Learning Mentors

Some schools have learning mentors. They do not teach classes. Learning mentors support students on a one to one or small group basis. Learning mentors are specialist staff who work with students requiring motivation, support with organisation or who find relationships with people in authority complicated. Learning mentors act as a conduit between the student and the institution.

  • In some schools, learning mentors focus on students who are at risk of exclusion.
  • Students who find it difficult to relate to the authority figure of a teacher can often relate better to a mentor.
  • Parents who are fed up with always being contacted by the school with complaints about their child often find it easier to communicate with mentors.
  • Students who do not work well in a classroom environment can often succeed with a mentor, who will sometimes take them out of the class and support them one to one.
  • If a school has good mentors, it can have high success rates at keeping disaffected students in school without them being disruptive.These successes may not feature in School and college performance tables. In fact, if a school manages to retain students at risk of exclusion, this can often factor against them scoring highly in the tables. Even if a student at risk of exclusion manages to stay at school, they rarely achieve grades which match their potential, because they have spent so much of their school career underachieving.
  • Even if your child is not a student who might be at risk of exclusion, it is worth investigating the quality of a school’s learning mentors. There comes a time, albeit temporary, in most students’ school life when they become disaffected to a degree. In this instance, it is often the figure of a learning mentor who maintains the link between the student and the school and keeps the student on track.
  • The presence of learning mentors in a school invariably leads to a more nurturing and supportive atmosphere. Children and staff who do not meet with the mentor know that their peers do. The presence of learning mentors sends a message to the whole student and staff body that the school invests in support mechanisms.

Further Information

Open Evening

If the mentors are at the open evening, go and speak to them. Ask the learning mentors what the school success rate is at keeping students at risk of exclusion on course and in school.

Prospectus/Open Evening

Find out whether the school has mentors, and what types of students they work with.

Case Study


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