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Mentors want to link with great debate

THE mentoring programme operated by the Learning Business Partnership says it offers a unique opportunity for pupils to have their voices heard in the forthcoming national debate on education, John Cairney writes.

Mentoring, a leading LBP official in the west of Scotland says, has an "untapped potential". It has helped to improve attendance and and developed confidence.

Eric Whitfield, an area community education manager in Renfrewshire, who has been mentoring for four years, told The TES Scotland that the debate was a great opportunity "to look out of the box". Pupils will often not talk to other adults about their concerns.

Mark Bradley, a sergeant in Strathclyde Police's community safety department, who has been a mentor for two years, said: "Perhaps children are not being asked about what they should be learning and maybe their voices are not being listened to."

Debate about who should be involved in education "will consolidate the view that business has a real role to play", John Sweeney, chief executive of the Learning Business Partnership, which covers Renfrewshire, Inverclyde and East Renfrewshire, says.

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