Join our mentoring programme designed specifically to help teachers grow and progress in partnership with RSC members

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See your career progress with mentoring from this RSC leadership programme

In 2021 the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) established a specialised Leadership mentoring programme for teachers. The programme matches heads of science and subject leaders with RSC members who have leadership experiences, and so far it has successfully facilitated 55 mentoring pairs. This initiative reflects the RSC’s commitment to empowering educators in the UK and Ireland, fostering leadership skills and encouraging cross-sector collaboration.

Get involved

Teachers, register your interest in the Leadership mentoring programme by completing this short application form.

RSC members, please email us if you’d like to become a mentor.

A teacher’s experience

Among the successful pairings is a head of science at a London secondary school, who joined the programme in 2021. At the time, they were at a low point, feeling unheard and questioning their understanding of leadership and management, despite 17 years of experience. Although they were successfully running a department, they were contemplating retirement.

The mentoring programme was ‘a lifeline’. As a result, they chose not to retire and started to recognise their own leadership skills. They embraced a new role as head of science at a different school, as they had grasped the importance of a lateral career move and personal well-being through the mentoring relationship. The positive effect of the one-on-one support was felt in their new department.

One of the key benefits of the programme is the value of being exposed to diverse leadership styles and from different contexts. Participants can develop their leadership style, build confidence and be empowered in a safe, collaborative space.

Read more teacher experiences

Discover the benefits of the Leadership mentoring programme from teachers, Judith and Alison, who are already applying the advice in their roles.

Opportunities for mentees

Teachers engaged in the programme can expect to:

  • establish a collaborative relationship with a mentor from industry;
  • engage in productive conversations on various aspects of leadership;
  • develop greater self-awareness and confidence in their leadership role;
  • share their learnings in their school context to improve teaching and learning outcomes.

The programme runs from February to July each year. Mentors and mentees meet monthly for about one hour per session, although each pairing can agree their own meeting frequency and duration.

To apply, you must meet all the following criteria:

  • you currently teach in a secondary school or further education college in the UK or Ireland;
  • you currently work in a leadership position, eg head of science, head of chemistry, principle teacher of science, etc;
  • you directly line manage other members of staff;
  • you’re an RSC member (you can claim complimentary RSC membership if you are your school’s lead contact for Teach Chemistry).

We prioritise matching teachers working in schools in challenging circumstances.

Opportunities for mentors

Mentors, who must be Members (MRSC) or Fellows (FRSC) of the RSC, will cover aspects of leadership such as effective delegation, team culture and leading change. Their role extends beyond providing expertise to bridging the gap between schools and the business sector.

The RSC provides a training session for mentors to equip them with the necessary tools to guide teachers effectively. In 2024, this training is on 5 November. The mentoring relationship lasts approximately six months, involving monthly one-hour sessions.

Mentors describe this is a rewarding and stimulating experience, which provides them with an opportunity for personal and professional development.

If you are an RSC member with leadership experience and would like to register your interest in mentoring for this programme, please email