Volume 11 Issue 3 (2022)

The need for Qualified School Teacher Mentors for Initial Teacher Training, Early Career Teachers and Beyond: Why Don’t School Teacher Mentors Need a Qualification in Mentoring?

pp. 7-31  |  Published Online: September 2022  |  DOI: 10.22521/edupij.2022.113.1

Carl Wilkinson


Background/purpose – Teacher recruitment and retention is a major issue for sustaining and growing an educational system. Nurturing and supporting teachers through all stages of their career in the form of mentoring is recognized as an important factor in retaining teachers in the profession. The current English Government’s “golden thread” of documentation for a teaching career stipulates a mentor for life. This study asks whether a qualification to practice mentoring should be mandated.  

Materials/methods – This case study presents ethnographic qualitative data analyzed and interpreted through a Miles et al. (2020) display structure. Seven practicing teacher mentors were separately interviewed within their own schools. The interviews were recorded, the participants were not prompted, and their responses are presented in full.

Results – This study found that none of the participants hold a recognized accredited qualification in mentoring. The literature shows that other professions value further qualifications which are used as proof of expert knowledge through theoretical study and reflection.

Conclusion – It is suggested that application of the intent to provide all teachers with a mentor throughout their whole career through an ad hoc cottage industry of volunteer mentors is unsustainable and not commensurate with that of a professional body.

Keywords: mentoring, qualification, motivation, intrinsic, extrinsic


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