Learning mentors provide a complementary service to teachers and other staff, addressing the needs of learners who require assistance in overcoming barriers to learning in order to achieve their full potential.
They work with a range of learners, but give priority to those who need the most help, especially those experiencing multiple disadvantages. The variety of issues covered is vast, ranging from punctuality, absence, challenging behaviour and abuse to working with able and gifted learners who are experiencing difficulties.
Learning mentors are predominantly education based (in primary, secondary and further education settings) but have a wider remit including families and the wider community. They work with children or young adults on a one-to-one basis or in small or large groups. Sometimes learning mentors work in offender learning and will also work with adult learners in the education system.
Some learning mentors are employed by learning providers but providers may also use volunteers, including peer volunteers.
Learning mentors undertake a wide-ranging role. Tasks vary depending on the nature of the job, for example the level of expertise required and complexity of the work expected. For example, some posts require a degree and experience of working with vulnerable and challenging young people and will expect post holders to manage their own case load and plan, deliver and measure interventions to support the young people they work with. Others will require GCSEs in English and maths and will expect mentors to work in a supporting role.
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