George Harrington is Assistant Head at Sion Manning Catholic Girls School – the only school where Action Tutoring run a programme before the school day has even started! Bright and early at 08:00 every Thursday morning, the library becomes a space for maths, where the girls are currently working hard on their algebra.
After working as an industrial chemist, George went into teaching, and has been at Sion Manning since September 2005. He says the main benefit of Action Tutoring is that it is affordable, as families would otherwise struggle to provide their daughters with this kind of support. “It gives pupils a chance to go at a pace that wouldn’t be achievable in lessons, and they can ask as many questions as they want.” Asking questions pays off – December mock exam results showed a significant improvement in the girls’ grades.
However, George also highlights that tutoring isn’t just about learning maths. “Hopefully it makes them feel a bit special and gives them self-confidence and a can-do attitude.” These soft skills are harder to measure, but George underlines his own experience: “When I used to do maths, I didn’t want to keep asking my teacher.” Having a tutor means the girls can go over topics they’re less certain about as many times as they need to, getting that extra support to get them through their GCSEs in just a few weeks’ time.
Despite the early start, they’ve “not had a single negative comment.” The girls arrive in school each week and get down to work before the first bell has even rung. George encourages the girls who keep coming to sessions every week: “You’ve got a lot of resilience, and that will stand you well in life.”