Institute for Academic Development
Institute for Academic Development

Mentoring for success: Co-producing a meaningful workplace mentoring scheme

Mentoring for success: Co-producing a meaningful workplace mentoring scheme with students and employers

School: Moray House School of Education and Sport

Team Members:  Marlies Kustatscher, Luke Addison, Kristina Konstantoni, Liz Latto, Lynn McNair, Maggie Morrison, Kay Tisdall

Abstract

This project addresses a particular need to collaboratively develop and implement a successful workplace mentor model for students on the BA Childhood Practice (BACP). The majority of our approx. 100 students are from widening participation backgrounds, female, mature, in full-time employment and with caring responsibilities. The BACP is a part-time work-based degree, accredited by the Scottish Social Services Council who stipulates that students should have a workplace mentor whilst undertaking the degree. However, there is little guidance on what shape this mentoring relationship should take and how it should be supported by training providers.

While most students on the BACP have identified a workplace mentor, there are large inconsistencies in the quantity and quality of mentoring support they receive. Currently there is no contact between the BACP team and students’ workplace mentors. Research shows that successful mentoring relationships in childhood practice can improve quality of practice and staff retention (Cummins 2004). However, there is a need to further investigate the role of mentoring especially for widening participation students and students on work-based programmes. Also, while mentoring in childhood practice has shown positive effects for the mentee and service users, there is a research gap on the benefits for the mentor (Pavia et al. 2003). We are therefore proposing to establish an action research partnership that includes staff and students on the BACP and that

a) explores the perspectives and needs of students and workplace mentors and

b) identifies ways in which the university can support a transformative, sustainable mentoring scheme.