A.T. Award Mentoring

Steering to excellence

  • GCSEs & A-Levels are crucial exams in a person’s academic life. Although an individual needs to make decisions about their education, in preparation for their exams, it can be difficult to know what decision to make. This is where the A.T.Award Mentoring comes in. It provides a professional, safe and independent space in which to reach our own conclusions about how to move forward. Mentoring has been described as “one of the best methods to enhance individuals” . A.T.Award recognizes this and is committed to promoting and facilitating it for the chosen students to ensure their continued success.

Characteristics of mentoring

Learning partnership: Mentoring is a partnership between two people: an experienced person (the mentor) who facilitates the development of another person (the mentee).

Mentoring roles:what do mentors and mentees do? The mentor asks the mentee questions to help them clarify and understand an issue and to assist them in finding a constructive way forward. Mentors provide advice and support to enable mentees to discover solutions for themselves.
The role of the mentee is to take responsibility for their own objectives and to engage actively in the process, such as by undertaking any agreed actions and openly feeding back outcomes.
The mentors spends a great deal of their time listening, asking questions and helping the mentee to develop insights that are beyond their individual perspectives and sometimes outside their comfort zones.

Beneficiaries of mentoring: It is not only the mentors and mentees who benefit directly from the outcomes of the mentoring relationship. Third parties, such as community, friends, relatives and classmates will gain too, be it from higher motivation, greater insights and knowledge, more confidence or increased skill levels. It is the ripple effect that makes mentoring such an effective tool.

A.T.Award Mentoring takes place over a two year period such that each student who successfully embarks on the scheme will be allocated an experienced mentor. There will be a group meeting at the start of the mentoring period (perhaps just after the award ceremony) where all the mentors and mentees will be present. Mentors are required to meet the mentees at least twice a year (i.e. once every six months). The dates can be agreed between both parties. However, the mentoring sessions have to be in a public place e.g (local mosque, community centre or library).
Detailed information is available for both mentors and mentees at the relevant tabs and upon request.

Q1) I have no previous mentoring experience but would like to become a mentor. How can I go about this?

Head of Mentoring team is responsible in recruiting mentors for the A.T.Award mentoring scheme. The selection process includes submitting a CV, an interview and a clear DBS check.

Q2) Will I get an introduction prior to the first mentoring session?

Mentors will be selected through interview process. Successful mentors will be given introduction to the mentoring process.

Q3) What is the time commitment?

Apart from the first group meeting, mentoring sessions can range from 30 minutes to 1 hour. It is required to have at least 1 face-to-face session during the 2 years period. As a mentor, you are a role model. If you find yourself postponing meetings often and not honoring previous agreements, you send the wrong signal to your mentee, and their commitment will suffer as a consequence.

Q3) Is it important to have review meetings?

Yes – regular learning reviews are an important part of any professional development activity, and mentoring is no exception.

Q4) What do I do if I can’t provide the right guidance to the mentee?

If you realize that you simply can’t help the mentee you are required to communicate to the Head of Mentoring team.

 Q5) How many mentees can I take on at the same time?

Mentors can take up to 3 mentees at a time however, there are a few factors to consider:

  • How much time you can spend on mentoring as part of your own professional development, in consultation with your line manager.
  • How much time you can set aside for taking on additional mentoring responsibilities.

Q6) What can I do if I struggle with my mentoring sessions?

First, keep a learning log to help you to reflect on your experience and gain a deeper understanding of what is working well and what isn’t. Second, recognize that as a mentor you are not there on your own. Help and support are available through A.T.Award Mentoring service. Any issue should be discussed in review meetings with the Head of Mentoring team.

Q1) How do I identify the right for me?

A.T.Award Mentoring will allocate a mentor to each student following an initial meeting with both parties.

Q2) How long does mentoring take?

Mentoring schemes runs a two year with at least one face-to-face meeting every 6 months.

Q3) How long will my mentoring sessions last?

There are no hard-and-fast rules, however, mentoring sessions are expected to last from 30minutes to 1 hour.

Q4) If my mentor doesn’t live locally, how can we make it work?

Face-to-face meetings are valuable, especially at the very beginning of a mentoring relationship, because it helps to establish common ground and trust. Here at the A.T.Award Mentoring Scheme we will do our best to ensure local mentors are allocate to each selected student. However, mentoring by e-mail, telephone and teleconference are alternatives in certain cases.

Q5) What do I do if I just don’t get on with my mentor?

Mentors will be trained and will be given detail information on how to contact Head of Mentoring team in such cases.

The chosen/winner students will be given an introduction pack that would include all the relevant information in addition to contact details of Head of Mentoring team. The email below can be used for general questions, comments or feedback: info@ataward.co.uk

“Mentors are fortune. They enjoy the privilege of learning while helping others to solve challenges”[1]
There are many reasons why people become mentors. Some of the benefits are:
• Satisfaction from helping others to learn and grow.
• The opportunity to develop new skills, such as listening and giving feedback.
• The gratification of being able to give something back to the community.
• Satisfaction of being part of a team that is committed to make a better future.

Communication skills are key competencies because mentors need to be able to build rapport, listen actively, and ask relevant and challenging questions. They also need to show empathy and encourage the mentee to be accountable for their development. These skills are also used in coaching, counseling and consulting.
There is clear distinction between consulting and mentoring: as a mentor, your role is to ask the right questions, but the role of consultant is to provide the right answers. Giving advice and making suggestions is part of mentoring, but it is a matter of balance. You need to be aware that a mentee can fall into trap of regarding their mentor as a consultant, offering solutions on a plate.

Mentees may have the perception that mentoring is a passive exercise, with the onus being placed on the mentor to tease the learning out of them. However, the role of mentee is very proactive. The mentee who fully engages in the process, and accepts responsibility for their own learning and development, is more likely to find the experience valuable.

When asked what they want to get out of mentoring, mentees commonly reply: learning from their mentors’ experience and knowledge, and having access to their resources. However, there is more to be gained from mentoring – by participating in a mentoring partnership you will develop your skills and enhance your attributes.