Farmery, Christine (2008) The Role of the Learning Mentor in the Socialisation of the Child. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

The introduction of learning mentors into the secondary schools in 1999, as part
of the Excellence in Cities initiative, was viewed within two years as a successful
strategy for aiding pupils in inner city schools to develop positive attitudes towards
school. As a result, the provision of learning mentors was extended to the primary
sector. Although guidance on this new workforce was provided to schools it was
expected that schools develop learning mentorship responsive to their own needs.
This thesis begins with an overview of the introduction of learning mentors into
the primary school and leads onto a consideration of one school’s interpretation of the
role in practice. An evaluation of this interpretation led to a case study, carried out
over one academic year, into the evolution of the role, leading to improved practice in
the primary school at the heart of the research.
The case study explored how the school’s provision of learning mentorship
evolved over one academic year, from the introduction of a team approach based on
the ideals of a nurture group, through an interim review and onto a final evaluation of
practice and effectiveness. The case study was carried out with respect to the feminist
approach to research, resulting in the collection and consideration of a wide range of
data, including contextual data, to tell the story of the setting; indeed this notion of
telling the story led to the research being reported as a narrative. Due regard was
given to the researcher also being the acting headteacher of the school; the report
acknowledges how the potential impact of this familiarity was addressed within the
Due to the changing nature of the school as a society, the socialisation of
children became the focus for the development of effective learning mentorship.
Through this, conclusions were drawn that considered how staff, particularly senior
staff, influenced the school society and how children may need the specialist support
of trained learning mentors to adapt to the new society. The delivery of this specialist
support was then outlined, with suggestions made for how the results of this case
study could be used within other primary schools.
A final consideration was given to the timing of learning mentorship for the
individual child and the process needed to withdraw this specialist support from the


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