Mentor Awards 2023

The 2023 Mentor Awards Ceremony celebrated and recognised mentors in primary, secondary, further education and international settings.

In July, the School of Teacher Education held its fourth annual Mentor Awards Ceremony in the Verena Holmes third floor open space. This year provided an opportunity to recognise and celebrate mentors in the primary, secondary, further education and skills (FES) age-phases and also those working in international settings. Over 140 mentors were nominated by student teachers and their colleagues, and we were delighted to be joined by over 60 school and college-based colleagues at the event. Prizes were awarded for 25 winners and 25 runners up.

Jen Bouffard receiving her Special Award from organiser Dr Alison Cogger

Mentors in our partnership are professional teachers who provide expert support and guidance to student teachers in their placements. Mentoring plays a pivotal role in Initial Teacher Education and is performed by teachers alongside their hugely demanding day-to-day roles. Our student teachers noted the brilliance of their mentors, often citing their support, humour and focus on their wellbeing as well as their commitment to their professional development.

The Mentor Awards were initiated in 2018, by Lizzie Burton (secondary history) and Nick Oakley (secondary MFL). This year, the event was organised by Dr Alison Cogger, the Associate Head of School (Mentoring) working together with the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Education’s Events and Marketing Team and the wider staff body.

At the event, we were treated to a welcoming buffet with live music provided by student teachers accompanied by Alison Blackhall (Head of FES ITE), Hannah Duncan (primary) and Dr John-Paul Riordan (primary) from the School of Teacher Education – all expertly directed by Dr Emily Sayers (secondary music). Mentors also enjoyed the talents of The Master of Ceremonies, Anthony Clarke, who compered the occasion (and provided the drum rolls). We were also delighted with a keynote speech from Professor Berry Billingsley, brilliantly entitled ‘Why a Chatbot isn’t making this speech’.

Michaela Barnard, Head of the School of Teacher Education welcoming attendees, with Anthony Clarke, The Master of Ceremonies (left)

The Head of School, Michaela Barnard, provided the welcome address, followed by the formal introduction to university-based Lead Mentors, Helen Adams (Lead Mentor – Primary), and Tanya Barwick (Lead Mentor – Secondary), who both highlighted the incredible contribution of our partner school and college-based mentors to our ITE courses.  

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