A Learning Mentor is a relatively new concept in the field of education and is an individual who will spend time assisting those children who are under achieving at their school work. They can work with a great many children but pay particular attention to those children who may come from socially disadvantaged backgrounds, who have learning difficulties or who are behaviourally dysfunctional.
Primarily, learning mentors are required to attend to the needs of children in the school environment but this can overlap into family life and the local community.
What Does a Learning Mentor Do?
Working mostly on a one to one level or in small numbered groups, a learning mentor must possess the following necessary skills.
Be a good listener
Be able to encourage and motivate
Act as a role model and encourage the build up of a mutually respectful relationship
A learning mentor will be required during the course of his or her work to:
Identify those children who would benefit from one-to-one tutoring
Attempt to find out the reasons behind a child’s underachievement
Keep detailed records of attendance and punctuality
Consult with parents as to the reasons for underachievement
Draw up action plans for study and revision
Assist with confidence-building exercises
In addition to these learning mentors may also be involved in after school activities and clubs where they can see for themselves how children under their supervision interact with those around them on a more social scale.
They are also required to liase with parents and teachers alike and provide them with updates on the performance of those pupils who are under their supervision.
It is important to note at this juncture that classroom assistants and learning mentors are very different and that learning mentors have a more hands on approach to the teaching of the children under their care.
Becoming a Learning Mentor
It is possible to become a learning mentor without academic qualifications but having national curriculum examinations and/or a degree or Higher National Diploma (HND) can prove very useful. With or without these qualifications an individual wishing to become a learning mentor must show:
Excellent communications skills
Problem solving skills
The ability to work on one’s own
Learning mentors work closely with Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) and senior teaching staff in order to provide the necessary levels of care and attention needed to assist these underachieving children reach their learning potential and also to come up with new and exciting ways of providing these children with the help needed.
They will also work in close conjunction with Social and Youth Services, the Educational Welfare Service, the Probation and Careers Services in order to provide as much help and support as is possible.
As the concept of learning mentors is becoming more and more acceptable within the school environment many Local Education Authorities (LEAs) are embracing the idea and are actively seeking to employ them in their schools.
In addition to the aforementioned duties learning mentors are now being tasked with the formation of peer mentoring groups, student councils and networks of parent/carer support.
If you wish to become a learning mentor you should contact your local education authority or council and ask for details of their learning mentor schemes. Likewise if you have a child already in education contact their school and speak to the headteacher who will be able to give you advice and support.
Hi all, you will need relevant school experience and a diploma (level 3) in support teaching and learning alsongside mentoring qualifications. hope this helps ??
Shelzy - 29-Aug-17 @ 10:49 PM
I have a qualification in me 2 Mentoring schools. This has always been my dream since i was 13 (now 22) and I'm really struggling on what to next. Im waiting for my DBS check to come back so I can volunteer at my sons school, but I feel like it's taking to long and the school haven't really been helpful. Is there any other courses I could do while I try to figure things out? Thank you
Ambo - 29-Apr-17 @ 9:37 PM
I am interested in doing this course please could you send me all relevant information
Fati - 22-Sep-16 @ 2:43 PM
@poppy - I have included a National Careers Service link here. I hope this helps.
WorkingWithKids - 24-Mar-15 @ 1:57 PM
For many years I have wanted to help disadvantaged children of the 8 - 10 age group.I am a qualified Carer forVulnerable Adults .I am retired now and would love to be A Learning Mentor.Please tell me of the Qualifications to be gained and where. Thankyou
poppy - 21-Mar-15 @ 2:07 PM
I am starting my dissertation at UCLAN and I have chosen my tital as:
The role of a learning mentor in Primary Education in the U.K.
Could you point me in the direction of any useful websites, journals or books that you think would help me?
Thank you for your assistance.
Archie - 4-Mar-14 @ 4:38 PM
I have worked in a care home for the elderly,i need to change my work circumstances so i can spend more time with my family and especially help children with difficulties
gert - 27-Feb-13 @ 5:06 PM
I am very interested in helping others. I have been researching and applying for care work., such as working in care homes for the elderly, assisting with peoples every day needs, disabilities etc. I would love to work within a sector that involves caring, helping, teaching and assisting with peoples needs. After reading this I am very interested in becoming a learning mentor and gaining the qualifications and skills I would need to become one. If you could contact me that would be great. Thank You.
bambie - 26-Jun-12 @ 11:18 AM
I am interested in working with children who have learning disabilities, i was a mentor at a secondary school and did some work experience in a primary school. I was just wondering if there are any qualifications that I may need in order to become an mentor or a special needs assistant
afsera - 7-Jun-12 @ 3:18 PM
I am very interested in becoming a volunteer as a respite carer or/and a learning mentor. I am married with a child who is almost 3 about to attend nursery so I will have free time to donate. I have a university degree and speak Spanish fluently. My experience in care giving has been my mother who I solely cared for through a terminal illness and the extra care my daughter (type 1 diabetes) requires. I have a strong inclination to assist those in need and I recognise how important it for parents to have a break from the physical and mental demands a special needs child may have.