Academic Mentoring Programme: Salary, costs and contracts

Information for schools on mentor salaries, costs and contracts for the Academic Mentoring Programme.

If you're a candidate and want to find out more about salaries and contracts, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the academic mentor’s salary?

Each mentor will be paid £19,000 a year, covered by the Department for Education. They will be paid pro-rata, depending on their start date.

What will the Department for Education cover in terms of cost and what does my school pay? 

This is a government-funded programme, which means the Department for Education covers all of your mentor’s salary (excluding any on-costs such as pension contributions, tax and National Insurance). Your school will employ them, so they will be also be eligible for any additional staff benefits you offer. 

What are the on-costs to my school of hiring a mentor?

Your school will be expected to cover on-costs such as pension contributions, tax and National Insurance, as well as any additional staff benefits you offer. The on-costs will vary depending on your school’s context, but typically, they would be around 15-20% of salary.

Schools can make use of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) catch-up premium fund to cover associated on-costs.

How does payment work / how will the salary be paid to the mentor?

The school will need to set up payment processes as normal. Your school will pay the academic mentor’s salary which the Department for Education (DfE) will reimburse. Academic mentor payments will be made to schools in arrears in up to four payments, depending on when your mentor starts:

  • January (for the period OctNov/Dec 2020)
  • March (for the period Jan/Feb and forward payment for March – with adjustments)
  • June (for the period April/May 2021 – with adjustments) 
  • July (for June and forward payment to end of July 2021) 

Please find further information here

As a reminder, schools can make use of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) catch-up premium fund to cover associated on-costs. Your school business manager should be able to set up the processes for this. 

Are academic mentors eligible for sick pay? Can I get another academic mentor to cover? 

Yes, academic mentors are eligible for all the same conditions as a normal school employee. Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to provide cover with another academic mentor.

When calculating on-costs, how do we know which pension they're on/what level they will be?

We advise schools to use their own internal processes and liaise with MATs/Local Authorities for this information. 

Is the academic mentor’s contract with my school or with Teach First?

The mentor’s contract is with your school. Schools are responsible for providing a fixed term contract from the academic mentor’s start date until the end of July 2021.

The school will sign a School Partnership Agreement with Teach First. Mentors will be expected to attend ongoing training with Teach First. 

What kind of contract should an academic mentor be on? Are they support or teaching staff?

They should be on a contract with the same conditions as other staff, pro-rata based on their start date. Academic mentors can be on either type of contract but would need holiday allowance if they are expected to work through half-terms.  

Hire a mentor

For more information on the Academic Mentoring Programme, return to the directory.

If you can’t find the information you’re looking for, please contact

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