Peer Mentoring: pupil participation or pupil manipulation?
: An exploration of how children perceive their involvement in peer mentoring

  • Samantha Reddy

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The school-based peer mentoring programme has been lauded as the solution to improving academic self-efficacy and social, emotional and behavioural difficulties amongst children. Furthermore, it has been said to have the additional impact of providing leadership and development opportunities for the older children who serve in the mentoring role. This thesis explores the perceptions of children about peer mentoring before, during and after participation in a peer mentoring programme that was designed to facilitate transition from key stage one to key stage two, making provision for the ongoing social and emotional growth of young mentees. A feature of the research that distinguishes it from the other studies is that it analyses the differences in the perceptions of mentors and mentees who are between the ages of seven and nine. Further, a motivation for the study was to investigate whether participants in the peer mentoring programme felt they were consulted about their participation, needs and improvements to and satisfaction with the programme. These research aims were met through the implementation of qualitative research using focus-group and individual interviews and observation in a school in South East England, focusing on the experiences of 16 children in a peer mentoring programme during the 2016-17 academic year.
The findings from this research reveal the beneficial effects of peer mentoring for children in transition from one key stage to the next. At the same time, the findings emphasise the potential barriers: unmet expectations, the loss of individual power, a lack of communication between administrators and participants, role confusion, mismatching and insufficient support and consultation of participants. It is recommended that incorporating the ideas, suggestions and active involvement of participants to enhance the experience of peer mentoring would increase the engagement of participants and ensure that the effectiveness of the programme is not diminished.
Date of Award19 Nov 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Roehampton
SupervisorDebbie Epstein (Director of Studies) & Fengling Tang (Co-Supervisor)


  • Peer mentoring
  • mentors
  • peer learning
  • mentees
  • pupil voice
  • child participation
  • social and emotional development
  • Qualitative Research
  • transition from key stage1 to key stage 2

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