Our impact

Action Tutoring is committed to improving the academic outcomes of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, demonstrated through our impact data. We pride ourselves on our evidence-based approach to supporting pupils, using baseline assessments and progress checks to monitor the impact our tutoring is having and capturing the final exam results of our pupils and comparing against the national average for disadvantaged pupils. Each year a summary of our data is published in our annual impact report. You can read these reports below.


Action Tutoring published its 2020-21 Impact Report in April 2022.

This report is both a reflection and a celebration: a reflection of the significant impact the pandemic has had on education and the even greater challenge this poses for pupils facing disadvantage who are prevented from reaching their full academic potential.

But it is a celebration of Action Tutoring’s 10 years of impact, recognising the achievements and evolution of delivery and positioning itself for another decade of making a difference.

Key findings: 

  • 2020-21 was a record breaking year for Action Tutoring.  The charity more than doubled in size in response to the ongoing pandemic. 150% increase in tutors volunteering and 160% increase in pupils supported. 
  • 5,528 pupils were supported in total, receiving over 61,700 hours of tutoring delivered by 2,749 volunteers. Action Tutoring worked in partnership with 156 schools
  • Action Tutoring is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2022.  Since it was officially registered as a charity in 2012, Action Tutoring has supported over 19,000 pupils with the help of over 9,000 volunteer tutors.  
  • Last year GCSE results were decided by teachers (teacher-assessed grades). Of those Action Tutoring pupils eligible for the Pupil Premium, who attended at least eight tutoring sessions in their subject: 81% achieved grade 4 or above in English and 80% achieved grade 4 or above in maths.  These pupils out-performed the national GCSE results for disadvantaged pupils (nationally 67% of disadvantaged pupils achieved a grade 4 or above in English and 62% for maths in 2020-21).
  • Due to the pandemic, SATs were cancelled for a second year for Year 6 pupils.  Action Tutoring carried out progress assessments with 500 of the Year 6 pupils it supported, approximately halfway through the academic year.   Positive progress was made in both subjects by the pupils, matching progress made by pupils in the previous academic year (pre-pandemic). 
  • School closures are likely to reverse progress made to narrow the academic attainment gap in the last decade.  Predictions estimate the gap could increase by as much as 75%.  A recent EPI report found the disadvantage gap at GCSE is significant, and outcomes for the very poorest pupils in long-term poverty have failed to improve after a decade.


Action Tutoring published its 2019-20 Impact Report in March 2021. The country was still in lockdown and schools closed. It is particularly poignant given the charity’s last report was also released under these same conditions, back in April 2020.

The report celebrates the charity’s achievements from the previous year – both before and after the pandemic struck – and also highlights the significant impact Covid-19 has had on education and the disadvantaged pupils Action Tutoring supports.

It is a valuable reflection of the year and highlights how important additional academic support, like Action Tutoring, is and will be in helping pupils make up for the time lost.

Read our impact report for an overview of key achievements for the previous year:

Key findings:

  • From September 2019 to March 2020, Action Tutoring supported 2,108 disadvantaged pupils, in 95 schools across eight cities. 

  • The charity’s incredible 1,098 volunteers delivered 8,983 tutoring sessions pupils in this time.

  • During the time of delivery, pupils made an average of +12% progress from their initial assessment, conducted at the start of their programme, to their progress assessment in February.

  • Even before the crisis, disadvantaged pupils were, on average, already 18 months behind their non-disadvantaged peers by the end of secondary school. Projections suggest school closures will widen this gap, reversing all progress made to narrow it since 2011. Studies suggest it could widen by as much as 75%.

  • Launching its online delivery proved vital in the following months. In autumn 2020, Action Tutoring had over 80 online programmes underway, as well as continuing delivering face to face. With the school closures in early 2021, the charity was able to quickly adapt its provision so that over 130 online programmes were up and running in a matter of weeks, providing valuable tutoring support to pupils whilst they were at home.


Action Tutoring released its 2018-19 Impact Report in April 2020, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Reflecting on its contents, Action Tutoring became even more determined to weather the crisis and ensure it could continue to deliver its impactful academic support to the pupils who will so desperately need it.

Read our Impact Report for an overview of key achievements for 2018-19:

Key findings:

  • In 2018-19, 1,150 inspiring volunteers supported over 2,500 disadvantaged pupils in 84 schools across seven UK cities.

  • Of the primary school pupils the charity supported, 74% met the expected standard in reading and 81% in maths (12% and 14% higher respectively than the national average for disadvantaged pupils).

  • Of the secondary school pupils who attended ten or more Action Tutoring sessions, 61% achieved a grade 4 or above in GCSE English and 58% reached this level in GCSE maths, both exceeding the national average for disadvantaged pupils. All pupils supported by Action Tutoring were at risk of not achieving these standards when they began the tutoring programme.


Action Tutoring launched its 2017-18 Impact Report in March 2019, at an event held in Westminster and attended by Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP. He shared his support for the charity:

“This Impact Report shows that it is possible to close the attainment gap and Action Tutoring has had huge success raising attainment. The pupils are proof that regardless of your circumstances it is possible to get crucial English and maths qualifications. Action Tutoring offers a practical, structured solution. Action Tutoring’s vision is one that I fully endorse.”

He also remarked on the “huge potential for more volunteers to use their knowledge and experience in this way to support young people”.

You can read the 2017-18 Impact Report and view our video of the event highlights below:

NIESR report and Nesta’s Standards of Evidence

For the academic year 2014-15, an external evaluator, NIESR, carried out a control group evaluation of our results, comparing the performance of just over 700 pupils tutored with Action Tutoring against a matched control group of pupils with very similar characteristics, using data from the National Pupil Database.

This work was funded by NESTA as part of the Social Action Innovation Fund. During this academic year, pupils on the programme had on average 6-8 tutoring sessions.

A full copy of the report, including detail about the methodology, can be viewed below:

Key findings:

  • The programme has a positive impact on GCSE point scores equivalent to 1/3 of a grade.

  • For those pupils who attend at least seven sessions, an additional 1/2 a grade progress was found.

We are delighted that in September 2016 Action Tutoring was validated as having achieved Level 3 on Nesta’s Standards of Evidence.

View our certificate here: Action Tutoring Standards of Evidence certificate

Nesta states,

“This means there is strong evidence of Action Tutoring’s impact. Rigorous evaluation techniques have been used to show a positive change in one or more key outcomes among the programme’s beneficiaries, and to show that this change was caused by the programme itself rather than other factors.”

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