Our advocacy

Action Tutoring is primarily a delivery organisation, aiming to level the playing field in education by making the benefits of tutoring available to those who wouldn’t otherwise afford it. However, particularly since Covid-19 and the arrival of the National Tutoring Programme, our work has increasingly engaged with government and policymakers. 

Today, our board and senior team identify our advocacy work as a strategic priority alongside our direct delivery. We believe that we can and should use our practical experience on the ground from the last decade to influence the education system more widely.

In particular, we want to advocate that access to tutoring for disadvantaged pupils should continue in the education system once the National Tutoring Programme ends in 2024 and that ring-fenced funding should be committed to this.

If this commitment can be made, we believe that there is real potential to tackle the huge attainment gap that exists in England at a systemic level. Read on to find out how Action Tutoring has been fighting for a fairer future.

Tuition Advocacy Group

Working collaboratively is one of Action Tutoring’s core values and advocating for the value of tutoring for disadvantaged pupils is something we’ve been delighted to work with others in the sector to achieve together.

CEO Susannah Hardyman chairs the Fair Education Alliance Tuition Advocacy Group, which meets monthly.  Work on a number of the activities listed below has taken place in collaboration with this group.

(Image: welcoming the Children’s Commissioner to the launch of our Future of Tutoring report.)


Since our inception, Action Tutoring has regularly tried to engage local MPs in our work, especially in constituencies where our partner schools are located. We have also followed closely the calls of influential education figures and organisations such as The Sutton Trust and Lee Elliot-Major, who long before the pandemic, were suggesting that the Government should consider funding tutoring for those who could not afford it. 

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, our work was rapidly thrust into the spotlight. Government and policymakers recognised the strong evidence base of tutoring and became quickly interested in rolling out a tutoring programme to support recovery from the disruption of school closures.

During April – June 2023 we found ourselves regularly featured in the media and invited to speak to policymakers. This culminated in being invited to give evidence to the government’s education select committee about our work and model.

Shortly after this, the National Tutoring Programme was announced in late June 2020, with £350 million of funding committed for 2020-24. 

Since the NTP

Action Tutoring has been an accredited National Tutoring Programme provider since the programme’s inception. However, the programme has gone through some turbulence during that time, not least being overseen by three different organisations (a consortium led by the Education Endowment Foundation, Randstad and now Tribal). A number of changes have been made to the programme during this time.

Action Tutoring hasn’t been afraid to be vocal when we felt these changes were a deviation from the original aims of the programme. In particular, we were very disappointed when a target for Pupil Premium participation for the programme was removed and when group sizes were increased from 1:3 to 1:6. Our goal has been that the programme remains targeted and impactful, to really benefit those that need the support the most. See here for an example of some public statements we have made around these issues. 

(Image: contributing to a panel discussion on how tutoring can help to tackle the attainment gap at the Conservative Party conference 2022.)


Alongside speaking out about changes to the National Tutoring Programme, we’ve also been pleased to sponsor two key reports helping to inform the debate around the long-term role tutoring can play in the education system. 

In 2022, we partnered with Third Space Learning and White Rose Maths to commission the Centre for Education and Youth, which authored a report entitled Levelling up Tutoring, making a series of recommendations for improving, embedding and transforming the NTP. 

Then in 2023 we partnered with The Tutor Trust, Get Further and Impetus to commission Public First to author The Future of Tutoring. The report draws on teacher, parent and pupil views about tutoring, highlights the ‘spillover benefits’ of tutoring including building confidence, attendance and mental health and makes recommendations for a future ‘Tutoring Guarantee’ for pupils.

We were especially delighted that the Children’s Commissioner agreed to write the foreword for the report. Furthermore, the report was launched at an event in Parliament hosted by Robin Walker MP, chair of the education select committee and with a keynote address from Robert Halfton MP, Minister for Skills, Further and Higher Education. 

During 2023, we’ve also been pleased to submit written evidence to two select committee inquiries. Firstly, to the education select committee inquiry on persistent absence and secondly to the public accounts committee inquiry on Covid recovery.

(Image: together with the Tutor Trust, presenting the Future of Tutoring report in No 10.)

Other activities

Over the last two years, we’ve also had the opportunity to speak about tutoring on panels at the Festival of Education and to have participated in the National Tutoring summit with the Centre for Education and Youth.

In October 2022, CEO Susannah spoke on a panel hosted by the Centre for Social Justice at the Conservative Party conference and Susannah will be speaking on panels at both Labour and Conservative Party conferences in autumn 2023.

We engage regularly in conversations with the Department for Education, No 10 and continue to engage a number of MPs from across the house in our work. 

Future of the NTP – what next

As we enter the fourth and currently final year of the NTP, Action Tutoring has three clear goals for the coming year:

  1. Ensure an extension to the current (or similar) funding arrangements for both NTP and the 16-19 Tuition Fund for the 2024-2025 academic year. 
  2. Secure a commitment to state-funded tutoring for the next parliament from all main political parties.
  3. Create a wider environment whereby tutoring is highly valued by the education sector and the wider public and therefore state funded tutoring in schools is seen as a ‘no-brainer.’

We are delighted to be working with Public First, in partnership with The Tutor Trust and Get Further, to secure these goals. 

(Image: launch of the Future of Tutoring report with skills minister and former chair of the education select committee Robert Halfon, Action Tutoring CEO Susannah Hardyman, chair of the Education Select Committee Robin Walker, Sarah Waite from Get Further and Abigail Shapiro from The Tutor Trust.)