Learning Mentor Careers

How to become Learning Mentor

What does a Learning Mentor do?

Learning mentors work in schools to help underachieving pupils overcome barriers to learning. Their aim is to transform young people’s attitudes towards school, help them gain confidence, and achieve their full potential. They support children who have a range of social, emotional and behavioural problems caused by personal crises in their life like bereavement, bullying, trouble with the police, and difficulties at home.

Learning mentors work with teachers, pastoral staff and other agencies, such as Connexions or youth justice, under the direction of the head teacher, and are likely to:

  • assess and identify pupils that are underachieving or at risk of exclusion
  • create accepting one-to-one relationships based on individual needs
  • share experiences and act as a role model
  • listen, encourage and facilitate co-operation with the school
  • help with transitions in a pupil's life, eg from primary to secondary
  • work with gifted and talented pupils who feel unchallenged
  • draw up and implement action plans in areas of concern, eg attendance, behaviour and attainment
  • be aware of opportunities and activities available to young people
  • develop contacts with the family or carers
  • organise ‘breakfast clubs’ or useful lunch- time activities.
They will sometimes have basic qualifications and learn on the job but will sometimes have completed more generally mentoring courses in advance.

What's the working environment like working as a Learning Mentor?

Learning mentors usually work school hours. They may also work in the evenings or weekends, visiting parents, attending parents' evenings or supporting extra- curricular activities. Part-time work is available.

Learning mentors are normally school based but may attend meetings at Local Education Authority offices. They are also likely to travel to pupils’ homes.

What does it take to become a Learning Mentor?

As a learning mentor you should:

  • be able to engage with young people from a range of backgrounds
  • be non-judgmental and able to gain trust and respect
  • have a sensitivity to emotional blocks or social factors
  • be capable of motivating children to achieve their best
  • have a confident and positive outlook
  • be flexible and creative in your approach to solving problems
  • have an interest in education and learning methods
  • be able to work as part of a team and network with others
  • be able to reflect on your own working methods
  • be able to work on your own initiative.

Learning Mentor Career Opportunities

The ‘Excellence in Cities’ programme is a government initiative seeking to improve schools through learning support units, city learning centres, learning mentors and other schemes. As part of this initiative all secondary schools should have at least one learning mentor.

Contact your Local Education Authority ‘Excellence in Cities’ programme, local schools and press for details of school-based opportunities. Also see the LGcareers website for opportunities (see Further Information).

Opportunities for learning mentors are likely to increase as part of the governments Every Child Matters initiative. See the Children’s Workforce Development Council website listed in Further Information for more details about the initiative.

Learning mentors are able to progress to ‘link’ learning mentors and take on the extra responsibilities of being a focal point for agencies and developing good practice. Learning mentors might also progress to learning mentor co-ordinators who may be involved in legal issues, service agreements and integrating services.

Learning mentors may be able to move into other relevant support services roles such as education welfare officer or attendance officer, or into teaching and social work, providing they meet the professional training standards for those occupations.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Learning Mentor that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Department for Education and Skills (Learning Mentors)

Kimberley House
47 Vaughan Way
Tel: 0116 251 7979

Mentoring and Befriending Foundation
First Floor
Charles House
Albert Street
M30 0PW
Tel: 0161 787 8600


Children’s Workforce Development Council (CWDC)
3rd Floor
Friends Provident House
13-14 South Parade
Tel: 0113 244 6311

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