The Department for Education (DfE) and the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) are offering two mentoring grant programmes in 2021-22.

1. Grants for providers supporting mentors through the professional development programmes 

In 2021-22, 325 FE practitioners who are mentoring or coaching colleagues (teachers or trainers) will be able to undertake a free professional development programme through the ETF. There are two programmes available: one for new mentors/coaches and one for experienced or qualified mentors who want to continue their professional development in this field. In addition, for each mentor allocated a place on the programme their employer will receive a grant of up to £6,000. 

The grant will contribute towards: 

  • The cost of reducing the mentors’ teaching timetable so they can undertake a mentoring professional development course (see below). 
  • The cost of reducing the mentors’ teaching timetable so they are able to conduct a minimum of 40 – 50 hours of mentoring support over a six-month period (NB this is a core component of the professional development programme outlined below). 
  • If reducing a mentor’s teaching timetable is not feasible, then the cost of paying the mentor to undertake the additional mentoring responsibilities.
  • The cost of reducing mentees’ teaching timetables so they are able to meet with their mentor on a regular basis. 
  • Administrative costs of a mentoring coordinator who will match mentors and mentees monitor the number of meetings taking place and complete a monthly performance report for ETF. 
  • The travel costs of mentors attending the in-person mentoring professional development programme (see below). 

A small proportion of the grant may also be used towards the cost of leaders/managers of the participating FE provider or group of providers undertaking a needs analysis and creating a development plan for how they can affect quality mentoring across their organisation/s with the support of an expert facilitator provided through ETF. There will be a maximum of five grants available per FE provider. Depending on initial uptake, there may be additional places available at a later date.

Mentoring Programmes 2021-2022 webinar

The ETF mentoring team held a webinar for prospective grant leads from provider organisations whose staff intend to apply for the ETF’s 2021–22 mentoring programmes – New to mentoring and Advanced mentoring. The webinar focused on helping providers to understand the process and responsibilities of engaging in the programme.

Below are videos taken from the webinar slides. Each video focuses on a different area and provides information to help understand the ETF mentoring programme further.

Programme information

Grant funding


Risk and quality assurance

Ringfence places

The DfE and ETF have ringfenced 25% of places on Mentoring Skills for New Mentors and Advanced Mentoring Skills for Experienced Mentors. These places will be for applicants who are working in one of the 12 opportunity areas*, those with a disability or those from black and minority ethnic communities. The offer is being made in line with the ETF’s commitment to fairer access to courses and social mobility and recognises the diversity of the further education sector.

Those wishing to secure a place should apply via the mentoring application process, stating which of the three criteria they meet when prompted to do. Signing up for ringfenced places indicates a willingness to be contacted by ETF’s evaluation team, which will be assessing the impact of the initiative.

*The 12 opportunity areas are Blackpool, Bradford, Derby, Doncaster, Fenland and East Cambridgeshire, Hastings, Ipswich, Norwich, Oldham, North Yorkshire Coast, Stoke, and West Somerset.  

2. Grants to support professional development of FE EdTech mentors and coaches

80 Grants of up to £1,000 will be available to FE providers across England to support the professional development of mentors and coaches specialising in EdTech. 

The Grants are designed to support mentors and coaches to undertake: 

  • self-directed professional development 
  • additional mentoring and coaching of colleagues to enhance the quality of online/blended delivery across their organisation. 

In 2020, the ETF developed a guide outlining 10 ideas for professional development. Each successful mentor or coach received the guide and submitted an action plan detailing which activities they plan to undertake. They were also required to submit a progress report after completing the initial action plan.

Please read through the EdTech Mentor FAQs before you begin the application process.

Thank you for your interest in the Mentoring Programme.

Applications for 2021-22 Mentoring Skills for New Mentors, Advanced Mentoring Skills for Experienced Mentors and Mentors specialising in EdTech are now closed.

To register your interest for our mentoring activities for 2022-23 please complete this short survey.

For any queries please contact