Applications are now open for the 2021–22 cohorts of the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) programmes designed to develop the use of high-quality mentoring in the Further Education and Training sector. Places are available for 325 FE practitioners to undertake one of the two professional development programmes, which are being delivered on behalf of the ETF by AlphaPlus Consultancy.
The ‘New to mentoring’ programme, which will run from September 2021 to February 2022, is suitable for FE practitioners who are new or relatively new to mentoring or coaching teacher or trainer colleagues in the FE sector. It will provide participants with opportunities to learn in a small group with a dedicated tutor, experience a variety of mentoring techniques, engage in facilitated learning action sets and simulation exercises to try out practical techniques in a safe space, and undertake a minimum of 40 hours of supported mentoring.
Running during the same period, the ‘Advanced mentoring’ programme is for FE practitioners who have a good understanding of mentoring theory and have applied it in practice. Typically, they will have mentored teacher or trainer colleagues on a regular basis for a minimum of one year. They may also have mentoring qualifications. This programme will offer a form of ongoing CPD for more experienced or qualified mentors. Participants will have the opportunity to learn in a small group with a dedicated tutor, practise and receive feedback on a range of mentoring techniques, critically reflect on the contexts in which they work, engage in facilitated action learning sets, undertake a small development project to improve mentoring in their organisation, and carry out a minimum of 40 hours of supported mentoring.
The programmes will be provided at no charge and participation will be supported with a grant to individuals’ organisations of up to £6,000. Three-quarters of the places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, with the remainder ringfenced for applicants who satisfy one or more of three criteria:
A webinar for prospective grant leads from provider organisations will take place from 10.30am to 11.30am on Thursday 8 July. It will focus on helping providers understand the process of one of their staff participating and the responsibilities they will have. You can register for the webinar on the ETF booking site.
The mentoring programmes ran for the first time in 2020–21. The evaluation report is available on the ETF website. You can also read accounts of being part of the programme by two of the trainers; Joanna Stokes writing for the ETF website blog, and Yvonne Williams in TES.
This activity is part of a wider Department for Education funded programme the ETF is delivering to develop mentoring. It has included the development of a Mentoring Framework and accompanying guides for mentors, mentees and leaders that were published at the beginning of June 2021.
The overall aim of the programme is to increase the effectiveness of the support offered to mentees by promoting a shared understanding of effective mentoring practices, promoting best practice and raising awareness of what mentoring looks like.
Further details of the mentoring programme are available on the ETF website.