We were pleased to welcome MP Jess Phillips to a session at one of our partner schools, Yardleys School, on the 15th June.
At the visit Jess had the chance to meet a group of Year 10 pupils in an English session, where they were busy working through activities with some of our dedicated volunteer tutors.
Jess took the time to speak to each of the pupils and tutors, adding “It was a pleasure to come and meet the tutors and the pupils. What an amazing initiative that gives schools a chance to bring extra tutoring in to aid learning. The children were obviously enjoying the sessions at the same time as benefitting their education. All schools should do it.”
There are many reasons why it is beneficial for schools to work with us. Brynley Evans, Headteacher at Yardleys, pointed to the challenges of the new curriculum as a reason for involving us. “Action Tutoring has proved to be a very good way of supporting some our disadvantaged pupils academically here at Yardleys, particularly in English and with the greater demands of the new 9-1 GCSE. Above all our pupils have benefited from the enthusiasm and dedication of the volunteer tutors. Pupils have enjoyed the sessions, feel that they have improved and crucially feel more confident in their own ability. Pleasingly their grades in English are improving. We now have pupils requesting to join the programme.”
Jen Fox, interim CEO at the charity said, “At Action Tutoring we want to support as many young people as we can. Having Jess Phillips MP see our programme in action is a great chance to raise awareness of our work and highlight the fantastic impact our volunteer tutors can have on the outcomes of the young people we work with. Jess herself mentioned the power of communities helping each other improve. I hope more Members of Parliament engage with the work of our charity and others local to them to see how the schools in their constituencies help support disadvantaged young people improve their life chances.”
We have come a long way from our beginnings in 2011 – we now provide support in partnership with schools in six cities across the UK. We are delighted to have been working with Yardleys School since April 2016 and work with a further three secondary and two primary schools in Birmingham.
The impact of our work has been proven: an independent evaluator found that having seven or more sessions with us added the value of up to ½ a grade of progress to that pupil’s results, not to mention the impact it has on their confidence and attitude towards learning. This was reinforced with last year’s GCSE results where just over 70% of pupils who attended 10 or more sessions achieved a C grade, or above, in the subject being tutored, after starting the year well below this target. Incredible when you consider the national average for these young people achieving five A*-C grades at GCSE is 38%.
In 2017, Action Tutoring will be extending its reach to Newcastle to engage more young people than ever before to improve their future prospects. We are aiming to recruit as many volunteers as possible to ensure that these pupils can be supported. If you get involved as a tutor then click on the ‘get involved’ drop down at the top of the page.