About the pastoral Development Program

The Pastoral Development Programme provides an accredited training pathway for schools and professionals that gives a deeper understanding of mental health and wellbeing topics.

Our story

How the programme came to be

The Pastoral Development Programme provides an accredited training pathway giving professionals a deeper understanding of mental health and wellbeing topics and access to practical intervention skills.

The course programme has been designed by a collective of professionals from both the mental health and the education sector. Our aim is to provide robust, evidence based training that is affordable, accessible and meets the current demands of those professionals working with young people.

Positive Progress’ founding member is Kirsten Antoncich, an experienced Child Psychotherapist accredited by the UKCP and a Fellow of the Royal Society. Kirsten trained initially in psychology and then spent years working within Health
and Education settings running mental health services. It was Kirsten’s experiences working with pastoral and teaching teams that led to the development of the programme.

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Kirsten writes regularly in publications about mental health and speaks publicly about mental health and wellbeing in children and young people. The team bring a wide variety of experience to the courses and are supported by a strong board of directors. 

Meet Kirsten


Firstly, meet Kirsten. Kirsten is our founder and clinical director, she is an experienced Child and Adolescent psychotherapist having worked in CAMHs, run services for academies, worked with safeguarding boards and developed a thriving psychological therapies company in her native North Yorkshire. Kirsten is passionate about good child mental health and it was her experience running services for schools that gave birth to The Pastoral Development Programme. 

Meet Pete

Meet Pete, Pete is a specialist in SEN. Pete has worked with young people with ASC and challenging behaviour for 25 years (!). Always consistently rated as outstanding by OFSTED, Pete co founded the Pastoral Development Programme and shares his skills in supporting pupils with ASC, PDA and mental health issues.

Our qualifications

Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy Specialists

Kirsten qualified in psychology in 2001 and undertook a 7 year MSc at the Northern Guild specialising in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy then later generalising into adult and family mental health. Trained in innovative neurological treatments including QEEG Kirsten’s research has included creativity in the therapy room, sub categories of self harm, encopresis psychological treatment models, and in suicide and its early intervention.