Working with schools a multi-agency approach

Working with schools, local authorities and charities

Mentor’s Schools Liaison Team assist public sector organisations with tailored support for children. Our team is comprised of experienced, qualified teachers, who know how schools work as they have long been part of them.

Typically, we will be contacted by a SENCO, Head of Academic Studies or Head of Pastoral Care and asked to propose highly qualified educators to support a child or group of children in special circumstances. We will send qualified teachers, with Enhanced DBSs to teach children in school or in a different environment, such as home or a library if more appropriate. We guarantee that schools will recognise the educators we send as one of their own, with the same qualifications, values and standards of pedagogy.

Mentor also frequently works with local authorities in London, providing one-to-one tuition for children who are falling behind in their learning for a variety of reasons. As well as recently providing tutoring for Kensington & Chelsea, we have also sourced tutors for SENCO schools in Barnet and tutored Looked After Children at the Virtual School in Islington.

Mentor has also worked with several charities, most notably partnering with the British Beekeepers Association. A key part of the charitable aims of the British beekeepers Association is to raise the standards of beekeeping practice in the UK through courses and exams. The British Beekeepers have a well established exam programme which is constantly developed to keep up with new research in the field of beekeeping. Exams start with basic skills and members can advance to Master Beekeeper after many years of intense study.

We partnered with the British Beekeepers Association to offer free Biology tuition to a cohort of twenty adult learners in the North West, who wished to progress to advanced Beekeeping courses but who had little traditional science education or felt very rusty. Our Biology teacher ran an eight week anatomy course comprising of two hours online learning per week in small study groups. The results of the course demonstrated a significant grade uplift with students from the cohort with extra tuition achieving 11% more credit grades and 15% more distinction grades than the average cohort throughout the country. We also received excellent feedback around more holistic aspects of the programme, such that 100% of participants reported feeling greater self esteem in their academic ability and 100% felt they had increased their confidence to participate in learning.

Margaret Murdin, President of the British Beekeepers Association made this comment about our programme;

“Mentor’s tutors were highly qualified teachers and very knowledgeable entomologists to boot! The sessions were great fun and built confidence in our adult learners that they could tackle harder parts of our syllabus. Thank you for the time and resources you so kindly contributed, we’d love to work with you again”.

Case Studies

Tutoring for a student from Grenfell Tower

Shortly after the Grenfell Tower fire, we were asked to help an 18 year old former resident of the building. He was struggling to concentrate on his A levels, which were due to take place in just a few weeks’ time.

The agency that got in touch with us was a law firm appointed by The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea to look after the needs of a number of vulnerable young people following the disaster.

This situation required an extremely sensitive approach. The young man had lost several members of his extended family, so we needed to find a tutor who would be sympathetic while also providing the support and high-level focus that would allow the student to do his best in traumatic circumstances.

We turned to our extensive database and hand selected three tutors who were highly qualified to support this young man with his English, Chemistry and Maths A levels.

  • The English tutor is a fully qualified teacher with a Bachelor of Arts, a PGCE in Education and Qualified Teacher status. She is also an award-winning playwright.
  • The Chemistry tutor has a BSc in Chemistry from UCL and a PGCE from the University of Cambridge.
  • The Maths tutor has a degree in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge and also lectures in accounting at St Mary’s University.

All have excellent track records of tutoring success and are known for their ability to understand and motivate young people. Naturally, they are also reference checked and have up-to-date DBS certificates.

In the run up to his exams, the student received over 70 hours of funded tuition from Mentor tutors.

Thanks to the support he received from his Mentor tutors, the young man was able to renew his focus on his studies. One tutor commented:

“He has made significant progress. Importantly, when he does come up against a problem that causes him difficulty, he will stop and ask me to clarify and won’t be satisfied to move on unless he has completely understood my explanation.”

The student told the agency that Mentor’s tutors were “perfect” and “very flexible”, and reported that he felt able to get back on track with his A levels and take his exams.

The agency representative said:

“Right from my initial enquiry, through to ongoing tuition, Mentor’s communication has been excellent. They identified the needs of my client and provided excellent tutors.”

We were delighted when the student achieved the A level results he needed to take up a place on his chosen engineering foundation course at London City University.

Subsequently, the same agency has been back in touch and has asked us to put together a similar tuition programme for several other Grenfell Tower survivors, who we are currently still helping.