Mentor Training Programme Evaluation 2021 2022

Final report

Williams J, Pollard E, Subosa M, Campbell B |   | Institute for Employment Studies  | Apr 2022

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The professional development programme for mentors in the Further Education and Training (FET) sector from the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) aimed to support the development, progression and retention of new teachers in the sector. The Skills for Jobs White Paper 20211 outlined the Department of Education’s (DfE) commitment to continue to enable access to high-quality mentoring for FE teachers, in order to best support teacher’s professional development and achieve teaching excellence across the sector. As part of an overall package of measures to improve the supply and quality of the FE workforce, the ETF received funding from DfE to develop a high-quality mentor training programme for the FE sector and beginning to address historic weaknesses associated with mentoring for FE practitioners. The ETF created a programme of four elements:

  • A mentoring framework and guides with accompanying professional development sessions
  • Three training courses aimed at developing mentors
  • Grant funding for participants in two of these courses
  • Development of courses on FutureLearn, an online learning platform, aimed at leaders, mentees and mentor coordinators.

The three courses for mentors are the focus of this evaluation, conducted by the Institute for Employment Studies. ‘Getting ready to mentor’ was a three week online self-directed course aimed at refreshing knowledge of mentoring or as a first step into mentoring. The ‘Mentoring skills for new mentors’ programme was a six-month blended learning course combining group sessions delivered online, peer learning through action learning sets, self-directed learning using FutureLearn, and a minimum of 40 hours mentoring practice. ‘Advanced mentor skills for experienced mentors’ was also a six month blended learning course with a similar format to the course for new mentors, with an additional focus on setting up or enhancing a mentor programme in their own organisation.

The evaluation included interviews with stakeholders at the ETF, DfE, and the delivery partner; surveys of participants of the three training courses; a survey of mentees who experienced mentoring from participants on the two blended learning courses; alongside interviews with mentors and senior leaders from their organisations who had responsibility for supporting their participation who were known as grant leads.