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Roles and responsibilities

Here you will find out about the expectations of Brunel University London, student teachers, mentors, PCMs, link tutors. Expectations around personal and professional conduct, including attendance and punctuality can also be found here.

Overview of Roles and Commitments across the Partnership

Statement of Values

The University believes that the purpose of Initial Teacher Education is to equip teachers with the relevant knowledge, understanding, skills, attitudes and behaviours so that, throughout their professional learning they meet the cognitive, physical, emotional, moral, social and aesthetic needs of the pupils in schools. The University is deeply committed to the notion of teachers as reflective practitioners. In order to develop as effective teachers, it is essential that Student Teachers have opportunities both to practise their classroom skills and to reflect on and develop their practice. To become a reflective practitioner requires close, supportive relationships between all Partnership Schools and The University. This partnership works to provide the best possible professional environment for Student Teachers to reach their full potential. The University is committed to deepening and enriching the partnership between schools and the University so that Student Teachers gain the most from the expertise both of teachers in the classroom and of other staff in Partnership Schools and at the University. 

Central to this, is the shared understanding between all Partnership Schools and the University of the professional learning process and the values of education. The University is committed to equal opportunity for all individuals regardless of race, culture, religion, age, gender or disability and sexual orientation. 

At the heart of the Brunel University London Partnership Agreement is a commitment that Student Teachers meet the Teachers’ Standards at the highest level, that they successfully complete the programme and secure employment and that, in the process of doing so, they can demonstrate that their teaching impacts positively on pupil progress over time in both their placement schools and as they transition into their career as a teacher.   

The Partnership School responsibilities

  • Ensure that all Student Teachers are provided with clear guidance in respect of the safeguarding of children;
  • Provide a senior and experienced member of staff, taking leadership of ITE, to fulfil the role of the Professional Coordinating Mentor (PCM) and make appropriate provision for them to carry out these responsibilities;
  • Ensure that all staff receive appropriate on-going professional learning and support to fulfil their roles in ITE;
  • Ensure that staff support encompasses equal opportunity legislation as it applies to their roles in ITE;
  • Provide Mentors who have the appropriate subject knowledge and understanding, the pedagogical skills, and the interpersonal qualities, willingness and time to support Student Teachers in developing these;
  • Offer appropriate professional learning and support for Student Teachers including a guaranteed private meeting each week between Mentor and Student Teacher, the outcome of which is recorded in the Brunel Weekly Professional Learning Record (WPLR). It is anticipated that this will normally last for 50-60 minutes;
  • Provide a programme of induction to the school and professional learning in whole-school issues; 
  • Provide access to information on the school’s and the department's use of a range of data for different purposes, such as target-setting; assessment, pupils receiving the Pupil Premium, pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), pupils identified as able and relevant support required;
  • Share school improvement priorities with the Student Teacher(s) in their school and staff at the University in order to ensure the Partnership can make a contribution in this respect through its provision and development activities and events;
  • Include Student Teachers in parents' meetings, reporting to parents, and the school’s INSET programme;
  • Participate in programme evaluation and monitoring procedures;
  • Keep the university informed of any developments in school that might adversely affect the quality of the Student Teacher’s experience in school, e.g. being placed in Special Measures by Ofsted;
  • Adhere to the Brunel Support and Intervention procedures as set out in the Brunel School Experience Guidance.  

 The Professional Coordinating Mentor (PCM) responsibilities

  • Act as the first point of contact between school and Brunel University London in coordinating all aspects of professional learning and assessment of the ITE programme;
  • Have responsibility for quality assuring all aspects of professional learning and assessment within their own school e.g. by monitoring the provision of weekly subject professional learning sessions and the observation of Student Teachers’ lessons;
  • Liaise with Brunel University London Partnership Development Unit (PDU) on the level and degree of commitment to ITE each year, e.g. the numbers of Student Teachers and which phases that can be offered;
  • Lead a school-based professional learning/studies programme for all Student Teachers which is responsive to National and Partnership ITE priorities and Student Teacher progress and attainment data;  
  • Keep up to date with developments in ITE by participation in events organised by the Partnership during the academic year;
  • Lead a school-based programme of Mentor professional learning for new Mentors and co-ordinate the on-going development and monitor the quality of all ITE mentoring within the school;
  • Encourage, support and manage professional learning so that all Mentors obtain Mentor certification where available;
  • Co-ordinate the school-based assessment of the Student Teachers;
  • Co-ordinate the evaluation of school-based professional learning by Student Teachers and Mentors and liaise with Brunel University London as appropriate; 
  • Have responsibility for implementation and review of school experience professional learning activities;

Manage the school-based aspects of any ‘Support and Intervention’ issues ensuring that all involved, Student Teacher, Mentor, University Link or Subject Tutor are informed, in good time, of the concerns, targets, time-frame and outcomes agreed.

 Mentor responsibilities

The Mentor is a vital part of the Student Teacher school experience. At Brunel we recognise that 

“…the quality of the next generation of teachers will, in large part, depend on the quality of Mentoring support they are given.” (Furlong and Maynard, 1995, Mentoring Student Teachers, Routledge) 

They will provide the main source of support for Student Teachers during school placements. Brunel recognises both the weight of this responsibility and the considerable time and effort that it takes to carry out this function properly. 

In summary, a Subject Mentor’s main functions are to support and guide all aspects of Student Teacher development while in school – helping the Student Teacher to work within the department’s and school’s structures, advising, reviewing and feeding back on lesson plans and in-class performance, giving further support on areas of difficulty or under-achievement, and working with the University Link Tutor and Professional Coordinating Mentor on making the assessment of progress towards meeting the Teachers’ Standards (DfE, 2013). The Mentor is key in ensuring that links are made explicitly for the Student Teacher between the quality of their teaching and the quality of pupil progress.

More specifically, Brunel expects the Mentor to:

  • Work closely with the PCM and University Tutor to ensure the quality, coherence, consistency and appropriateness of the school-based subject professional learning provided;
  • Keep up to date with developments in mentoring within the Brunel University London Partnership e.g. by attending school-based mentor meetings and the mentor meetings provided by the University;
  • Provide induction into school procedures, data (e.g. target grades for school pupils), resources and curricula and specifications as appropriate; 
  • Negotiate a timetable that meets the professional learning needs of the Student Teacher as appropriate to the phase of their experience
  • Ensure that the timetable includes a designated 60-minute time-slot for the weekly professional learning meeting where progress against the Teachers’ Standards is discussed, appropriate targets are set and professional learning activities negotiated and monitored. The Student Teacher will bring forward evidence and record the discussion for the Mentor to agree and sign; 
  • Receive and approve the Student Teacher’s medium term planning, individual lesson plans and examples of assessed work in good time and provide appropriate feedback in time for her/him to make agreed amendments;
  • Ensure that the Student Teacher is observed twice a week during the Foundation phase and three times a week during the Development and Consolidation phases;
  • Ensure that the Student Teacher is observed according to the Brunel University London School Experience Guidance during block school experience and is provided with written feedback in relation to:
    1. The planning of their lessons based on the Student Teachers’ assessment of prior learning;
    2. Pupil progress in the lesson;
    3. And their own progress in relation to the Teachers’ Standards framework:
    4. Oversee and moderate the assessment and recording of pupils’ progress undertaken by the Student Teacher;
  • Jointly observe with the University Tutor and/or Professional Coordinating Mentor as appropriate; there must be at least one joint (Mentor and Link Tutor) observation per placement. In the case of a new Mentor, the first observation must be carried out jointly with the Tutor.
  • Monitor progress on the WPLR during the block school experience meeting on a weekly basis with the Student Teacher and  using the WPLR to record both pupil and Student Teacher progress, progress in relation to negotiated professional learning activities and  future targets for learning;
  • Complete the Brunel Profile document by the due date at the interim phase and at the end of phase for each block school experience, in a conference-style meeting with the Student Teacher and possibly University Tutor and/or Professional Coordinating Mentor and agree an overall grade in the final Profile;
  • Identify in the Brunel Profile areas for development for the next phase of professional learning in relation to the Teachers’ Standards and pupil progress over time and work with the Student Teacher to set targets and agree a plan of action;

Contribute to the programme as appropriate e.g. by attending joint interviews with University Tutors, participating in course evaluations and development meetings.

 The University Link Tutor responsibilities

The Link Tutor’s role in the Partnership is to quality assure professional learning provision and processes at their allocated Partnership Schools, monitor Student Teacher progress against the Teachers’ Standards (DfE, 2013) and moderate the assessment of Student Teachers against these Standards within the school. The Link Tutor (where different from the University Tutor) is then required to report back on progress to the PGCE Course Leaders having checked specified evidence and moderated grading on the interim and end of phase Profiles.

In order to satisfy these responsibilities the Link Tutor is required to:

  • Liaise with Student Teacher & Mentor to arrange Link Tutor visit/s;
  • Discuss progress with the Student Teacher and look at their evidence (including any relevant assessment (eg. Interim/ End of Phase Profile/ Professional Learning Action Plan);
  • Regularly review Professional Learning Record and ensure Student Teacher and Mentor are making use of this to record professional learning activities;
  • Support Student Teachers, along with school and university staff, in line with the Teachers’ Standards and the Brunel University London ITE School Experience Guidance;
  • Play a role in supporting the Student Teacher, Mentor & PCM with the Support and Intervention process should it be required for the Student Teacher (as outlined in the School Experience Guidance);
  • Communicate regularly with Student Teacher, Mentor and relevant staff from the University to ensure that the Partnership operates effectively and efficiently. 
  • If the Student Teacher completes CSE in an Alternative Setting, the Link Tutor assigned for FSE/DSE conducts the final visit in this setting.

For further information about link tutor visits and the agenda for each visit, please refer to ‘Brunel PGCE Link Tutor visits agenda 2017/18’.

 The University Partnership Development Unit (PDU) responsibilities

  • Administer Partnership Agreements;
  • Negotiate and arrange  placements with Partnership Schools, and in consultation with relevant course Tutors on the Secondary PGCE with recommendation for QTS course;
  • Deal with Manage general communications in relation to school partnership, including requests for placement offers, newsletter and surveys;
  • Maintenance and updating of the Partnership database on a daily basis all relevant information connected with Partnership communication and development;
  • Develop a professional business relationship with each School/Placement Provider to the benefit of both parties;
  • Ensure that School Partners are actively involved in the development of all relevant documentation, through participation in the Partnership Management Group, or otherwise;
  • Ensure that Professional Coordinating Mentors (PCMs) receive Brunel documentation and that Course Leaders receive required documentation from PCMs and schools;
  • Ensure School Partners have key contact details of university ITE staff, including Link Tutors
  • Ensure that information relating to Partnership quality assurance processes is communicated effectively;
  • Maintain the University ITE Partnership web pages in consultation with the Director of Initial Teacher Education (ITE);
  • Publicise, organise and facilitate Partnership development events and activities, such as support and development sessions.

The Partnership section of the ITE website can be found here.

This site provides a useful link to:

  • Partnership information and events and newsletters
  • The Partnership Development Unit
  • Mentor/Link Tutor development sessions
  • Course calendars detailing all key dates for the academic year
  • Professional learning opportunities
  • Electronic copies of all key documentation

Quality Assurance of the Partnership

The quality of the Partnership is assured in the following ways:

  • The strategic Partnership Management Group (PMG), with representatives from partner schools, other institutions and the University. The PMG meets once every half term;
  • Schools working with Student Teachers on the core provision are required to read and sign Brunel University London Partnership Agreement which outlines the expectations for partnership provision. Those working with us on School Direct routes are required to read and sign separate Partnership Agreements for Student Teachers following these routes.
  • Using the agreed Brunel University London documentation;
    1. The ‘School Experience Guidance’ for Student Teachers, schools, Mentors and PCMs, which clearly covers all aspects of the Student Teachers’ assessment and professional learning in schools
    2. The Professional Learning Record (PLR), which records a Student Teacher’s professional learning and formative assessment in schools throughout the course
    3. The Profile document which audits Student Teachers’ progress and attainment against the Teachers’ Standards at agreed audit points.
    4. Weekly Professional Learning Records (WPLR), which record the weekly progress monitoring meetings for Student Teachers with their Mentors, recording agreed targets in relation to the Teachers’ Standards and recommended professional learning opportunity to maximise progress and attainment.
    5. Lesson Feedback Records (LFR), which record feedback from lesson observations and provide recommended targets for both pupil learning and Student Teachers’ learning in relation to the Teachers’ Standards.
  • A comprehensive database, which provides data on Student Teachers’ progress and attainment (for both Core and SD) and is analysed to then inform professional learning interventions for the PGCE cohorts, groups and/or individual Student Teachers;
  • Induction and on-going professional learning for schools and University-based staff through Mentor and PCM development sessions and various Partnership development events;
  • Professional learning formally evaluated by Student Teachers and colleagues in Partnership schools and subsequent sharing of feedback from this to inform the development of the Partnership and enhance provision;
  • Assessment and examination boards with representation from schools, University Tutors and External Examiners;
  • The University modular review and annual Programme Monitoring process;
  • The University Link Tutor Quality Assurance Checklist which is used to monitor the support provided by Link Tutors in schools;
  • Attached Tutors working with PCMs, providing support in ensuring consistency of assessment and professional learning interventions, which support Student Teachers’ progress towards meeting the Teachers’ Standards at the highest possible level;

Professional conduct

It is important that the Student Teacher arrives at his/her placement school with a clear understanding of what is expected and required. The Student Teacher must recognise that they are expected to take on the professional attributes of a teacher from the start and to behave professionally at all times in University and school and that, for the duration of the placements, have the same obligations and rights as full members of staff. These professional responsibilities are clearly outlined in the Preamble and statement on Personal and Professional Conduct in the Teachers’ Standards (DFE, 2013).

Guidance for Part two standard: Personal and Professional Conduct

A Student Teacher is expected to demonstrate excellent standards of personal and professional conduct. It is expected that Student Teachers will adhere to the dress code and Code of Conduct of the Partnership. The statements in part two of the Standards define the behaviour and attitudes that set the required standard for conduct throughout a teacher’s career. Much of the evidence for this section will be found in other Standards and Student Teachers achieving good or outstanding grades will also demonstrate excellent practice in part 2. Specific detail regarding code of conduct and relevant legislation will be addressed through the course.

Engagement & Attendance

Student Teachers should treat the course as if already in professional employment: 100% attendance and punctuality is an expectation for both University- and school-based work. 

Student Teachers are expected to adhere to schools’ dress codes and policies (e.g. behaviour management), and to uphold their values and ethos. Student Teachers are expected to plan, prepare, teach and assess the class(es) that they are responsible for and to keep appropriate records of the pupils and to make these available to the Mentor, PCM and Link Tutor as requested. It is an expectation that Student Teachers demonstrate professional courtesy and respect for all members of the Partnership (including pupils) at all times and in all contexts. This should be demonstrated through tone of both oral and written communication, including electronic communication.


Any absence or lateness should be explained and, where possible, identified in advance, in order that appropriate alternative arrangements can be made to cover teaching and other commitments. The Profile of Professional Development (Profile Document) contains a record of completed school-based days.  Student teachers should also complete the Record of Student Teacher Attendance document and keep it in their files. Student Teachers’ attendance and punctuality on all aspects of the programme will be stated explicitly in their University reference. 100% attendance is expected but leave of absence may be approved in exceptional circumstances. The following process should be followed:

  • Student to complete the Leave of Absence form in discussion with Personal Tutor and email it to the Taught Programmes Office CBASS-TPO-GASK@brunel.ac.uk (please allow at least 5 days). The Student Teacher will be notified in writing about the outcome of the application.
  • If the absence is approved by the University, you must send confirmation to the mentor and PCM and follow the school’s policy on absence.

 Process for unplanned absence/ lateness:

The Student Teacher is required to:

  • Email the Personal Tutor in the case of all unplanned absences and copy this to the Taught Programmes Office (CBASS-TPO-GASK@brunel.ac.uk).
  • Notify the school before the start of the school day. It is the Student Teacher’s responsibility to know and adhere to the partnership school’s procedures for notification of staff absences/ lateness. 
  • In the case of illness lasting 5 days or less, we ask that the Student Teacher certify this in writing to us, through the Taught Programmes Office for any sessions missed.
  • If the Student Teacher is absent for more than 5 days, please follow the procedures outlined by the Department for Work and Pensions: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-fit-note-a-guide-for-patients-and-employees

If you are absent from a university session you must obtain materials from the session (e.g. from Blackboard Learn, or from a fellow student) and complete any associated tasks. This work should be filed with your Record of Student Teacher Attendance document. If you are absent from school placement you may be required to complete an extension to the final placement.

Absence issues to note:

  • Absence for interviews is permitted as it is related to professional development. However, wherever possible, additional visits to schools should take place outside of teaching commitments.

Where there are concerns about a student teacher’s attendance

If attendance falls below a satisfactory standard, these concerns will normally be discussed in an additional tutorial with the personal tutor. Depending on the circumstances, the student may need to consider interrupting their studies, or withdrawing from the programme. Please see the guidance about Abeyances and Withdrawals on the intranet:

Continuing attendance concerns will be followed up by the course leader. Absence from school placement may affect a student teacher’s ability to meet the Teachers’ Standards at the required level, and may result in failing to complete a placement successfully. Students in this situation should provide details of Mitigating Circumstances (or Extenuating Circumstances). The Mitigating Circumstances process enables representation to be made at the Exam Board on the Student Teacher’s behalf if there is a substantial period of absence which impacts upon his/her ability to complete assessment or school based work. The Exam Board may approve a repeat placement. Repeat placements may take place in the following academic year and may delay the student teacher’s progress into employment.

Where there are concerns about professionalism, e.g. absences that cannot be explained by illness or other mitigating circumstances, or where insufficient evidence of reasons for absence is provided, these will be referred to the Fitness to Practice Panel.

Where there are concerns about a student teacher’s health and wellbeing, which are affecting their ability to study on the course or to complete their school placement, these concerns will be dealt with following the university Fitness to Study policy

DBS, Prohibition Order Checks and Childcare Disqualification

As an accredited provider of Initial teacher Education we have to have regard for the Department for Education’s statutory guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education, when carrying out their duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. We ensure that all Student Teachers have been subject to Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) criminal records checks including a check of the children’s barred list. Student Teachers are expected to produce their University ID when starting placement and can also choose to share their DBS reference number, but it is not a requirement for them to do so. Schools may wish to record the confirmation of DBS clearance from the University in their single central record, but they are not required to do so.

As the provider we must check that candidates are not subject to a prohibition order issued by the Secretary of State. The list of prohibited teachers can be found via the NCTL online employer access service. We have a Partnership panel who also meet to consider specific cases for applicants who may have a declared conviction, offences, cautions or warnings that would not pose a barrier to joining the programme.

The Department for Education has published statutory guidance on the application to schools of the Childcare (Disqualification) Regulations 2009 and related obligations under the Childcare Act 2006. As an accredited provider of ITE, providers should have regard to this statutory guidance when carrying out their duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. Where Student Teachers are fee-funded, it is our responsibility to ensure that the Student Teacher is not disqualified from childcare or that the Student Teacher has obtained a childcare disqualification waiver from Ofsted.

Note for Student Teachers: If you receive a caution or criminal conviction during the course, under DBS requirements, you must inform the University, initially through your Course Leader and then they will advise on the appropriate process in liaison with the Director of ITE.

Guidance for Link Tutor Visits

Foundation, development  and consolidation schools experience phases 17/18

Foundation School Experience (FSE) Visit to take place between: 30.10.17 and 22.12.17


  • Discuss progress with the Student Teacher and look at their evidence (including any relevant assessment (eg. Interim/ End of Phase Profile/ Professional Learning Action Plan);
  • Collaboratively observe the Student Teacher teach a lesson with the Mentor, listen to the Mentor conducting the post-lesson conversation (and be involved in the discussion where appropriate) and collaboratively complete a lesson feedback record and ensure that there are annotations on the associated lesson plan;
  • Read the Student Teacher’s Files 1 and 2 using the guidance provided to check the contents & provide feedback.
  • Complete the FSE PGCE Link Tutor QA Checklist and ensure all parties sign and return to the PGCE Secondary Subject Tutor or the PGCE Primary Programme Leader.

Development School Experience (DSE) Visit to take place between:5.02.18 and 30.03.18


  • Discuss progress with the Student Teacher and look at their evidence (including any relevant assessment (eg. Interim/ End of Phase Profile/ Professional Learning Action Plan);
  • Collaboratively observe the Student Teacher teach a lesson with the Mentor, listen to the Mentor conducting the post-lesson conversation (and be involved in the discussion where appropriate) and collaboratively complete a lesson feedback record and ensure that there are annotations on the associated lesson plan;
  • Read the Student Teacher’s Files 1 and 2 using the guidance provided to check the contents & provide feedback.
  • Complete the DSE PGCE Link Tutor QA Checklist and ensure all parties sign and return to the PGCE Secondary Subject Tutor or the PGCE Primary Programme Leader.

Consolidation School Experience (CSE) Moderation Visit to take place between:21.05.18 and 16.06.18 (or more appropriate date)


  • Discuss the evidence against the Teachers Standards’ sub-headings for each Standard area detailed in the Profile (In the case of Primary, the Pebblepad Profile).
  • Discuss and moderate the final agreed grade for the Student Teacher in relation to this evidence. Complete the Link tutor comment on Pebblepad (for primary) or on the Link Tutor QA and Moderation Checklist as record.
  • Discuss and agree SMART targets to be included in the NQT Transition Profile as the student enters first post.  
  • Complete the CSE PGCE Link Tutor QA and Moderation Checklist and ensure all parties sign and return to the PGCE Secondary Subject Tutor or the PGCE Primary Programme Leader.

Key dates:


  • Weeks: 16.10.17 - 22.12.17
  • Interim grade For FSE due w/b 20.11.17, deadline 24.11.17
  • Final grade For FSE due w/b 18.12.17, deadline 22.12.17


  • Weeks: 22.01.18 – 30.03.18
  • Interim grade For DSE due w/b 26.02.18, deadline 2.03.18
  • Final grade For DSE due w/b 26.3.18, deadline 30.03.18


  • Weeks: 16.04.18 – 15.06.18
  • Interim grade For CSE due w/b 7.05.18, deadline 11.05.18**
  • Final grade For CSE due w/b 11.06.18, deadline 15.06.18

Additional notes:

  • ** If a Student Teacher has applied to complete their CSE in an Alternative setting & they are graded as Good/Outstanding by CSE Interim (w/b 7.05.18), this Interim grade will be their end of school B grade. They will complete their CSE in the alternative setting (from 14.05.18 – 15.06.18) and have their final end of course grade awarded here.
  • Link tutors are encouraged to send completed QA checklists to BUL electronically
  • In the case of a Support and Intervention process that needs to be raised with a student, the link tutor will need to liaise with the PDU cbass-admin-pdu@brunel.ac.uk who will inform the relevant BUL tutor to seek approval as necessary.