Authors:Andrea Óhidy, Nadine Comes, and Norbert Pikula
‘Education for all’ and widening access to education with the aim of creating more social equality are long-term goals of the European education policy. Although there was an education expansion in the last decades in most of European countries, educational attainment and achievement still reflect social inequalities: students with less advantaged socio-economic backgrounds are still significantly underrepresented in higher educational institutions and need supporting measures for educational success. Roma students in particular suffer from multiple deprivation: Firstly, because a large part of the Roma population lives in poverty. Secondly, because their different cultural traditions often lead to discrimination in school education. Roma women additionally suffer from social injustice and deprivation because of the gender aspect: the traditional Roma culture defines the place of women to be with the family at home and an educational career is not necessary for that. Mentoring programmes are considered as successful in helping disadvantaged pupils and students to achieve better results in education. A special form of mentoring programmes is often included as a part of teacher education with the goal of not only helping disadvantaged children but also preparing future teachers to cope with diversity in schools. This article introduces practical and conceptual issues regarding mentoring programmes for disadvantaged children focussing on two perspectives: on the impact on the mentees – disadvantaged children with special regard to Roma students, and on the effect on the mentors – students in teacher training.