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Mentoring exchange goes online

A "groundbreaking" online resource will make a national picture of coaching and mentoring available for the first time.

CPD Confer aims to bring together "pockets of practice" in order to create a Scotland-wide exchange of ideas.

It will feature a range of "stories" from teachers, academics and organisations, including informal reflections and more technical pieces.

The development, launched this week on Learning and Teaching Scotland's national CPD website, comes two years after the Scottish Executive invested in local authorities to encourage coaching and mentoring. CPD Confer will illustrate what has happened since then.

Until the end of March, there will also be an opportunity for all web-users to comment on articles and get responses from authors.

Those exchanges will be collated into a "final commentary" that will inform further development of the resource.

Graeme Finnie, leadership consultant for Learning and Teaching Scotland, said: "Coaching and mentoring is constantly developing. This will make it very visible to people, and we will be able to point to pockets of practice. It will make it easier to find things."

John Daffurn, an adviser for the national CPD team, said exchanges of ideas about coaching and mentoring were previously limited to "occasional papers", sent only to those on a mailing list.

He described the new resource as "groundbreaking", and added: "This is much more visual and much more interactive, and it can reach anyone."

Mhairi Stratton, a P4-7 teacher at East Lothian's 19-pupil Humbie Primary, tells CPD Confer how she overcame fears about giving pupils more responsibility for their own learning.

By seeing the children in action, her initial concerns soon disappeared," the website reports. "Of course, outcomes still need to be met, and Mhairi has this in mind at all times, but her teaching is now less controlled, allowing the pupils a degree of freedom in their learning, with the pupils being the ones who plan tightly now!"

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