We all benefit from mentors

13th August 2004 at 01:00
I would like to respond to Susannah Kirkman's article "A shortfall in the cure-all?" (TES, July 9). My primary school, with 450 on roll, has received funding to set up a learning mentor programme. We have assessed this through the behaviour improvement project initiative.

While I agree totally that it is probably too early to have hard evidence that learning mentors have a significant positive impact (other than a general feel-good factor), there is another issue which must be researched.

Ask any practising teacher about the impact of bad behaviour on their lessons and they will talk about reduced opportunities for those pupils who behave well and want to learn. I firmly believe that learning mentors make a difference to these pupils and research needs to focus on whole-school issues and not just the disaffected, vulnerable and underachieving.

Martine Buckley Headteacher Yew Tree community school Alcester Street Chadderton, Oldham

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