FAQs - School Mentoring

What important dates should I be aware of?

School Mentoring Timeline 2018/19


Interview Applicants

Development Week

Training Day - Seperate sessions for Primary and Secondary School


DBS and Reference Checks;


Initial school visits

January - April

Mentoring Placement


Submit Mentor and Mentee Evaluations/Mentoring 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?

Cheshire West and Chester 2018- 2019 school term and holiday dates

Autumn 2018

Spring 2019

Summer 2019

Monday 3 September – Friday 26 October

Monday 7 January – Friday 15 February

Monday 15 April – Friday 24 May

Half term 29 October – 2 November

Half term 18-22 February

Good Friday 19 April

Easter Monday 22 April

Bank holiday - 6 May

Half term

27 – 31 May

Monday 5 November – Friday 21 December

Monday 25 February – Friday 29 March

Monday 3 June – Wednesday 24 July

Christmas holiday 22 December – 6 January

Spring break 30 March – 14 April

Summer holiday 25 July – 1 September

 For schools on the Wirral term dates can be found here: https://www.wirral.gov.uk/schools-and-learning/school-holidays-and-term-dates


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 starting from January for a minimum of 8 weeks.