Student and Tutor Perceptions of the Role of the Tutor in a Sixth Form College


Dr Tonia Schofield
Lead Tutor
Hills Road Sixth Form College
Hills Road
Cambridge CB2 2PQ


This article aims to explore and understand tutor and student perceptions of the role of the tutor in a large Sixth Form College. It examines whether these perceptions are the same and looks at whether the needs of the student are being met within the college. The tutorial structure within the college is described and the unique role of tutors in a further education setting is identified. The findings reveal how students perceive the tutors to have a wide range of roles, which are primarily focused on supporting and promoting learning. It also describes how, despite the acknowledgement of students for the need of emotional support and the recognition and willingness of tutors to fulfil this role, there is a gap in meeting the students' needs. The reasons for this are explored and shown to be a consequence of time constraints and the underlying relationship between students and their tutor.