ECF Mentor of the Month Case Study

ECF Mentor of the Month Case Study

We understand the crucial role that Mentors play in the success of the Early Career Framework. To acknowledge and celebrate their hard work and contributions to the programme, we have introduced the 'Mentor of the Month' initiative. This is an opportunity to recognise Mentors who go the extra mile to support their Early Career Teachers.

The winners of this award are selected based on their engagement with the programme, attendance at events, and nominations from their Headteacher or Induction Tutor.

This month, we are pleased to announce that the winner of the 'Mentor of the Month' award is Mark Richards from the Marches School. We had the opportunity to speak with Mark about his experiences as a Mentor and the skills he has developed through the Early Career Framework programme.

What is your name and role within your school?

I’m Mark Richards I am a Subject Leader for Design and Technology, Teacher of GCSE Food and Nutrition and Design and Technology. I also mentor 2 ECTs as well as an ITT Student. I work at the Marches school which is part of a multi-academy trust in Shropshire.

How long have you been a Mentor and how many Early Career Mentors do you support?

This is my second year as an ECT mentor. I started at the school in September 2022 and took on ECT mentoring of our new art teacher Chris. I also started mentoring another ECT, Simon who joined us in January 2023. I have also this year started to do ITT mentoring which I have thoroughly enjoyed.

What aspects of being an Early Career Mentor do you find most rewarding, and why? 

I really enjoy our meetings where we talk about strengths of the mentee and ensure we celebrate these. Teaching is a hard profession but sometimes we often focus on things that haven’t gone well so I feel it's important for ECTs to celebrate even the small wins in lessons or with certain students.

I also enjoy being able to share my experience and knowledge to coach ECTs in building their confidence and seeing them really flourish in the classroom.

From your time on the programme, what skills have you developed and how has it helped you to support your ECTs? 

I feel the programme has really helped me develop my mentoring and coaching skills which I hope have been passed on to support the ECTs. The structure of the course is good for discussion with other mentors to develop good practice and enable us to support ECTs in various ways depending on what they need support with.

The structure of the course is also good for my mentees as it helps structure meetings depending on the modules, they are working on which is really helpful.

What advice would you give to someone considering becoming an Early Career Mentor? 

Embrace it and really invest in the time you are given for it. I have really enjoyed being able to share my expertise and feel valued in what support I am giving as a mentor.

One of the most important things is being able to just listen. I think this is valued a lot by ECTs whether it’s a 10-minute catch-up or a need to offload after a lesson hasn’t gone well or an incident has been difficult to deal with.

Being that person that’s there to support and mentor can be quite powerful without you realising it.

Do you know an Early Career Mentor that goes above and beyond? Nominate them below:

Nominate a Mentor 

Looking for more information?

Find out more about our Early Career Framework programme here

If you would like any more information on our ECF programme, get in contact with us:


 Tel: +44 (0) 117 920 9200 (8.30am-5.30pm, Mon-Fri)

Visit our ECF page