Name: Harry Schofield
Age: 51

Current position: Business studies lecturer in charge of Key Skills in the business section of a large inner urban college. Also co-ordinates Skills for Life support in the business section.

Experience: Worked in the motor vehicle industry in marketing and sales for some years, then moved into teaching in 1985. Teaches business studies and key skills.

Has mentored for 10 years. First, informally in a business environment and then as part of a formal scheme when he became a teacher. He used to stick to business studies teachers but now sees himself as a bit of an expert on Key Skills communication and literacy as he has recently done the core curriculum training.

Harry sees mentoring as a way of affecting learners’ experience through improving or developing teaching.

Personality: Confident, supportive and experienced, Harry has definite ideas about how to help others. Uses established, traditional methods of mentoring that have proved effective in the past.

Interests: Harry’s main interests are his stamp collection, which he has maintained since he was a boy, and his collection of old Austin Maxis, of which he has three, that he restores at the weekend. He is a founder member of the Austin Maxi appreciation society. He’s also an accomplished ballroom dancer and spends a lot of time practising. Spends his holidays at his caravan on Anglesey where he has gone for the last 20 years. He’s married with two grown-up children, both at University. Has a passion for jazz of all sorts but in particular Charlie Parker and John Coltrane.

Name: Ayesha Pope
Age: 27

Current position: Team leader for cross-college literacy development and support.

Experience: Graduated from teacher training college in 1998. Has mentored for 3 years and completed a postgraduate qualification in mentoring.

Personality: Enthusiastic, friendly and open. Ayesha is passionate about learning and is always open to new ideas and new ways of doing things. She believes strongly in the value of mentoring and its role in personal development.

Interests: Outdoor pursuits, fell running, cycling and general fitness. Passionate about literature and the theatre; she also likes classical music. She follows football and is an avid Spurs supporter but has become less enamoured with them since Sol Campbell joined Arsenal. She is dedicated to education in spite of having a law degree and is an active member of her local Labour party.

She’s a high flyer who believes in the mission statement of her organisation and is determined to bring the benefits of her way of thinking to everyone she meets. In her spare time she works as a volunteer in a youth club but finds it hard relating to the kid’s world. She’s single and serious, takes her holidays in Cuba and Vietnam and is a fully paid up member of Amnesty International and Greenpeace.

Name: Sonia Sparrow
Age: 33

Current position: Community Education ESOL and literacy teacher.

Experience: Has progressed through the ranks from a volunteer position. Very experienced but very few formal qualifications. Works well with her students but likes what she likes. Doesn’t see the purpose of the new Core Curriculum as it gets in the way of her students’ needs.

Personality: Very political, caring about her students’ needs. Is almost like a mother to them. Sees them as friends rather than learners. Likes the ethos of adult education that is person centred. Sometimes stubborn about new ideas although very innovative in her practice. Although much of this doesn’t really work in terms of student achievement she always has excellent learner reviews. Thinks target setting is a waste of time but goes through the motions with paperwork. Not ambitious, just wants to help her learners. Sees further qualifications (she has a BA in literature) as a waste of time. Very confident of her abilities and dismissive of outside ideas. Almost unmanageable in some aspects of her work. She had poor inspection grades but put it down to the inspector not understanding her approach.

Interests: Gardening and the National Trust. Likes walking and other outdoor pursuits and is passionate about access to the land for ramblers. Also a member of her local Green party and works hard on environmental issues. Used to be a member of Greenpeace but gave it up to spend more time on local issues. Just lobbied her local council for a bike path on her children’s school route. Also likes to travel but mainly to Spain now that she and her husband have bought a villa there.

Name: Jay Kapoor
Age: 28

Current position: Part-time ESOL tutor at several colleges.

Experience: TEFL and ESOL qualified, Jay has been working part-time for about 2 years while trying to get a job in the media. Now looking to teaching to get him a full-time career. To this end he is very keen to get on and enrols on all the staff training he can.

Personality: Jay never does anything half-heartedly. He wants to be the best there is. His students like him for his commitment and ability to understand their varied situations. He is really a high flyer who has been trying to get a job in media but now sees teaching and managing his prime career path. He’s meticulous and enjoys the paperwork side of the job as much as the teaching. He’s keen to learn but wants to get that all-important first job. He is well qualified so has an opinion on everything. Some might say he’s argumentative, but this is really just his natural enthusiasm for his subject.

Interests: Theatre, media, arts, language. Also a football fan, being a supporter of Arsenal. Plays trumpet in a jazz funk fusion type band in his spare moments but is thinking of giving it up. Loves cars and has a new mini, which is his pride and joy. Has travelled extensively, mostly in south east Asia and Europe. Despite his worldly manner and fascination with the arts, Jay is apolitical. He just wants to enjoy life, do his job and get on in the world. He loves gadgets and has all the latest gear and knows how to use it. He has a busy social life with friends from his media school but finds it hard to maintain, as his income doesn’t stretch to the same extent as his friends who work in the private sector. Jay is single and intends to remain that way until his mid thirties at the latest.

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