The first 188 Academic Mentors, recruited and trained by education charity Teach First, will also be starting in schools as part of their mission to build a fair education for all. Mentors will support teachers by providing intensive academic support to the pupils most in need.
The National Tutoring Programme (NTP), designed by a group of five independent charities, is today launching in schools. The NTP was established in response to clear evidence that Covid-19 is likely to widen the attainment gap between poorer pupils and their peers in English schools.
It is funded as part of the Government’s £350m allocation to tutoring, through the £1bn coronavirus catch up package.
The two pillars of the programme, NTP Tuition Partners and NTP Academic Mentors, will widen access to high-quality tutoring and academic mentoring for disadvantaged pupils who have disproportionately been affected by the pandemic.
New analysis of polling by the Sutton Trust for the NTP has highlighted the “tutoring gaps”, which the NTP aims to address:
- The Disadvantage Gap: Pupils from the least affluent families are significantly less likely to have been tutored compared to those from the most affluent (18% vs. 43%), a gap that likely widened during lockdown.
- The Regional Gap: The availability of high-quality tutoring varies widely across England, with many coldspots where tutoring is unavailable. Pupils in London are significantly more likely to have accessed tutoring (50%) than their peers outside the capital (29%)
Through the Tuition Partners pillar, schools will be able to access subsidised high-quality tutoring. Tutoring could cost as little as £50 per pupil for a block of 15 sessions delivered in small groups of three pupils. Schools will be able to book tutoring with Tuition Partners from 10am today (02÷11÷2020).
Approved providers have been selected based on a rigorous assessment process conducted by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), an independent charity. In total, it is estimated that approximately 15,000tutors will support the scheme.
Schools will be able to choose between different providers and a variety of models, including face-to-face and online tutoring, with NTP funding mobilising a whole range of tutors, including supply teachers, university students and trained volunteers. Approved Tuition Partners include:
- The Brilliant Club, an award-winning national education charity focused on mobilising the PhD community to work with state schools, who will be using PhD tutors to deliver curriculum-focused tutoring as part of NTP through their new Brilliant Tutoring Programme.
- Schools Partnership Tutors, established by a group of schools from Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire and East London offering face-to-face and online tutoring by tutors provided with high quality evidence-informed training to schools across the country.
- Targeted Provision, an organisation providing tuition exclusively to pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs. All of their tutors are qualified teachers with a minimum 3 years’ experience supporting pupils with additional educational needs.
- The Tutor Trust, a Manchester-based charity that trains university undergraduates to provide tutoring in local schools, with proven impact on pupil outcomes.
- White Rose Maths, a Yorkshire-based company with a strong reputation for providing support, training and resources about teaching mathematics in primary and secondary schools
The second pillar of the NTP, The Academic Mentor Programme, also launches today, with the first wave of 188Academic Mentors starting in schools serving disadvantaged communities, against a target of 150.
These mentors will be deployed directly by teachers and school leaders to provide additional intensive academic support to the pupils most in need, to help them make faster progress, particularly important after so many have missed half a year in school.
Academic Mentors have been recruited, trained, placed and supported by the education charity Teach First. They will be employed directly by the school as full-time members of staff, with their salaries paid by the Department of Education.
In total, Teach First will recruit and train 1,000 Academic Mentors, with the further cohorts starting in schools in January and February.