Finally! Tutors to be tutored on how to tutor

Starting in Michaelmas 2014, tutors will be offered extended training to help them prepare for their vital role supporting students.

alex davis CUSU Disability gu mental health senior tutors sidney training tutor

The training will incorporate contributions from the University Counselling Service, the Disability Resource Centre, senior tutors, CUSU and the GU. It is hoped this new multifaceted approach will best meet the needs of tutors and students.

The expanded, full day training programme is likely to incorporate:

  • Core pastoral skills such as listening and maintaining boundaries.
  • Key resources and services for students.
  • Academic issues, including intermission and appeals processes.
  • A greater focus on mental health and disability.

A spokesman for the Colleges said:

“In previous years the Secretariat of the Senior Tutors’ Committee has provided a short training course for new Tutors at the end of September.

“In the light of feedback from participants on previous courses, and as part of our ongoing efforts to optimise welfare provision in the collegiate University, it was considered that a future expanded training session would be useful.”

Smiles all round

As colleges are independent bodies, it is currently up to them to determine what requirements and expectations are set for their tutors with regard to training. However, CUSU will be working with JCRs and MCRs to help them approach their colleges about this issue.

Helen Hoogewerf-McComb, CUSU-GU Welfare and Rights Officer, said:
“CUSU and the GU are pleased to be working together with the Collegiate University to improve the training and support available to tutors. This training programme is a brilliant first step but there is more work to be done to ensure that high quality, consistent pastoral support is available in all our College communities.”

Speaking to The Tab, Mr. Max Beber, Senior Tutor at Sidney Sussex seemed positive:

“Sidney is fully supportive of the on-going work within the Welfare and Finance Committee of the Senior Tutors Committee.”

Following repeated pressure from students calling for Cambridge’s tutorial system to be improved, it seems the Senior Tutors’ Committee has listened to us.