Mentoring programme applications now open

Applications are now open for two new Education and Training Foundation (ETF) programmes designed to develop the use of high-quality mentoring in the Further Education and Training sector. Places are available for 245 FE practitioners to undertake one of the two professional development programmes, which are being delivered on behalf of the ETF by AlphaPlus Consultancy.

The ‘New to mentoring’ programme, which will run from October 2020 to March 2021, is suitable for FE practitioners who are new or relatively new to mentoring or coaching teacher or trainer colleagues in the FE sector. It will provide participants with opportunities to learn in a small group with a dedicated tutor, experience a variety of mentoring techniques, engage in facilitated learning action sets and simulation exercises to try out practical techniques in a safe space, and undertake 40–50 hours of supported mentoring.

Running during the same six-month period, the ‘Advanced mentoring’ programme is for FE practitioners who have one to two years’ experience in mentoring teacher or trainer colleagues, or who have mentoring qualifications. This programme will offer a form of ongoing CPD for more experienced or qualified mentors. Participants will have the opportunity to learn in a small group with a dedicated tutor, practise and receive feedback on a range of mentoring techniques, critically reflect on the contexts in which they work, engage in facilitated action learning sets, undertake a small development project to improve mentoring in their organisation, and carry out 40–50 hours of supported mentoring.

The programmes will be provided at no charge and participation will be supported with a grant to individuals’ organisations of up to £6,000. Places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Mentors who complete the courses will be awarded a digital badge. The application form can be accessed here.

The two programmes are part of a wider Department for Education funded programme the ETF is delivering to develop mentoring. Its overall aim is to increase the effectiveness of the support offered to mentees by promoting a shared understanding of effective mentoring practices, promoting best practice and raising awareness of what mentoring looks like. It features three further elements:

  1. A shorter online course introducing mentoring, also being delivered for the ETF by AlphaPlus Consultancy. Further details will be announced shortly.
  2. The production of an ETF mentoring framework and three guides – one for mentors, one for mentees and one for leaders – that will feature practical advice for those working in the sector. They will be delivered by a consortium led by Sheffield Hallam University and including practitioners with an outstanding track record in the development and delivery of high-quality mentoring, coaching, and continuing professional development drawn from the University of Brighton, Birmingham City University and the University of Wolverhampton.
  3. A desk-based review of the impact and effectiveness of mentoring training being led by Professor Andrew Hobson of the University of Brighton and Professor Bronwen Maxwell of Sheffield Hallam University. Hobson and Maxwell led the major Gatsby-funded study on Mentoring and Coaching Teachers in the Further Education and Skills Sector (2014–15), its largest national study to date on mentoring.

Further details of the mentoring programme are available on the ETF website.

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