The Learning Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) commissioned all the CETTs to run a series of action research projects based on mentoring. WMCETT ran six such projects between November 2008 and July 2009, ending with a feedback event at the University of Worcester. The project was managed by Jill Hardman of WMCETT.
The full reports of all the projects are available to read, right. Three of the projects went on to secure further development funding from Nord Anglia.
The projects were:
Birmingham Adult Education Service - experience of mentoring by BAES teacher training mentors working with a range of providers in the West Midlands.
The project surveyed staff in mentoring roles and ITT provoiders, plus people being mentored and found large differences in experiences and expectations. A three-day training programme was held and 10 people were trained as mentors in the targeted areas. A Virtual Learning Environment was set up and is having materials added to it. The BAES wants to work with WMCETT to find common standards and protocols on mentoring.
WMCETT partner colleges - decveloping a mini community of practice within FE with a specific focus on improving mentoring provision.
This project involved the participation of three colleges that investigated mentoring of students on DTLLS courses. It found big differences in practice, including how students found their mentors, whether external mentors were used and the level of control over the mentoring process. A focus group meeting of external mentors was held, and there has been some sharing of resources between the colleges. One of the colleges has set up a 0.5 mentoring co-ordinator’s post.
Community First - mentoring support for volunteer tutors in the Third Sector.
The project found that mentoring in the voluntary and community sector was much more informal than in a further education setting. Research looked into what people understood by mentoring. Two volunteer tutors took a PTLLS course and a mentoring workbook was developed which was completed and evaluated by six individuals. There are plans to encourage people to join an ITT network, and to put on a peer mentoring course.
Essential Skills Resource Centre - mentoring for Skills for Life subject specialist trainees.
This project looked at support for people mentoring students on courses such as training to teach in literacy, numeracy and ESOL. It was found they wanted more relevant information provided online for them, and the Centre has now set up a page for this.
Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire Training Providers Association - a mentoring framework for teachers/trainers in the work-based sector.
After a survey of work-based training providers a draft framework for a mentoring process run by HWSTPA, including a policy and protocols, person specification and mentor role description was produced. A specialist mentoring course has now been run to provide mentors for the first people taking a work-based learning CBED DTLLS course.
Voluntary and Community Sector in North Shropshire - developing mentoring for teachers involved in adult learning.
Interviews with mentors found a very high level of commitment to mentoring in the voluntary sector. A development meeting was held for eight mentors who had been recruited and four mentors were matched with people to mentor. It was felt employers often didn’t understand the value of mentoring and how it could create a better and more effective workplace.