TutorExtra is pleased that a £1bn fund has been announced by the prime minister, to help fill the learning gap that England’s children are experiencing while schools have been closed. The scheme is likely to raise the profile of tutors and the tutoring profession in general, with the benefits of tutoring being acknowledged at a national level.
The National Tutoring Programme (NTP) is a government-funded, sector-led initiative to support schools to address the impact of Covid-19 school closures on pupils’ learning. Throughout the next two school years, the NTP will make high-quality tuition available to schools, providing additional support to help pupils who have missed out as a result of school closures.
The most disadvantaged pupils will have access to tutors through a £350m programme from September. In addition, primary and secondary schools will be given £650m to spend on one-to-one or group tuition for any pupils they think need it.
Understandably, more details are needed but Boris Johnson said the fund would help headteachers provide what pupils need and will bring forward plans on how this will happen as soon as possible.
Research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) suggests the £650m pot represents about £80 extra for each student which is a rise of about 1% but would leave total spending still 3% below 2010 levels in real terms. Early years providers and colleges for 16 to 19-year-olds are not included in the plans. Plans for the subsidised National Tutoring Programme have been developed with a group of social mobility organisations and academics led by the charity Education Endowment Fund (EEF). The EEF has said that until now, access to tutoring has been the preserve of wealthy families but this would no longer be the case as schools would be able to seek subsidised tutoring.
The tutors themselves will be provided by organisations approved by the National Tutoring Programme. Many of them will be students or graduates trained by tutoring groups and could offer between 550,000 and 650,000 courses, featuring three pupils to one tutor, which would run for an hour a week over 15 weeks. There is a strong push for headteachers to target catch-up help via tutoring from September but this incentive hopes to reach more than a million pupils and is expected to be spent on tutoring, rather than being left to headteachers to decide.
Through NTP Partners, schools will access heavily subsided tutoring from an approved list of tuition partners. These organisations (who will all be subject to quality, safeguarding and evaluation standards) will be given support and funding to reach as many disadvantaged pupils as possible. Through NTP coaches, trained graduates will be employed by schools in the most disadvantaged areas to provide intensive catch-up lessons for their pupils, allowing teachers in these schools to focus on their classrooms. Guided by quality standards and clear criteria to target support to the most disadvantaged pupils, teachers, and school leaders will decide which approach best fits their needs, which tuition partners to work with, and which pupils will benefit most from additional tuition.
The focus of the NTP will be on disadvantaged pupils over a period of two years and the partners will provide high-quality, subsidised tutoring in schools. This tutoring will be delivered by tutoring organisations, such as charities and agencies already working with schools, with pupils being provided – for example – with one hour of tutoring per week for a course of 12-15 weeks. The tutoring will be provided by trained tutors who are external to the school.
It’s estimated that around 80% of disadvantaged pupils don’t have access to quality tuition. The NTP aims to support schools in addressing this as there is a substantial attainment gap between pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds and their classmates – this is likely to have grown significantly since the school closures. There is extensive evidence showing the impact of tutoring to support pupils who have fallen behind. However, access to tutoring is often limited to the schools and parents that can most afford it.
Tutoring organisations will be selected based on how closely their delivery currently fits with or could be developed to fit with, the existing evidence base, as well as other criteria around quality and scalability. The scheme will start in autumn 2020 for an initial period of a year but it aims to have a legacy that will continue in the system, helping to close the disadvantage gap in the years to come.
The design of the NTP has been created through a collaboration between four charities: the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), Sutton Trust, Impetus, and Nesta – they will be involved in the initial delivery. The majority of funds come from the government, but resources are also being provided by the founding organisations, along with philanthropic and corporate partners.
The NTP will run an open call to select tutoring organisations. More details on the criteria will be released in due course. Tutoring organisations will be selected based on their delivery model and existing evidence base. There is extensive high-quality evidence demonstrating the potential of one-to-one and small-group tuition as a cost-effective way to support pupils who are falling behind in their learning. The Sutton Trust-EEF Teaching and Learning Toolkit suggests it can boost progress by up to +5 months. However, access to tutoring is often limited to the schools and parents that can most afford it. Almost all the pupils that need intensive support the most are not able to access it, with estimates indicating that 80% of disadvantaged pupils don’t have access to quality tuition.
NTP will help schools address this disparity. By harnessing and growing high-quality tutoring within the system, it aims to ease the burden on schools and support them to help those pupils who have missed out the most. The evidence confirms the role of quality classroom teaching, which has the greatest positive impact on disadvantaged pupils. With schools facing unprecedented challenges, NTP is designed to be a powerful tool for teachers and school leaders.
Coaches are not expected to deliver whole-class teaching – they will mostly be providing one-to-one or small group support, but can also provide in-class support to help them to understand the school’s approach to teaching and its curriculum.
The NTP is designed to enable state-maintained schools to buy tutoring at a reduced cost. It isn't for private schools. In an open funding round, tuition organisations will be funded based on how well their delivery model fits the existing evidence base and other indicators of quality and scalability. Tuition is most successful when teachers have input on the content of sessions. Given this, the NTP will aim to select organisations that have a good record of working with teachers. Schools will be able to decide whether to use tuition sessions in addition to their pupils’ normal school day, or during their timetabled day. For tutoring agencies, the NTP will be running an open call to select organisations and due to the scale of the NTP, it is anticipated that a large number of tutoring organisations will be involved.
Important: At the time of writing, TutorExtra UK has not been linked or connected to the NTP. It hasn't yet been decided which tutors or organisations will be selected. The NTP has said it will run an open call to select tutoring organisations, and more details on the criteria will be released in due course. You can find additional information in their FAQ's.
TutorExtra is the easy way for clients to find tutors, teachers, instructors, personal trainers, coaches, babysitters, nannies, schools, learning centres, childcare, day-care centres, sports, health centres, and more. Connect one-to-one, in-person (when possible), or online – whatever suits!
We take zero commission from tutor, with the result their rates are lower and affordable. We have thousands of tutors registered now, and we list over 1,000 subjects!
TutorExtra is also a Corporate Member of the Tutor Association, the only professional membership body for tutoring and the wider supplementary education sector in the UK. Becoming a member The Tutors’ Association signifies becoming part of the UK government recognised professional body.
To find and connect with an expert who can support you in learning your chosen subject, visit TutorExtra.co.uk today!