Mentors needed to boost pupils at six Suffolk schools

Education chiefs in Suffolk are looking for 48 adult volunteers to act as mentors to pupils aged 12 to 14.

After training by the Suffolk Education Business Partnership (EBP), the volunteers will work in six schools in the Ipswich area.

The aim is to narrow the gap in attainment, particularly among pupils from black and minority communities and from white working class backgrounds.

Volunteers with diverse backgrounds and skills are needed, a spokesman said.

The mentor's role is to provide consistent support that is separate from home, school or friendships.

'More positive'

After official checks, the mentors will attend a 12-hour training programme, which is accredited by the Open College Network (OCN) at level 2.

The first group of trained volunteers will be assigned to schools in July 2011.

Adrian Williams, from Suffolk EBP and a former head teacher, said: "We know that mentoring can help pupils feel more positive about school and learning, improve their self esteem and raise their aspirations to do well.

"The EBP has been very successful at training and supporting mentoring in schools and colleges,.

"But we don't have enough mentors from the local community who understand what it takes to motivate young people, particularly boys."

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