News & Insights 15 March 2021

Action Tutoring’s response to Covid crisis

Following the Government’s announcement that schools would reopen on 8th March 2021, Action Tutoring made the decision to resume in school tutoring from this date.

From 8th March onwards, Action Tutoring resumed face-to-face tutoring sessions in schools, with social distancing in place. We continued to offer online programmes alongside these in-person sessions.

For many families, this news may have brought anxiety as well as relief, but we know school is the best place to be for the young people we support.

The Government announced that from 9th April, everyone in England would be able to access free, regular, rapid coronavirus testing. We’re pleased that all of our volunteers who are supporting in schools can access these tests to help protect themselves, teachers and pupils. For more information about rapid testing, please see the latest government guidance.

Our tutoring is 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.

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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 2020.

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.

When the government announced school closures once more in January 2020, 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.

During this time, we we were officially approved by the National Tutoring Programme to deliver tutoring to pupils at home. As a result, we began delivering online tutoring sessions for pupils based at home, by switching as many online and in person programmes as possible to home-based delivery.

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 and was able to continue with home-based programmes. 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.