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Becoming an effective mentor

An effective mentor will have a huge influence on whether an ECT successfully copes with the many challenges they will face as they start out in teaching.


About this guide

This guide is aimed at anyone taking on the role of mentoring an early career teacher (ECT). Even teachers who have experience of mentoring NQTs prior to the introduction of the early career framework (ECF) in September 2021 may be unsure of how induction has changed and what is expected of them as a mentor.

This guide sets out the role of the mentor as defined by the ECF including:

 • how to build effective relationships with your mentee

 • different strategies to support your mentee 

• different models of mentoring

 • how to get the support you need as a mentor. In a 2022 NEU survey of ECT members about their experience of the ECF, many members reported that being able to discuss questions and challenges with someone experienced, and having the opportunity to receive consistent feedback on their performance from their mentor, was invaluable. 

In this guide we will explore some of the qualities of an effective mentor: 

• a track record of effective teaching practice • engaging interpersonal skills 

• up-to-date knowledge of the latest evidence-informed practice

 • knowledge of appropriate professional development that will enable the mentee to develop effectively 

• high levels of self-awareness that enable the mentor to articulate why their practice is effective. These are all important, but inevitably it will be the mentor’s ability to form an effective relationship, which is based on mutual professional respect, that will be the key to driving improvements in the ECT’s classroom practice over the two years of the programme.

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