About the Mentoring Directory pilot
Between now and May we are looking to pilot a mentoring directory on edpsy. The hope is to launch the pilot directory at the start of February.
The aims of the mentoring directory and pilot
- To provide a directory of volunteer EP mentors that would-be mentees can connect with directly
- To trial the directory, initially with a limited number of qualified EPs offering mentoring to other qualified EPs or TEPs, in order to evaluate the system and procedures.
Background to establishing the mentoring directory
Interest in educational psychology is high (and increasing) and it can be difficult for EPs at all stages of their careers to know how to access supportive mentoring.
Recent debates within the profession have explicitly addressed the lack of diversity within the workforce and lack of access to professional support and capital, for some people, is an issue.
The EPs who have worked on this directory have identified a strong desire within the profession to provide access to mentoring, particularly for people who come from an under-represented and/or marginalised group. Anecdotal reports suggest that demand for mentoring is high and beyond what individuals can manage, particularly as there are few free, accessible and clear ways for people to identify potential mentors.
As a result, we have established a pilot mentoring directory.
The directory will be a way to increase equity of access to mentoring in the profession
The pilot phase of the approach is for qualified EPs or TEPs wanting support for the next step in their career development, for example: publishing journal articles, developing specialisms, progressing into leadership positions, or making an adjustment in professional role.
We hope the directory will create a route for EPs or TEPs who may not have access or know how to seek mentoring support through existing mechanisms.
We have pulled together a range of resources that mentors and mentees may find useful in structuring any mentoring relationship.
A learning experience
A key aim of developing and running the pilot directory is to help us determine whether to invest more in this feature. We’ve never produced anything like this before and the entire team behind the project, both edpsy and the EPs that initiated it, are keen to learn, reflect and iterate.
We know given it’s the first time that we’ve done something like this that we will make mistakes or things might be a bit clunky. We’re seeing this as part of the process to hopefully build a community oriented and accessible feature for EPs at any stage of their careers.
If you do have anything you spot that looks a bit wrong, or anything you’d like to suggest then drop us a line.
Who can access mentoring through the directory during the pilot
The pilot phase of the directory will only list mentors who are happy to provide mentoring to:
- Trainee or Qualified EPs who identify as coming from an under-represented and/or marginalised group
We are not imposing any form of ‘checking’ or ‘validation’ process about mentees identifying as coming from or belonging to an under-represented and/or marginalised group within the profession.
Mentors on the directory at this stage will not be able to offer mentoring to aspiring EPs.
Why the pilot will target TEPs and EPs from under-represented and/or marginalised groups
- These TEPs / EPs may not have ready access to the mentoring support they seek for professional development
- We want to support positive action within the profession to improve diversity and inclusion
- To cultivate relationships and networks with a broader range of EPs
- Differences in local and regional contexts mean that EPs may not have ready access to the mentoring support that they seek for professional development
- To reduce barriers to cross-service collaboration
- Support mechanism for EPs, at all levels of experience, to explore or take the next step in their career development
- To enable trainee EPs to make contact with a broader network of qualified EPs
- Offer an additional, supportive, nurturing resource for the development of specialist interests, journal publication, and entry into the profession
- The mentoring programme will run alongside and not replace established university/ placement-based support.
A number of people have been instrumental to establishing the directory and getting it to this pilot stage. Many thanks go to; Anita Soni, Anjam Sultana, Cherelle McDonald, Sasha-Louise King, Siya Mngaza and Dan O’Hare.