Becoming a learning mentor

Being a learning mentor is an incredibly wide-ranging role that covers a variety of areas. They provide support to pupils to help them overcome a variety of social, emotional and behavioural problems.

What makes a good learning mentor?

The main requirements are:

  • an ability to form good relationships with a wide range of young people and their families or carers and with a variety of organisations
  • the ability to gain the confidence of children, schools, agencies and people in the community and business
  • skills in negotiating, planning and managing activities
  • good listening skills
  • an understanding of health and social issues that affect children's development
  • an understanding of the school curriculum and the needs of learners.

Background and experience

Learning mentors come from a wide variety of ages and backgrounds.

People generally work as learning mentors after gaining experience in other fields such as guidance, social work, counselling, teaching, pupil support roles or youth, community and welfare work.

However, many people enter the field as a career change option or through drawing on general life experience.

What about qualifications?

Mentors need competence in literacy and numeracy and may require GCSE (or equivalent) grades A to C in English and maths.

They may also need a professional qualification in education, social work or nursing. The Certificate in National Learning Mentor Training is desirable.

Training is usually on-the-job, although occasionally outside training may be available to address a particular need of the school, such as cross-cultural issues.

How do I become a mentor?

If you have the skills and qualifications outlined above, you are on your way.

Take a look at the jobs page now - there may be a vacancy at a local school.

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