgery sessions are held in school on Tuesday and Friday mornings for students registered with the school doctor. Dr Ghosh is a local NHS GP and a partner of York Medical Group.  Boarding students may wish to see the school doctor on a personal basis and this can be arranged through the Health Centre or by contacting the Doctor’s surgery direct. The nearest YMG site is Monkgate Surgery, which is a short 5 to 10 minute walk away from the school. It is not necessary to inform any other staff member about such a request. Students are encouraged to make full use of the facilities and all new students are seen in the first weeks of the Autumn Term, when a routine health screening programme is undertaken.

All students have guaranteed access to a trained counsellor should the need arise.

For a copy of the School’s Medical Guidelines please click here.


Food at Bootham is of the highest standard and our in-house catering team take a great deal of pride and pleasure in producing mouthwatering nutritious dishes.

Special diets can be discussed with the catering manager; nut-allergies, wheat intolerance and gluten-free requirements can all be managed, and vegetarian options are available for all, at every meal. In a boarding school like Bootham, food is particularly important, and celebrating good food and balanced nutrition is something Bootham takes very seriously.

All parents have an open invitation to join us for lunch on Saturdays and many do.

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