Learning Mentors are school-based employees who, together with teaching and pastoral staff, assess, identify and work with those pupils who need extra help to overcome barriers to learning, inside and outside school.
Their aim is to help pupils learn more effectively and improve their achievement.
Learning Mentors liaise closely with teachers and other support professionals, and often act as a link between the family and school.
They work with groups of pupils and individuals. A wide variety of pupils are referred to the Learning Mentors.
The pupils may have issues relating to:
Learning Mentors work with pupils to devise an action plan to give support with referral issues. Pupils are helped to identify targets to work towards an action plan. Meetings are held on a regular basis, e.g. weekly to discuss the targets and action plans.
- low motivation
- low self-esteem
- catching up with coursework
The Department for Education and Skills contains lots of information about Learning Mentors and how to become one. Please look at their website for more details.
Learning Mentors are not the same as Special Support Assistants. A Learning Mentor helps the pupil with addressing a wider range of barriers to learning, mainly providing support outside of the classroom.
Learning Mentors are assigned their caseload by their line manager from the school. This is often a member of the Senior Management Team of the school.
Pupils are referred because they may:
· have attendance problems
· be a risk of exclusion
· be at risk of under achieving
· have a low self-esteem
· display inappropriate behaviour towards peers and/or staff
· have difficult home lives
· have health issues.
When a learning mentor is assigned, a letter is sent to parents explaining that the pupil would benefit from the support of a Learning Mentor and telling them what this involves.
Pupils are aware that they are free to discuss anything with their Learning Mentor. However, if the Learning Mentor feels that something they are told by the pupil is harmful to the pupil or anyone else, they will discuss this with an appropriate person.