What do learning mentors do?

Learning mentors help pupils who are experiencing difficulty at school. They work with students to tackle specific problems and to improve achievement levels.

For example, they might work with a regular truant to increase punctuality. Or they might help a pupil form better relationships with their peers and teachers.

Removing barriers to learning

Learning mentors are employed by schools and colleges to help students and pupils to remove barriers to learning. In doing so they promote effective participation, enhance individual learning, and raise aspirations and achievement.

These barriers include:

  • the need to develop better learning and study skills
  • difficulties at home
  • personal organisation
  • behaviour
  • bullying
  • general disaffection and disengagement from learning.

Issues such as these can affect pupils of all abilities.

What do learning mentors actually do?

Learning mentors mainly work with pupils on a one-to-one basis. They help to develop coping strategies, enhance motivation, raise aspirations and encourage re-engagement with learning.

They take account of a range of complex underlying issues that may impact negatively on learning and achievement, such as:

  • bereavement
  • low self-esteem
  • low aspirations
  • mental health issues
  • relationship difficulties
  • bullying
  • peer pressure
  • family issues or concerns.

They also work closely with teachers, parents, social workers, local government workers, careers advisers and fellow learning mentors. They help the people they look after and construct new ways of developing relationships in the community.