Learning mentors work with students to improve their general academic performance in school. They help them overcome learning challenges. These mentors offer services at all levels of learning institutions. If you like helping people and have previous experience working with students, then you might be the right person for this career.
Learning mentors offer complementary services to teachers. As much as their services are mostly needed in schools, they can also work with adults in family settings. They address matters such as;
- Challenging behaviours
- Low self-esteem
- Personal challenges, such as death of a loved one.
Their typical work activities include;
- Developing working relationships with learners
- Advising parents and guardians on how to handle learners
- Keeping learners records to monitor their progress
- Listening to learners issues and devising positive solutions
- Collaborating with other teaching professionals to develop effective ways of helping the learners.
Learning mentors work for 37 hours a week, Monday to Friday. Since they need to meet learners parents and supervise after-school learning activities, they often work in the evening.
The job also may involve a bit of travelling, especially when mentors need to visit learners homes.
The average annual salaries for full-mentors are as shown below;
Level of experience
Starting learning mentors
£14,500 to £17,000
Experienced learning mentors
£18,000 to £23,000.
Salaries for part-time mentors usually vary by employer.
Source: National Careers Service
The minimum entry requirements for learning mentors include;
- A good standard of general education, especially literacy and numeracy
- A clearance by the Disclosure and Barring Service.
- Past experience working with young people
You can gain this experience by;
- Engaging in peer-to-peer mentoring programs
- Volunteering to work with people with disabilities
- Helping young people with health-related issues.
If you wish to pursue a professional qualification to enhance your prospects, you should consider the Level 2 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools.
This course focuses on subjects such as;
- Child and young person development
- Supporting bilingual learners
- Safeguarding the welfare of children and young people
- Support learning activities
For more information on the courses available for learning mentors, visit the Department of Education.
Useful Skills and Abilities
What does it take to become a competent and effective learning mentor?
- Excellent spoken and written communication skills
- Good listening and analytical skills
- Excellent problem solving skills
- Respect for confidential matters
- A non-judgmental approach to learners issues
- The ability to easily gain the confidence and trust of others
- The ability to work with people from different cultural and social backgrounds.
Training and Development
After getting a job, you will go through an induction training with your employer. Later on, you can develop your career by taking the following qualifications;
- Level 3 Diploma for the Children and Young People’s Workforce
- Level 3 Diploma in Specialist Support for Teaching and Learning in Schools
- The Level 5 Diploma for the Learning Development and Support Services Workforce
- A foundation degree in learning support.
You could also seek training on counselling skills and specific learning disabilities to improve your career prospects.
As a learning mentor, you can find job opportunities in;
- Local Education Authorities
- Primary and secondary schools
- Colleges and vocational schools
- Adult or family support organizations
With enough training and qualifications, you could secure a supervisory position or specialize in any of the following areas;
- Speech and language therapy
- Social work.
For more career information and job vacancies, visit;
Finally, learning is a continuous process. By becoming a learning mentor, you will not only have the opportunity to help students achieve their academic goals, but also contribute to the growth of education standards in the UK.
Image Source: Melissa Northway