Academic Mentors FAQs

Academic Mentors FAQs

Answers to common questions about NTP Academic Mentors. Applications to become an Academic Mentor and for schools to hire a mentor have now closed for 2020/21.

Table of contents

Q: Who will the Academic Mentors be?


The Academic Mentors are likely to be mostly graduates with some experience in education or working with pupils. They will not all be qualified teachers but may be working towards an initial teacher training qualification or considering a career in education. They will receive a package of ongoing training delivered by Teach First, and will be managed by their school.

Applications to become an Academic Mentor have now closed for 2020/21. If you’re interested in becoming an Academic Mentor or hiring a mentor for your school in 2021/22, please fill out this contact form.

Q: Will the Academic Mentors be school staff?


Yes. The aim is that schools will treat Academic Mentors as part of their staff team, supporting and managing them to deliver tuition support that is appropriate, timely, and linked to their curriculum.

Q: Can we employ our own staff as Academic Mentors?


Academic Mentors will be employed by individual schools. Any existing school staff are welcome to apply to this part of the programme through Teach First who will be overseeing the recruitment and training of mentors.

Q: What type of tuition will Academic Mentors provide?


Academic Mentors will provide small group and one-to-one support to pupils within their allocated school. This may include support for those who are self-isolating and working from home.

Q: How many Academic Mentors can a school have?


Each eligible school can request up to two mentors. Even if your school has two phases (e.g. primary and secondary), the maximum number of mentors your school can request is two.

You can request Academic Mentors in the following subject areas:

  • Maths
  • English
  • Science
  • Humanities
  • Modern Foreign Languages
  • Primary – numeracy
  • Primary – literacy

Q: Is my school eligible to hire Academic Mentors?


Teach First will prioritise working with schools serving disadvantaged communities throughout England. Our criteria for partner schools are agreed with the Department for Education (DfE). They are used to identify schools that will benefit most from working with us. We use the Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index (IDACI) and Achieving Excellence Areas (AEA); a measure that recognises parts of the country where children consistently underperform.

This focuses on schools that have either:

  • an IDACI of 40 or greater (40% of pupils live in the three most deprived deciles)
  • an IDACI of 35 to 40 and an AEA score of 4 to 6
  • an IDACI of 30 to 35 and an AEA score of 5 or 6
  • an IDACI of 25 to 30 and an AEA score of 6

If your school does not meet the criteria above, but your school has an above average pupil premium, Teach First may be able to place an academic mentor at your school if there is availability in your area.

If you’re not sure whether your school qualifies, get in touch with Teach First at academicmentoring@​teachfirst.​org.​uk.

Q: If my school is eligible, am I guaranteed to get an Academic Mentor?


Teach First are working hard to match as many mentors to schools as possible; however, there is a very high demand for mentors so there is no guarantee all schools will receive a mentor. We encourage schools to contact Teach First as soon as possible if they’re interested in hiring a mentor.

Q: When will Academic Mentors start?


Recruitment began in August with some Academic Mentors starting in schools from October half-term. There are two possible remaining start dates for Academic Mentors:

  • 18 January 2021
  • After February half-term

Q: What training will Academic Mentors receive?


Teach First will provide two weeks of intensive evidence-based training prior to placing an academic mentor in your school. The mentor will also receive ongoing support and training throughout the year. The intensive training will cover:

  • Assessment and planning
  • Behaviour management
  • Safeguarding and child protection
  • Diversity and inclusion

The purpose of this training will be to provide the academic mentor with the foundation they need to build relationships with pupils and teachers, and to work in a school-aligned way. It will also provide training on common misconceptions in different subject areas and intervention strategies which the highest impact. This initial training will be followed by monthly training sessions, the content of which will be responsive to the mentors’ needs as they get to know the pupils they are working with. Academic mentors are required to engage with all of their initial and ongoing training.

Academic Mentors will be assigned a Teach First support role, called a Curriculum & Training Lead, who will work with them throughout the year to support and the help develop them in their mentor role. Schools should commit to providing in-house training and support, making sure the provision of this is on par with other staff members.

Q: What is the salary for an Academic Mentor?


Each mentor will be paid £19,000 a year, covered by the Department for Education. They will be paid pro-rata, depending on their start date.

Schools will be expected to cover on-costs such as pension contributions, tax and National Insurance, as well as any additional staff benefits offered. The on-costs will vary depending on a school’s context, but typically, they would be around 15 – 20% of salary.

Schools can make use of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) catch-up premium fund to cover associated on-costs.

For further information on Academic Mentors, visit the Teach First website.