A selection of pictures showing different mentoring and befriending relationships

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How mentoring can benefit your Ofsted inspections

16 January 2012

Ofsted  inspects and regulates services which care for children and young people and those providing education and skills for learners of all ages and includes inspections of schools and colleges. When inspectors visit a school they look at specific areas to determine how well the school looks after the needs of the young people and we know that mentoring can bring a number of benefits to support you with these inspections.

Student well-being and personal development

One of the key areas where mentoring demonstrates support is around the well-being and personal development of students. We believe that Senior Leadership members or heads should consider the value of additional mentoring support for young people and take into consideration the recognition of this type of support with Ofsted.

Mentoring evidence in Ofsted inspection reports

We have collated some examples of evidence based work conducted through Ofsted which highlights mentoring as highly effective in addressing a number of school issues:

Personal, social, health and economic education in schools (Ofsted, July 2010) – a report based on evidence from inspections in 165 maintained schools in England.

“…The better schools provided a wide range of interesting extra-curricular activities, such as music and drama productions, school councils and residential visits, where students could develop and practise their personal and social skills. Many of the schools were using peer mentoring schemes successfully, where pupils were trained to use their skills to support others…”

Good practice in re-engaging disaffected and reluctant students in secondary schools (Ofsted, Oct 2008). Draws on a survey of 29 secondary schools to identify good practice in re-engaging disaffected students in their learning.

“…In all the schools surveyed, staff, parents, carers and students said that mentoring had led to improved behaviour and attitudes for the vast majority of students. Adult mentors and coaches provided one-to-one support outside the classroom as well as in lessons. Students also received support from fellow students who acted as peer mentors or ‘buddies’…”

Identifying good practice: a survey of post-16 science in colleges and schools (Ofsted, Jan 2008) – found that in eight of the institutions visited, the quality of teaching and learning was outstanding.

“… Peer mentoring in some of the sixth form colleges and subject-based workshops visited was highly effective in helping students to improve. Year 13 mentors spoke very positively about supporting students in Year 12 and the unexpected benefits of immersing themselves in a topic to help someone else.”

Improving progression to sustainable unsupported employment (Ofsted, Feb 2010) – highlights providers that used mentoring successfully to support participants. As part of a peer mentoring scheme in one provider, qualified participants supported those who were unqualified and inexperienced. In another, all participants were supported by an employment mentor who helped them to develop a vocational profile that recorded their experiences, interests, education and learning styles. Job coaches provided effective coaching, mentoring and support to participants.

Case studies of schools using peer mentoring that were noted in Ofsted reports

The schools mentioned below have the Approved Provider Standard (APS), the national quality standard for mentoring and befriending.

Fulton Manor School, Kent
“…The peer mentoring system that exists was praised by the students. The success of the system has been recognised by the school receiving national awards for its work…” (page 7)

Headlands School, Bridlington
“…recognised as a centre of excellence for peer mentoring…They (students) make positive contributions to the life of the school through their roles as mentors… Students attend school regularly and enjoy the numerous responsibilities on offer, such as peer mentors…” (pages 3,6,8)

The King Edward VI Grammar School, Loath
“…work with the Mentoring and Befriending Foundation has promoted peer mentoring in school…Students make an outstanding contribution to school life through, for example, the peer mentoring scheme and prefecting system which gives large numbers the opportunity to support other students in academic and pastoral matters…“ (pages 6-9)

To find out more about how MBF can support the development of mentoring in your school or college and lend support to your Ofsted inspections, take a look at our range of training courses and find more evidence in our Research and evaluation directory.


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