TMP & the team

What is the TMP?

The Teacher Mentoring Programme (TMP) is a Department for Education (DfE) funded initiative. It delivers on the Skills for Jobs white paper commitment to provide effective support to new teachers moving into the sector by continuing to enable access to mentoring.  

The programme began in 2020 and was delivered by The Education and Training Foundation for the first three years. Cognition Learning Group (CLG) has been awarded the contract to continue delivering this crucial piece of work until March 2025 and is proud to continue delivering this transformational professional development programme. 

Why is it important?

Evidence shows that teachers within the further education (FE) sector are more likely to leave the profession in the first three years in comparison to their colleagues working in other educational settings. This is something that the TMP aims to tackle head-on.  

Having a more experienced teacher who can act as a mentor provides early career teachers (ECTs) with access to someone who can support them and provide feedback, advice and guidance that will ultimately help them achieve their career goals.  

Existing research and recognised standards (such as the National Occupational Standards) also support the viewpoint that organisations that successfully establish a mentoring culture will benefit from a culture of knowledge sharing, confidence and belonging, staff development and growth, and stability (such as staff retention). 

Our team 

Get to know the team and trainers behind the Teacher Mentoring Programme. 

Matthew Spackman
Programme Manager 

Matt has been supporting the delivery of DfE’s further education (FE) mentoring programmes since November 2021. Matt initially supported and then managed the programme at The Education and Training Foundation before moving to Cognition Learning Group to continue delivering this transformational piece of work.   

Matt says, ‘It’s an honour to be able to continue managing the delivery of the TMP. I have seen first-hand how the programme has supported hundreds of FE organisations in embedding a culture of mentoring that’s resulted in their staff feeling more inspired and better supported. I’m looking forward to working with past and new organisations to continue or kickstart their mentoring journeys.’ 

Luke Robinson
Project Officer  

Luke has been with the Teacher Mentoring Programme since May 2023, after previously working in Primary and Secondary settings on other DfE funded programmes. Luke has a passion for working within the sector and will work closely with providers to ensure that they are getting the best out of the programme.  

Alison Wheatly
Training Director 

Alison has been leading her team to deliver coaching and mentoring programmes for several years.  Alison established Cognition Learning Group’s coaching and mentoring centre of excellence in 2014, achieving immediate ILM accreditation. She oversees the provision of training for mentors, mentees, coaches and leaders.   

 Alison says, ‘I know how instrumental mentoring can be in supporting a teacher’s confidence, motivation and career growth. I’m delighted that we have the opportunity to equip those involved in mentoring with the skills, tools and inspiration to develop a mentoring culture across further education.’ 

Jennie Eyres
Lead TMP Trainer

Jennie is an experienced teacher, author and trainer, as well as a coach to teachers, leaders and managers. She has worked in the education sector for 20 years and in this time has been able to support both early career teachers and senior leadership in developing their practice and leading others.

Jennie is excited to be working with FE mentors on the Advanced Mentoring Skills for Experienced Mentors course and the Mentoring Skills for New Mentors course.   

Jennie says, ‘The key to developing anyone’s full potential lies in providing support as well as encouragement and guidance. Mentoring encompasses all of these skills and can be an enriching experience for everyone involved. I am looking forward to working with further education practitioners to equip them to effectively mentor others and enhance and develop their skills.’

Brendan Sheppard 
Lead TMP Trainer 

Brendan is a qualified and experienced trainer of mentors and coaches, as well as a coach to leaders and managers. As a former Assistant Head and Lead Practitioner, Brendan recognises the realities of today’s further education sector, and will provide practical support to mentors as they learn new skills and techniques in the Advanced Mentoring course and the Mentoring Skills for New Mentors course.   

Brendan has played a pivotal role in both the strategic conception and meticulous execution of the Teacher Mentor Programme, taking pride in crafting all of its tailored content. 

Brendan says, ‘I believe that mentoring is a powerful tool that can motivate and encourage the mentor as well as the mentee. I am looking forward to working with further education colleagues to bring the power of mentoring to life.’

Sandra Munro
Leadership Development Consultant 

Sandra is a highly experienced and qualified trainer, coach and counsellor. Sandra has trained leaders and specialists in mentoring and coaching for several years, as well as coaching leaders in a variety of public sector settings. A natural facilitator, Sandra will support mentors on the Mentoring Skills for New Mentors and the Advanced Mentoring Skills courses to grow in confidence as well as capability.  

 Sandra says, ‘I believe that learning at its best is the play of adults and that people develop most successfully in an environment which is a balance of fun and challenge. I’m looking forward to enjoying time with the mentors on the TMP programme as they learn.’ 

Clare Grundy
Programme Director

Clare joined Cognition Education UK in January 2021 after a 20-year career with the British Council, having worked in the Middle East and East Africa. She brings a wealth of experience in successfully leading education programmes for both the private and public sectors and is now based in the UK leading our programmes portfolio in EMEA. 

Fatima Farzand Ali
Finance and Grant Officer

As Finance and Grant Officer for the Teacher Mentoring Programme, Fatima is committed to ensuring the efficient financial management and grant administration of this transformative initiative. Her responsibilities include overseeing grant applications, budget planning, financial reporting and advisory support.  

Fatima says, ‘With a strong focus on transparency and responsible financial practices, I aim to contribute to TMP’s mission of empowering educators through effective mentorship.’