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Supporting teachers of the future

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Published on 29 September 2022

Professor Lynne McKenna
Professor Lynne McKenna

The University of Sunderland's School of Education has launched a comprehensive package of training and support for school and college-based mentors to ensure that their trainees are fully supported in their professional development as teachers and mentors. 

The package includes fortnightly masterclasses on pedagogy, mentoring skills videos, weekly drop-ins and weekly infographics to help mentors provide the best possible phase and subject specific support to trainees. Mentors will work towards some mentor standards, where they will be acknowledged at the end of the academic year at a celebration event. If they achieve 'Expert Mentor' status, they will join the University's 'Expert Mentor Group' and become a university fellow. Mentors can also take advantage of a brand-new mentoring website, which will be a one stop shop for resources and an invitation to the national MentorED conference which will be held online in April 2023.

As part of the launch, Visiting Professor and keynote speaker, Les Walton CBE, delivered a presentation for mentors entitled “Creating the Conditions For Growth”. Delegates at the event were informed of the School of Education’s new mentoring approach and were provided with a goody bag, complete with a copy of Teacher Development Mentor Lead, Haili Hughes' book, 'Mentoring in Schools.'

Steve MacCormack, Deputy Head at West Boldon Primary School, said: “It was great to hear from Haili Hughes, Les Walton and Professor Lynne McKenna at the University of Sunderland mentoring event. It is going to be a great year of supporting students on their journey to being amazing educators.”

The introduction of the 'Mentoring Masterclass' series also took place as more than 150 mentors tuned in to listen to a workshop on behaviour management by author and headteacher Sam Strickland. 

Professor Lynne McKenna, Dean of the Faculty of Education and Society at the University, said: "At the University of Sunderland, we continue to develop and innovate in Initial Teacher Training and are looking forward to the academic year ahead. 

“We are very proud of our longstanding success in developing and supporting school- based mentors but the introduction of this comprehensive package is integral to the continued development of our teacher training provision. Haili is a renowned national mentoring expert and her work on the new approach and training programme will help to establish the University of Sunderland as a Centre of Excellence in Mentoring in the UK.”