Student mentors, mentees and staff came together to celebrate the success of our BAME Education Mentoring and Men in Primary Mentoring Programmes.
The BAME Education Mentoring Programme is for BAME students who are training to teach; students are matched with a BAME mentor who is a professional who lives or works locally. The Men in Primary Mentoring Programme matches male students with a mentor who is a male primary school teacher.
The six-month long programmes are delivered by Beth Thomas-Hancock, Mentoring Manager in Student Operations and Support at the University of Brighton and John Lynch, an Educational Consultant and retired head teacher.
Eligible students are paired with a mentor and meet for a minimum of 12 hours over a six-month period. Mentoring is a space to talk, listen and think and both mentors and mentees receive training. All mentors are volunteers and give their time and experience for free.
The programmes help students to develop and progress career plans, achieve goals, gain support and increase their confidence and enhance employability.
The celebration event took place on the Falmer campus. Attendees listened to inspirational speeches from Ross Wilson from the Men in Primary Programme and Kyla Salter from the BAME education programme. Both students said how the programmes had increased their confidence and learning. Kyla spoke about being a BAME person in a predominantly white area growing up and how, with her mentor’s support and encouragement, she now celebrates her identity and wants to be a positive role model for the BAME children she works with.
Ross spoke about being a mature student and how the match with his mentor was ‘perfect’. Ross said he had been into the school to observe his mentor and had valued advice and information on behaviour management. Ross said: “My mentor was amazing and I learnt so much.”
John Lynch thanked the students for making the most of the mentoring programme and the mentors for giving up their time to support a student on their journey. John said: “Working on these mentoring programmes is the best thing I have ever done.”
John Smith, Head of the School of Education gave a short speech about the value of the programmes, thanked the students for making the most of the opportunity and thanked the mentors for supporting our students. John then presented certificates to all who helped make the programmes a success.
Positive comments on those who took part in the programmes included:
“Having a BME mentor whom I met with regularly gave me the support and confidence I needed to continue to progress as a BME trainee teacher in an environment where there are very few other BME professionals.”
“I think it has been a powerful and well-conceived programme. The key to its success is giving BME students the opportunity to be supported by someone who has that integral similarity.”