Here are some answers to questions frequently asked by school mentors and senior mentors.
How much time commitment is involved in training a SEWCTET student teacher?
For secondary courses, it is normal to allocate one session a week to each student teacher to meet with their subject mentor and one session per week for the student teacher to meet with their senior mentor. For primary courses, the student teacher will be with their mentor for the whole week. There will be times of the year when there will be more work to do, like when completing paper work. Some student teachers may require more support than others.
Do you provide any training to help me to understand the mentor role?
Yes, all new mentors and senior mentors are required to complete a university-based training session. There are a number of sessions throughout the year and these will take place at either the Newport City or the Cyncoed campus. As soon as we have your details we will invite you to choose the most convenient session.
How do I keep updated as a mentor?
We have online training materials that provide you with updated information on school experience requirements. The link to these will be sent to you via the Partnership Office.
What are the main responsibilities of mentors?
The objective of mentoring is the personal and professional growth and development of the student. The mentor has a role to:
- Manage the student teachers’ learning and help them use a range of teaching strategies suited to the pupils they teach;
- Take the leading role in assessing the student teachers against the Standards for the Award of QTS;
- Guide and support the student teachers’ professional development, offer pastoral support and ensure they have access to a range of experiences and resources.
When do the student teachers carry out their school experience?
This depends on their course of study; SEWCTET trains both undergraduate and postgraduate student teachers for both the primary and secondary sector. Click here for the Primary placement calendar and here for the Secondary placement calendar.
Student teachers following courses on the Newport campus, spend 5 days a week on school placement, whilst those studying courses on the Cyncoed campus attend taught sessions at the University on Mondays.
How long are the placements?
How many hours school experience do student teachers need to complete?
All student teachers complete a minimum of 120 days on school placement in a minimum of two different schools.
For secondary student teachers there will be a period of observation and participation in mentor-led activities at the start of each placement.
The remainder of the placement should consist of:
For student teachers on placement in a secondary school:
- 10 hours per week: – Responsibility for direct teaching with whole class or groups
- 5 hours per week: – Planning, preparation and assessment (PPA)
- Remainder of the week: – Observation and participation in mentor-led activities
For student teachers on placement in a primary school, teaching hours will start from 2 days increasing to 4 days in the final placement. Please click here for details.
How many lesson observations do I carry out?
All dates for formal lesson observations can be found in Section 3 of the Assessment Framework.
Does the mentor do all the supervision?
In Secondary, no, the class teacher can observe the student teacher and complete the Formative Feedback Logbook. However, It is essential that the mentor only completes the Form A.
In Primary, the class mentor will undertake all the observations.
Apart from the observations, what other paperwork will I be expected to complete?
There will be two reports, a Form B mid-point review and a summative review. This will be the online record of School Experience (RoSE) for student teachers studying at Newport City and a second Form B for those studying on the Cyncoed campus. You will also be asked to complete a short evaluation at the end of the placement.
Where can I get copies of forms, handbooks and other information?
The student teachers should bring the relevant forms and paperwork with them at the start of the placement. You can view and download copies of the forms and other associated paperwork by clicking here. You can also contact the Partnership Office by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or telephoning
What counts as teaching hours?
Any teaching and learning activity for which the student teacher has the opportunity to plan, deliver and then evaluate. This might include whole-class teaching; team teaching; teaching groups; or revision sessions. Student teachers will keep a log of their hours and will ask you to sign it to confirm their teaching activity.
How soon should the student teacher start teaching?
The dates for this can be found in Section 3 of the Assessment Framework.
Can I leave a student teacher alone with a group of pupils?
Yes, although they will need closer supervision at the start of their placement. Initially you might be at the back of the class, but soon you might prefer to be in a room nearby but be on-hand if needed. This, of course, may depend on your own organisation’s policy and your own level of confidence in the student teacher. On occasions where there is a cause for concern a student teacher will need greater supervision.
Should student teachers get involved in activities other than teaching?
Yes, student teachers benefit from being involved in a range of non-teaching activities including team meetings, course development activities, school clubs, staff training, student assessments etc.
What should I do if I have concerns about a student teacher?
Early identification is paramount; the mentor should inform the senior mentor. Triggers include (i) any issues of professional conduct and (ii) if the requirements of the mid-point and summative assessments are not met. A Quality Assurance visit by the senior mentor (with the mentor) should take place as soon as possible and, if both have concerns, the Concern Over Progress process should be initiated. Click here for further information.
Is there a dress code for student teachers?
Yes, all student teachers sign a code of conduct before the placement starts. They must maintain appropriate dress codes and hair styles in line with school policy and expectations; and body adornments such as tattoos or body piercing jewellery (other than modest earrings) are removed or obscured. For full details click here.
Is there advice for student teachers on Internet & Use of Social Networking Websites?
What should I do if my student teacher is ill whilst on placement?
All student teachers are required you inform the school, the partnership office and their university tutor of any absences due to illness or other exceptional circumstances according to your school policy. In the case of illness they need to provide a self-certification note if absent for more than three days and a doctor’s certificate to the partnership office if absent for more than five working days.
Do student teachers need to make up missed days?
Yes, any days missed due to ill health must be made up. Days missed when the school is closed, for example due to snow, or when a student teacher attends a job interview do not have to be made up. Click here for full details.
Has the student teacher had a DBS check?
Yes, all student teachers will have a DBS check.
Do I get paid for being a mentor?
SEWCTET pays the school £7.00 a day for each student teacher placed in the school This is paid at the end of the placement subject to the completion of all paperwork. We would encourage schools to use this money to ensure that the mentoring role is properly resourced and recognised so that the mentor has sufficient time to complete this important role effectively.
Who do I contact if I have any questions or concerns?
Please contact the relevant Partnership Office by visiting the contact page of the website.