The role of the learning mentor in the removal of Barriers to Learning

Why this is leading practice

The school embraces inclusive practices that are embedded in everyday life. Relationships are strong. Every child really does matter and no one is left behind. As a community School we are committed to developing close family links and welcome the opportunity to work together to overcome social, emotional and behavioural issues. The inclusion team will deal with every child who needs support internally or through the use of outside agencies. This may also involve home visits. We aim to break down barriers, overcome fears and maintain a positive outlook to school life so pupils can flourish in a safe environment.As a community school there is a clear commitment to developing family links to promote effectiveuse of internal and external agencies.Home visits are routine and an existing building in the school grounds is being converted to accommodate a centre for parents to develop links with the school.

Impact to date

The school was perceived by the parents as a sensitive  and caring community where their children could benefit socially and achieve the confidence to perform in the learning process.Parents trusted the school. It was on their side. The improvement in self-esteem by pupils and parents had led to better attendance, improved behaviour, reduced exclusions, better SAT results and improved reputation with local schools The pupils loved coming to school..          

Rationale / Start Point

This aspect of school life has been chosen because we feel it represents the school’s mission statement: “Birchensale Middle School will always be a caring community providing the right environment for every pupil to realise their full potential”. OFSTED said that “The care, guidance and support pupils receive are outstanding. Excellent systems are in place to identify early those pupils who need extra support with their learning or their emotional well-being. The special educational needs coordinator, learning mentor and deputy headteacher work as a highly cohesive team to draw together the specialist support necessary to meet pupils’ needs”, and “ the school is a special place in the community that cares about its pupils”.

Key Strategies

  • The appointment of a learning mentor and the building of a support team that includes internal and external members
  • The clear priority given to working with parents and carers to build trust and self esteem
  • The focus on a coherent set of strategies to overcome as far as possible the social, emotional and behavioural issues that prevent/hinder learning
  • The early identification of need and the determination to respond immediately where this is necessary.


Sustainability and Further Development

The processes involved are well developed and staff Are well aware that they are filling a gap in pupil needs where local authority resources are scarce and slow to respond.  The refurbishment of the caretakers house to be used as a place of care for parents and pupils is a significant outcome of this leading aspect.

Lead Establishment

Birchensale Middle School
Bridley Moor Road
B97 6HT
01527 68430
Headteacher / Manager
Tim Jones
Local Authority
Phase of Education
Type and Status of Provider
Community, Local Authority

Published: 29 May 2015
Expires: 29 May 2018

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