Learning mentor: job description
Learning mentors support and motivate children and young people experiencing difficulties with their learning.
Learning mentors work with children and young people on a group or one-to-one basis. They provide support, motivation and guidance to help pupils overcome obstacles to their learning. These could include learning difficulties, family issues, mental health problems or a lack of confidence. Learning mentors often specialise: for example, academic mentors focus on education attainment, while SEMH behaviour mentors focus on the social, emotional and mental health needs of pupils.
Typical duties include:
- actively listening to students’ concerns
- discussing ways and forming plans to address these
- providing support, advice and guidance tailored to each student’s situation
- liaising with schools, teachers, social workers and educational psychologists and making referrals if needed
- making home visits or speaking with parents/carers about strategies to deal with each child’s situation
- organising activities (such as music or sport sessions).
Learning mentors are frequently paid a daily rate on an as needed basis, often in the region of £70–£100 per day.
- Primary and secondary schools.
- Further education colleges.
Jobs are advertised on local authorities’ and national newspapers’ job sites.
You don’t need a degree to enter this field. Experience and the right skills are more important because it’s so important that you can form positive, supportive relationships with children and young people.
Voluntary work is a good way to build the experience you need for this role. Students should look for opportunities to get involved in mentoring while at university or with a local authority.
There are a number of courses you can study to build skills for this role once you’ve found work. They include certificates and diplomas in supporting learning, and many employers will help you learn on the job.
- Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
- Excellent listening skills.
- Empathy and emotional intelligence.
- The ability to think on your feet and be flexible.
- The ability to support people from a range of backgrounds.
- Organisational skills.