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Mentor Handbook Secondary

Current version published March 2021.

All Mentors need to be aware of the Initial Teacher Training Core Content Framework (ITTCCF).

Role and responsibilities

The key responsibilities of a Mentor are to:

  • induct the trainee to the department;
  • arrange a suitable timetable;
  • ensure formal observation of the trainee on a twice-weekly basis (one observation for each Key Stage) and written feedback using the St Mary’s observation format;
  • co-ordinate observation by other staff;
  • conduct the weekly training session (Weekly Training Meeting) to support, guide, train, co-ordinate feedback, set targets, and monitor general progress taking into account the ITTCCF;
  • complete, with the trainee, the Assessment Profile interim points – December, March and May;
  • liaise with University Tutor and PCM over any concerns;
  • monitor subject knowledge progress.

What are the roles of a Subject Mentor?

“…the quality of the next generation of teachers will, in large part, depend on the quality of mentoring support they are given.” (Furlong and Maynard, Mentoring Trainee Teachers, Routledge)

In brief, a Mentor’s main functions are to support and guide all aspects of the development of a PGCE trainee whilst in school:

  • Helping them work within the department’s and the school’s structures
  • Advising, reviewing and feeding back on lesson plans and in-class performance
  • Giving further training on areas of difficulty or under-achievement
  • Working with the University Tutor and PCM in making an assessment of the trainee’s progress against the demands of the ITTCCF in support of meeting the Teachers’ Standards (TS).

The Partnership Agreement defines the Mentor role in full:

  1. To work closely with the PCM and University Tutor to ensure the quality, coherence, consistency and appropriateness of the school-based subject training provided relates with the ITTCCF.
  2. To keep up to date with developments in mentoring e.g. the subject mentor training sessions provided by the university.
  3. To provide induction into departmental procedures, data (e.g. target grades for school pupils), resources and specifications as appropriate.
  4. To negotiate a timetable that meets the training needs of the trainee as appropriate to the phase of their training, e.g. approx 30% of a ‘normal’ main scale timetable in the Foundation Phase, moving to 60% in the Developmental and Consolidation Phases.
  5. To ensure that the timetable includes a designated time-slot for the Weekly Training Meeting where progress against the demands of the ITTCCF are discussed and appropriate targets are set. The trainee will bring forward evidence and record the discussion for the mentor to agree (on Abyasa). 
  6. To receive and approve the trainee teacher’s lesson plans in good time (24 hours in advance), and provide appropriate feedback in time for the trainee to make agreed amendments.
  7. To ensure that the trainee is observed at least twice a week (one observation for each Key Stage where possible) during each school experience, and is provided with written and oral feedback in relation to the content of the ITTCCF.
  8. To jointly observe with the PCM if there is a need for additional support.
  9. To oversee the assessment and recording of pupils’ progress undertaken by the trainee.
  10. To monitor trainee progress on Abyasa.
  11. To complete the appropriate Assessment Profile by the due date at the end of each block, in consultation with the trainee and possibly university Tutor and/or PCM.
  12. To identify in the Assessment Profile areas for development for the next phase of training in relation to the ITTCCF and TS, and work with the trainee to set targets and agree a plan of action.
  13. To contribute to the subject course as appropriate e.g. by attending joint interviews, course evaluations.