Schools and trainee teachers praise new mentoring scheme from Institute of Education

The University of Reading’s Institute of Education (IoE) has introduced an innovative mentoring scheme which bodes well for trainee teacher development. Students praise the extra insight, knowledge and tips they receive through the scheme, alongside all the on-going support. The new scheme aims to nurture mentoring skills whilst boosting teachers’ and trainees’ Continuous Professional Development (CPD) – absolutely vital in the rapidly evolving world of education.

Trainee teachers from the IoE experience immense benefits in their training schools from the support they receive from mentors. It is a responsibility the mentors take very seriously, ensuring that by giving their mentees the kind of experience that smooths the transition to teach, these students will have a strong base from which to launch their careers and be the best teachers they can be.

Whilst being mentored, students are able to explore teaching life and career goals based on the experience and perspective of a mentor who is already ‘out there’. Yet it is not just the student who gains from such a partnership. For the mentor, the benefit is not confined to seeing changes in their mentee student arising from their encouragement and support – though this is hugely rewarding of course. But, say mentors, spending time mentoring current students with their fresh ideas and creative approach has also been perspective-shifting and energising for them. Mentoring, they enthuse, is a two-way benefit.

This is the backdrop to the IoE’s introduction of the new Mentor Certification Programme which nurtures teachers and practitioners in developing and reflecting on their skills for effective mentoring – ensuring an already robust and successful mentor programme continues to grow alongside the ever-developing world of teaching.

The new programme has been made specifically flexible to support busy professionals, with a further benefit arising from the support it provides for teachers’ and education practitioners’ career development: the strong element of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) is a key component of the new scheme.

Schools and settings have been enthusiastic about these skills-enhancement activities but have also experienced a different kind of positive from the scheme: research has shown a strong link between effective mentoring and recruitment and retention of teachers. Reading Partnership Teachers (RPTs) are regularly offered roles in their placement schools, so active engagement with the Partnership in training new teachers proves an excellent way for schools to recruit Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs).

The Certification scheme has already drawn strong interest from colleagues in schools and settings wishing to cultivate their mentoring expertise. Those already mentoring in Partnership settings are being invited to join the new Certification programme at the level that suits their experience.

The IoE is ranked 3rd in the UK for Education (The Guardian University League Table 2018), with internationally renowned and award-winning academics. The Institute’s strong links with local – and not so local –  schools enables an outstanding Partnership that can create the next generation of exceptional teachers. 

The IoE’s high levels of pastoral care and the exemplary experience that students enjoy are regularly reflected in the annual National Student Survey (NSS), with 2017’s ranking the IoE a high 90% for satisfaction. Indeed, one of the Institute’s key strengths, as recognised by Ofsted, is the high quality of support it provides to schools, mentors and Reading Partnership Teachers (RPTs) on placement.

What Reading Partnership Mentors have to say:
“Mentoring….. it makes you think about your own teaching”
“Mentoring skills – really good for developing departmental policies”

Click here to discover more about mentoring and Mentor Certification from some of our Reading Partnership Mentors.

The Institute is keen to welcome experienced teachers and practitioners to the Mentor Certification programme, whether applicants are mentoring trainees, early years workers, students or Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs).

If you would like to find out more about this aspect of the scheme, please contact your University link tutor, or Kate Malone, our Placements Co-ordinator.

TROOPS TO TEACHERS @ the Institute of Education, University of Reading

The University of Reading is delighted to announce that it is offering a selection of new training courses for British Armed Forces personnel wishing to embark on a teaching career once they have left the forces.

Reading is part of a consortium of six universities, led by the University of Brighton, who will offer the Government’s new Troops to Teachers Programme. The programme aims to support a smooth transition into the civilian workforce for those Service members who are exiting their military careers and have the potential to become outstanding teachers. The consortium will enable former Service personnel to train to teach by accessing newly created Initial Teacher Training (ITT) routes.

Reading is working with a range of outstanding primary and secondary schools in the region to support the development and delivery of the programme.  The programme will have a school-centred approach which will immerse trainees in high quality teaching environments, combined with specialist expertise and evidence-based research from one of the leading teacher training providers in the country.  Details of our current partnership schools can be found here.

Professor Andy Goodwyn, Head of the University of Reading’s Institute of Education, said: “We are extremely pleased to be involved in this important new scheme which intends to help members of our armed forces retrain to become exceptional teachers.  The programme will only select the very best candidates who show a genuine aptitude for, and commitment to, teaching.  Our geographical location, close to many British Armed Forces establishments, is a mutual advantage for all involved and shows that as a major international university we can still demonstrate real commitment to the region and its community.”

The Troops to Teachers programme, funded by the Department for Education, aims to recruit the best Service leavers into teaching, including those with the highest qualifications, qualities and experiences, who have the potential to become outstanding teachers. It has been designed and developed with a group of outstanding schools and ITT providers in collaboration with the Ministry of Defence and the Career Transition Partnership. Those Service personnel who are in the two years before discharge or in the two years post discharge from the Armed Forces are eligible to apply.

The consortium is directly involved in two programmes:

Pathway 1 is a School Direct salaried / School Direct training programme resulting in QTS.  Graduate Service Leavers interested in undertaking teacher training can apply for a one year, School Direct salaried, School Direct training, Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) or School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) programme.

  • The School Direct salaried route into teaching is available to high-quality graduates with at least three years’ work experience.  Trainees are employed as an unqualified teacher by the school. Previous experience in the Armed Forces will count towards meeting the School Direct eligibility criteria
  • The School Direct training route into teaching is open to all high-quality graduates and funded by tuition fees paid by the trainee, who may receive a bursary from the Department for Education. PGCE and SCITT programmes are fee-paying routes in partnership with universities and also offer bursaries for eligible graduates.  For more information, visit the Department for Education site

Pathway 2 is a two-year non-graduate honours programme incorporating QTS

  • Trainees will enter this already holding some HE credit
  • Cohort 1 will start in January 2014 and cohort 2 will start in Jul/Sept 2014
  • This programme will be based around the University of Brighton’s existing 2 Year BA(Hons) Secondary Education with QTS programme, although it is being redeveloped to include an employment-based mode of study through it, to add additional secondary subject routes, and to develop a primary age phase programme

For details about how to apply for this pathway, go to Troops for Teachers



For further information please visit:


Graduate Service Leavers


University of Reading.  Email: or call: 0118 378 2624

For general enquires please contact the DfE Teaching Line 0800 389 2500 or visit:

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