FAQs - School Mentoring

What important dates should I be aware of?

School Mentoring Timeline 2017/18

 28th September

Mentoring Recruitment Period begins


Interview Applicants

30th October

Training Day

November and December

DBS and Reference Checks; Initial School Visits


Initial Mentee Evaluations

18 December - 5 January

Student Winter Vacation

26th March – 13 April

Student Easter Vacation

April/ May

Final Mentor and Mentee Evaluations

30th April - 16 June

Work Related Learning (2nd Year Students)

21st May - 8 June

University Exams and Assessments


Project Ends

How do I record my volunteering hours?

You can record your volunteering hours on our volunteering site: https://volunteering.chester.ac.uk/

What happens when I have exams, Work Based Learning, or holidays?

There will be some natural breaks during the academic year when you're unable to mentor or it will be time to bring the relationship to a close (e.g. Work Related Learning placement). As soon as you have your course schedule for the year please inform your School Co-ordinator so expectations can be managed from the start (and check when the school has holidays, class trips, or exams).

How am I supported after initial training?

Ongoing support is provided by the university and the school co-ordinator. The university will support you through regular emails, e-newsletters, Facebook, special events, and of course we welcome visits to our office (or drop us an email or phone call). If you have any question or concern, no matter how small, we want to hear from you.

How will I pay for transport to the school?

Volunteers are reimbursed for their bus/train tickets when traveling to and from their school. You will need to keep your receipts and verify that you were volunteering at the school that day. If you drive your own vehicle you will be reimbursed 10p/mile (as the standard rate for the university). Travel Student Claim Forms must be submitted within 3 months.

What are the term dates for schools?

Term dates for most schools located within Chester, Cheshire West, and the Wirral: 2017/ 18

Term / Holiday

First Day

Autumn Half Term

30 October – 3 November

Winter Holidays

23 December – 7 January

Spring Half Term

19-23 February

Spring Break  

30 March – 15 April

Summer Half Term

28 May - 1 June

Summer Holidays

25 July – 2 September

I'm considering leaving the programme early because my workload has become too much.

There have been instances when students become overwhelmed with university work or personal circumstances and are unable to continue with the programme. We will first problem-solve with you and the school to find a solution (e.g. less hours at the school, every other week), but will withdraw you if necessary.

When will I receive my travel reimbursement?

Payments are made into your bank account on the 24th of the month (if you have submitted your Finance Form and receipts before the 7th of the month). Please submit your form within 3 months, otherwise we may not be able to reimburse your costs.

What age group will I volunteer with?

We ask everyone their preference in regards to volunteering in a primary, secondary or college setting. There are limited spaces, but we do our best to match students with their first or second choices.

What's the time commitment for a School Mentor?

We require School Mentors to commit 2-3 hours (plus travel) weekly during the academic year until May. Times can vary depending on travel and how sessions are scheduled at the school. Your hours (including travelling and preparation time) can be logged with Volunteering to contribute towards awards.