Policies and Role Definitions
This section contains links to a range of web pages and documentation provided by different universities, which set out their policies on personal tutoring and PDP, and provide a definition of the personal tutor role in that institution.
The role of a personal tutor varies between different higher education institutions, depending to a great extent on institutional policy but also on custom and practice within different schools and departments. Most institutions have a policy document or guide for personal tutors to help them understand their responsibilities and, just as importantly, to describe the range of specialist services which provide backup and support to their front-line role. Click on the link to a short article from the TES, January 2008, which discusses the role of the personal tutor: it contains comments from Paula Hixenbaugh from Westminster; Deborah Murdoch Eaton from Leeds; Annie Grant from East Anglia; Wes Streeting from the NUS; Lindsey Neville from Worcester; and Margo Blythman from the University of the Arts.
Reading has a well-developed and comprehensive website for personal tutors. The section on the role of the personal tutor states: ‘The role of the Personal Tutor is essentially twofold: academic development and pastoral care’. The site has 8 sections: Role; Structure; Boundaries; PDP; Referral; Common Issues; Legal Aspects; and a Directory of support services.
Reading’s essential guide for personal tutors can also be downloaded from the website.
Brighton’s Centre for Learning and Teaching has a page for personal tutors, from which its guide for personal tutors can be downloaded. Also downloadable is a document written to give guidance to students, called Personal tutoring - what to expect. The page also gives links to case studies which can be used for discussion and training.
Worcester’s website for personal tutors is called the Personal Tutor Toolkit. It includes a downloadable staff guide for personal tutors. There are also useful downloadable documents on Managing Student Distress, Mental Health Policy, and Students with Mental Health Difficulties. The website also links to the institution’s support services.
Bath has an extensive website for staff which can be printed as a set of guidelines. Personal tutors’ continuing responsibilities for students while on placement are emphasised. The website gives links to the University's Codes of Practice on personal tutoring and placement learning. There is a useful section on identifying students with potential difficulties, and on confidentiality, including downloadable Confidentiality protocols.