On 4th Jan 2021, the government announced school closures for a second time to help curb the spread of Covid-19. Schools will remain closed until at least 21st February.
Action Tutoring took the decision to pause all face to face programmes until after this date, supplementing missed sessions with revision days in the spring and early summer. It also intends to switch all online school programmes to home-based delivery, pending school approval.
We have been officially approved by the National Tutoring Programme to deliver tutoring to pupils at home. We also piloted our home-based approach, as part of a national evaluation of online tutoring delivery, in 2020.
It’s our ambition to continue as many online tutoring programmes as possible during lockdown to support our pupils when they need it most. We know that every hour of tutoring delivered will make a big difference to the young people we help. We are currently in contact with our school partners to discuss arrangements for pupils to receive home-based tutoring during the lockdown.
Due to school closures we must pause all ‘in person’ programmes during lockdown. We are looking at ways to supplement the missed sessions later in the year. We know face-to-face sessions are of high value to tutors and pupils, and we intend to resume them as soon as it is safe to do so. We will keep volunteers informed.
Our tutoring will be needed now more than ever before, to help make up for the time lost. Please spread the word about our volunteering and encourage others to get involved.
Making up for lost time
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on pupils across the UK, with the first lockdown resulting in the closure of schools. As a result, we temporarily stopped programme delivery in March last year.
Schools remained closed for many months and the impact this will have had on pupils is significant, in particular the disadvantaged pupils we support. These are the pupils who are already at risk of not achieving and the absence of education, and any other means of support at home, for this duration of time, will simply push them further behind.
Action Tutoring is a charity that supports the academic attainment of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds so that their futures are not negatively impacted by their circumstances. Many families will have been able to provide their children with extra resources to enable them continue their education at home, or pay for a private tutor, while schools were shut. For the young people we support, this was simply not an option.
Even before the crisis, disadvantaged pupils were, on average, already 18 months behind their non-disadvantaged peers by the end of secondary school and this will only worsen.
During the first lockdown period and the months following, we were unable to return to schools. Instead, we focused our team and resources on:
- Sharing our materials with our partner schools, to support pupils’ home learning in the short term.
- Keeping in touch with our network of over 1,000 volunteers to ensure they were not negatively impacted by the isolation period.
- Moving our induction training to new volunteers online and began delivering, so that tutors were ready to get started as soon as we were able to deliver again.
- Developing our online tutoring platform and programme, progressing through a testing phase and ready to roll out widely in autumn 2020.
- Speaking out about the impact of the crisis on disadvantaged pupils particularly. Collaborating with other charities and schools to look for solutions and calling for government support too.
- Fundraising to support as many pupils as possible to get back to where they should be academically and enabling them to flourish.
In early October 2020 our tutoring recommenced after nearly seven months, with the support of the charity’s incredible and inspiring volunteer tutor pool, partner schools and staff team who are determined to ensure disadvantaged pupils can still succeed. Additionally, we launched our online delivery in schools, uniting volunteers from across the country with pupils to tutor them in maths and English.
As the government has announced school closures once more in January 2020, we hope to continue as many online tutoring programmes as possible during lockdown, and will recommence in person programmes when schools reopen.
Action Tutoring is incredibly grateful to all of its team and network who worked tirelessly to ensure its tutoring support could return for the autumn term. The charity would like to thank everyone involved for their hard work, passion and commitment which has enabled disadvantaged pupils across the country to begin their academic catch-up.
This type of academic support is vital. These pupils need this support now more than ever before to ensure they can get back to where they should be. Action Tutoring needs volunteer tutors to enable this to happen.
Please apply now to volunteer with us and make a difference to young lives.