«The WCD programme  will be completed in 2020-20212 with a mentoring procedure in which the management teams put into practice at their school the substantive elements of the training received. And, they will do so with the support and guidance of their mentors, initiating a transfer of knowledge and learning based on experience and cooperation».

European Foundation for Society and Education

Mentoring of leadership in whole child development 

Could you explain what this stage of the programme entails?

Mireia Tintoré, coordinator of the WCD Mentoring Programme WCD (WCDM), responds to some of the key points underlying the task of mentors and management teams, which they plan to address in this academic year.

Throughout the 2019-2020 academic year, the directors participating in the programme received a blended learning course which by means of lectures, videos, activities and case study methods,  encouraged them to reflect and decide on situations that were designed to be as similar as possible to real life cases.

In addition, we considered that it was important for the day to day work of the directors to effectively put into practice, and monitor what they had learned in the course to ensure its lasting effects. As a result, this mentoring programme has been proposed as the final phase of  providing support which will help them develop their skills and management style through what we have called the WCD “lens”.

“WCD mentoring is a process of individualised support that aims to assist school directors in developing new skills and competences and a specific management style, in order to ensure that the principles of integral education guide and inspire the whole educational community”.

In the difficult circumstances that schools are currently experiencing as a result of a pandemic, how well has this mentoring proposal been received?

I would say that reception has been extremely good. In the final session of the course, the teams defended their improvement plans, resulting from the learning that they took from the course. Firstly, the directors commented that the WCD programme had led them to reflect and spend time on an in depth analysis of the vision for their school in the coming years. They also stated the need to address their improvement plan with external help (the mentoring), as they stated that without adequate monitoring, often good ideas or some of the excellent content learned on the course would come to nothing.

Furthermore, the management teams expressed their satisfaction at learning about other situations and projects that were going to be implemented in contexts very similar to their own, and they requested further opportunities to share those projects.

“The management teams considered mentoring to be important as a way of continuous improvement and for creating networks in which they can share experiences as well as expressing their ideas and queries”.

The mentoring will be provided throughout this school course. What achievements to they hope to attain at the end of the course?

Mentoring should serve to demonstrate and ensure that the mentored management teams have implemented the WCD leadership vision in practice, and that their schools have improved, changing how that they are run in some ways.

Incorporating the skills and knowledge acquired during the training course, they need to address their projects for change in a proactive manner, taking advantage of the mentors visits to discuss problems and goals together.

We consider that the mentoring will be successful if, at the end of the process, the management teams are ready to take action, and make decisions, always bearing in mind the integral vision of educating and operating along the four domains of action identified in the course. The success of mentoring will also be apparent in more specific aspects such as, for example, improving the syllabus, improving inclusivity, developing leadership qualities of the teaching staff, or more, and improved, participation of families in the school.

Goals of WCD mentoring

“The most important thing is to stop and think about what we are doing”.

David Reyero. Training course teacher and mentor.

Mentoring methodology

“We will jointly bring about all the processes of critical reflection by asking pertinent and challenging questions. As such, we will enrich the level of analysis and bring about changes in the way that management teams act, always seeking an integral educational approach”.

WCD mentoring will basically be carried out by means of assessment meetings of the mentor and the mentored teams, who will define an itinerary for each school. In those meetings, “critical questions” will be proposed, designed to provide an improved understanding of why things happen. In addition to providing continuous support by email, telephone or video conference, the mentors in each school will adapt to the individual and collective needs of management teams.

“Two sessions will be organised in the first term, and a monitoring session in the second and third terms, that is, as a minimum 4 sessions, always with the whole management team although depending on the subject matter there may be more participants. The sessions will have duration of two or three hours. We will end with a final workshop where we will discuss conclusions and assessment, and we will propose an intermediate workshop on good practices, so that we can compare experiences”. Lola Velarde, EFSE development director

Principles of the mentor and management team relationship

“It is important to listen and hear what everyone has to say. Leadership for integral education believes in people”.

Inmaculada Egido

The principles underlying this mentoring programme, considered as “support and a catalyst” (David Reyero, 2020), are inextricably linked with the importance accorded to personal relationships, one of the pillars of the WCD vision.

The principle of the relationships between mentors and mentored are simply a way in which the programme can appreciate and assess the individual roles and the collective contribution of all the members of the educational community; families, teachers, students, counsellors, support staff and the immediate environment of the school.

WCD mentoring is based on a combination of the twin models of facilitation, which concentrates on the mentored person, and collaboration, in which the mentor and the mentee agree on the decisions to be taken.

“The mentor should be a reference for their mentee, with an exemplary professional career and human values and qualities that they can transfer”.

María Rosa Soler Anglés, 2005

© El programa Liderazgo para una Educación Integral (LEI) en contextos vulnerables es un proyecto diseñado e implementado por un equipo de la Fundación Europea Sociedad y Educación, formado por Miguel Ángel Sancho (Presidente), Lola Velarde (Directora de Desarrollo), Mercedes de Esteban (Directora del departamento de investigación), Livia de Cendra (Área de proyectos) y Rosario Semper (Secretaria Técnica).