- Tier: Tier 1: Positive Mental Health Promotion
- Type of intervention: Local community-led mental health interventions
- Strength of evidence: Level 3: Foundational and emerging evidence for program
- Geographic location: Program is not available in Wimmera South West, Inner and Outer Gippsland, Loddon Campaspe, Mallee, Goulburn and Ovens Murray areas.
EdConnect recruits, trains and places committed community members in Mentor roles in schools to support students in learning for life.
EdConnect works with schools to make successful mentor matches to meet the needs of their students. Mentoring sessions are held during school hours, on school grounds and in open spaces under supervision of staff.
Each Mentoring session is based on the needs of the student as the focus of EdConnect Mentors is to build relationships and trust with their student to support their needs.
- Improved student attendance
- Improved student concentration and participation
- Reduced disruptive behaviour
- Improved student relationships
- Improved student educational outcomes
- Improved student wellbeing
* Face-to-face preferred
- Target population: Year 4-6 primary students and Years 7-12 secondary students.
- Program adaptability: The School Coordinator identifies students who would benefit from a Mentor and works with EdConnect to establish desired Mentor attributes to achieve a successful match; culture, experience, qualifications, hobbies/interests, personality. EdConnect will recruit specifically for such Mentor roles or draw from the Mentor pool to meet the needs of the student/school.
- Staffing: A staff member will need to be within line of sight for mentoring sessions.
- Training requirements: EdConnect requires the school to nominate a staff member to fill the role of School Coordinator. The School Coordinator will receive training (2 hours) prior to the program and receive ongoing support from an EdConnect Liaison Officer. The School Coordinator is usually a senior wellbeing staff member or Deputy Principal, who will work with their team to identify students who would benefit from a mentor, obtain parental permissions, assist with the matching process, complete observation forms and regularly check in with Mentors.
- Factors to consider: Mentoring relationships can be 1:1 or small groups and will occur during school hours, on school grounds in open areas ensuring line of sight by school staff. The sessions are up to one hour, once a week during term. The mentoring relationship is based on the school year and will conclude at the end of Term 4, however can begin from as late as Term 3 and recommence the following year based on student need and mentor availability.
- Australian context: The program has been developed and applied in Australia.
EdConnect offers a base program delivery fee of $5,500 (inc. GST) which enables up to 6 mentors to be matched and placed within a school.
There are economies of scale for placement of subsequent volunteers. The fee is based on the school year and a pro-rata fee will apply from Term 3 onwards.