An education charity weathering the storm
At Action Tutoring we support any decision that’s needed to help curb the Covid-19 crisis. In line with government guidance, all of our tutoring programmes have sadly now ceased. However, we know the impact the crisis will have 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, will simply push them further behind. It is highly likely the attainment gap will widen further as a result of school closures.
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 be able to provide their children with extra resources to enable them continue their education at home, or pay for a private tutor, at this time. For the young people we support this is simply not an option.
As a charity which receives 40% of its income from schools, we are facing challenging times during the current epidemic but we are determined to weather the storm and ensure we can continue to help as many pupils as possible, as soon as it is safe to do so. We know educational support will be needed more than ever before to help these pupils get back to where they should be.
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 is surely only going to worsen. Although we are unable to deliver our tutoring programmes at this time, we are continuing to fulfill our mission in different ways:
- We immediately shared our tutoring resources with our partner schools, to support pupils’ home learning in the short term, and remain in close contact with schools to identify other ways we can help.
- We are keeping in touch with our network of over 1,000 volunteers to ensure they are not negatively impacted by the isolation period. We are now delivering our induction training to new volunteers online, so we can have as many tutors as possible ready to support pupils when we start delivering again.
- We are preparing to pilot online tutoring delivery and looking at ways to overcome barriers to this for the demographic of pupils we support.
- We are speaking out about the impact of the crisis on disadvantaged pupils particularly. We are collaborating with other charities and schools to look for solutions and calling for government support too.
- We are continuing to fundraise so we are able to support as many pupils as possible to get back to where they should be academically and enable them to flourish.
Over the last few years Action Tutoring have built up healthy reserves, which we are very thankful for at the moment. We are also grateful to our many funders who are standing with us through this period. However, we are facing a loss of income due to not being able to deliver in schools. Therefore any donation would be very gratefully received to help us compensate for this and ensure we can be in a strong place to be ready to support our pupils as soon as we can safely do so. Additional funds would also be used to help us prepare to be able to deliver online quickly. Please apply here if you would like to join us as an online tutor or get in touch if you’re interested in online delivery for your school.
Once this crisis has passed our help will be needed more than ever to support pupils, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, to catch up. We hope to engage many more volunteers to ensure we can help these pupils get back to where they should be.
We have also recently taken the decision to furlough a percentage of our workforce, over a six week period, to help protect the organisation for the longer term: both its staffing positions and financially.
Unfortunately, due to the school closures, we can’t predict when we will be able to return to full delivery of our programmes or how our model may have to adapt to different environments. For these reasons, it is important that we take the Government support while it is available. This will save the charity nearly £20,000 over the six weeks the staff are furloughed.
Should schools return before the end of this period and we are able to begin tutoring, Action Tutoring will bring back the required staff members immediately so that there is no disruption to operations. As only a third of the workforce will be off over each period, the charity will be able to heavily focus its remaining staff on preparing to deliver again, both in person and online.
For any questions relating to our delivery during the crisis, please visit our COVID-19 FAQ page.