National Tutoring Programme uptake increases following policy change

Two million courses have been started since the programme’s inception, including almost 1.8 million so far during the 2021-22 academic year

New figures published on 19 July show the relative expansion of the government’s National Tutoring Programme, with almost 600,000 course starts in the last two months alone.

Developed as part of the government’s Covid-19 recovery plan, the National Tutoring Programme is supporting pupils across England to get back on track following the disruption caused by the pandemic. An estimated 80% of schools are taking part.

It forms part of the Schools White Paper pledge to offer high-quality support to any child that falls behind in English and maths.

The government set a target of two million courses for this academic year. Final data will be published by the end of the year.

The scheme was beset with problems in the early stages. Private contractor Randstad came under fire from teachers, some of whom complained to MPs that the online booking system was “unworkable”. The government dropped Randstad in March and moved £349m of tutoring subsidies to schools to book sessions. Tribal Group has been appointed to quality assess tutors.

Data published earlier this year indicates that primary pupils have already recovered around two thirds of progress lost due to the pandemic in reading, and around half of progress lost in maths, thanks to the programme.

The statistics also highlight the continued success of the programme in areas like the North West, Yorkshire and the Humber and West Midlands, meaning that the programme is reaching some of the most disadvantaged children in the country.

As schools this week receive confirmation of their funding for the next academic year, with allocations totalling £349 million, the three new organisations that will support the delivery of high-quality tutoring over the next two years have been announced:

  • Tribal Group will support schools by quality assuring tuition partners. This will ensure schools can have confidence in the quality of tutoring provided by tuition partners that are involved in the programme.
  • Cognition Education will recruit well-qualified people to work as academic mentors and deploy them to schools that are most in need of additional tutoring resource.
  • Education Development Trust will provide high-quality training for new tutors, which will ensure that all tutors employed in schools have the right skills and knowledge for the role.

School’s minister Will Quince said: “The National Tutoring Programme is helping to level up opportunities for millions of children across England and these latest figures are further evidence of the programme revolutionising the support available to the children who need it most.

“I am determined to provide every pupil with the opportunity to reach their full potential and look forward to working with Tribal Group, Education Development Trust, and Cognition Education. We hope to continue growing this vital programme and ensure even more children can benefit from the high-quality tutoring we know makes such a difference.”

In total, 1,433,793 courses have been started through the school-led tutoring route this academic year, with a further 200,835 through tuition partners, and 147,318 through academic mentors.

Schools are encouraged to continue using the programme as part of any summer provision they are running.

Read more: Government announce bursary trial for lifelong learning entitlement

Leave a Reply