Calling all teachers: help shape our future strategy

8 November 2021

As part of shaping our future strategy, we are keen to understand more from teachers across the country about your views on tutoring and engagement with the National Tutoring Programme.  You don’t need to have worked with Action Tutoring to complete the survey – we’re keen to hear from as many schools as possible.

We would be very grateful if you could take 5-10 minutes to complete our survey, to help ensure our offer and service stays as relevant and beneficial to you and your pupils as possible.  Please do share with any other teachers you know.

As a thank you for taking part, we’ll enter you into a prize draw to win a hamper of goodies for your staff room! Simply add your email address on the last section of the form to be entered.

Sharing our 2018-19 Impact Report – why we’re determined to weather this storm

1 May 2020

We are thrilled to now be able to share our 2018-19 Impact Report. The situation is not what we were anticipating it would be for this release, but we still hope you enjoy reading through the publication and reflecting on our work.  

A big thank you to all of our wonderful volunteers, funders, partners and supporters for the part you have played in contributing to this success.  

We are humbled to share some positivity at this time. Reflecting on the report has made us even more determined to weather the crisis and ensure we are able to continue delivering impactful academic support to the pupils who will so desperately need it.  With your help we can. 

This pandemic will hit disadvantaged young people incredibly hard. This report shows how relevant and necessary Action Tutoring is in helping them get back to where they should be.

We are particularly proud of our outcomes last year when:

  • Of the primary school pupils we 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 of our 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. 

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

We have also recently completed a wonderful new short film, hearing from a few of our amazing tutors at a session last autumn, which we wanted to share here.  We hope you enjoy it!

We know the impact the school closures will have on our pupils is significant. These are pupils who are already struggling academically and the absence of education, and any other means of support, will simply leave them further behind. It is highly likely the attainment gap will widen further as a result of school closures.  

For these reasons it’s imperative that we, as a charity, can survive and continue supporting disadvantaged young people.

We are working hard to develop our online delivery and aim to have a small-scale pilot in place in the summer term. That way, we can be ready to roll out more widely in September. 

How you can help

Spread the word – we’re always looking for more volunteers to support our work and new schools to partner with. Please share our film and our social media posts, to encourage anyone you know who’s interested to apply to join us as a volunteer or email us to discuss partnering as a school.  

Fundraise or donate, either individually or as a team, to help us raise vital funds which will support our delivery and help us recover from the financial loss resulting from the crisis. Thank you for making a difference.

Sign up to our termly newsletter, if you haven’t already subscribed, to receive all the latest news from our charity. 

We’re looking forward to working with you all as soon as it is safe for us to do so. 


Why volunteer?

8 November 2019

In the fast-paced world we live in, we are constantly moving from one thing to the next.  It can be hard to find a minute to ourselves, let alone a minute to give to someone else. So why would you give up some of your precious time to volunteer?  What are the benefits?

At Action Tutoring we have over 1,100 incredible volunteers who give their time for us every year.  Their support directly impacts the lives of around 2,500 pupils a year, to ensure they can progress in life.  We simply could not function without them. To us the benefits are clear – our volunteers give our young people a future.

But we know your time is precious and we know even with the wider benefits to society it can be hard to make time to give back.  Sometimes we have to be a bit selfish, and so I think it’s important to reflect on how volunteering benefits the giver…

It gives you the chance to meet people you wouldn’t have otherwise met

Any volunteering activity will take you outside of your normal social circles, offering you the chance to interact and learn from other people in your community.  At Action Tutoring we’re proud to have a diverse range of volunteers supporting us, from 18 to 80 years. One of those, Abigail, is a university student who was new to London when she joined us,

“I have met lots of different, interesting people (tutors and pupils) and been to lots of different places in London that I wouldn’t have otherwise seen.”

It helps you to use existing skills you might have or learn and develop new skills

Depending on the activity there may be new skills you can learn or for softer skills, such as confidence or teamworking, volunteering often helps you to develop and refine these.  As Chris, a HMRC Tax Specialist, comments,

“In my daily life Action Tutoring has helped me too. I am so much more confident walking into a room of people I don’t know and holding meetings at work, where I have to lead.”

The ‘feel good factor’

Through volunteering you’ll often get so see the impact of your efforts first hand, which can be incredibly rewarding.  Through our tutoring activities, our volunteers often see this in the progression of the pupils they are supporting. Patsy, a retired statistician, comments: 

“I get a great sense of satisfaction from seeing my pupils understand something that they didn’t understand before; and succeeding in their exams. Achieving these qualifications is so crucial for them and whatever else I do during the week, I know I’m helping to make a difference.”

Positive impact on your mental health

Volunteering has also been acknowledged as causing improved mental health.  Giving your time to others helps to reduce isolation, reduces stress and helps to keep things in perspective.  The Mental Health Foundation looks into this more deeply here.

In 2017-18, over 20.1 million people volunteered through a group, club or organisation – so there are plenty of opportunities to choose from.  Whatever activity you choose, you can be sure the benefits will be great for you and for others. 

For more information about volunteering with Action Tutoring, check out our impact page here and our volunteering page here.   

Rt Hon Keir Starmer MP visits Action Tutoring programme

10 November 2017

Action Tutoring was thrilled to welcome Rt Hon Keir Starmer MP to see its work taking place at one of its partner schools, William Ellis School, last Friday, 3rd November.

At the visit Keir had the chance to meet a few of the Year 11 pupils the charity currently supports, in a maths session where they were busy working with a team of dedicated volunteer tutors. Each week around 16 pupils stay behind for an hour after school to receive this extra support, helping them to tackle any areas they are finding challenging and work through methods to prepare them for their crucial GCSE exams next year.

Action Tutoring specifically supports young people facing socio-economic disadvantage, who are at risk of not achieving a grade 4 (previously a grade C) in their final exams.  The majority of routes available to them upon leaving school will significantly decrease if they do not reach this standard.  Tutoring is an effective way to support pupils, particularly in subjects they are struggling with, but at an average cost of £30-40 an hour it is often out of reach to this group.  Action Tutoring works in partnerships with schools to deliver an impactful tutoring provision.

Action Tutoring now works with over 30 schools across London and one of its earliest partnerships was with William Ellis School, “We are delighted to have worked in close partnership with Action Tutoring for the last five years. The Action Tutoring team have played an important part in securing the success of pupils in their GCSEs through their individual tutoring sessions.  Pupils are committed to the programme and parents value it and are keen for their sons to take part.”

During the visit, Keir was able to chat with both the pupils and the volunteers to get an understanding of the impact the tutoring has had, “It’s been a real privilege to spend time with Action Tutoring and the Year 11 students at William Ellis School. One to one support makes a real difference to pupils and helps ensure they have the opportunity reach their full potential. However, it’s a service that isn’t available to everyone, so it’s great to see voluntary initiatives such as this giving pupils that extra helping hand.”

Action Tutoring empowers members of the local community to support these young people by training and developing them as volunteers.  Last year the charity worked with nearly 500 volunteers in London from all walks of life, including university students, coroporate employees and retired individuals – helping them to build and enhance their skills in the role. The charity is proud to deliver an activity that benefits both the pupils and the volunteers involved.

One of the inspirational local volunteer tutors at William Ellis reflected, “It is great to be a volunteer tutor at William Ellis and use my skills and experience to give them a boost with their GCSE maths.  And very satisfying to know that the four boys that I have worked with over the last two years all passed their maths GCSE.  Passing their GCSE maths means that they have more choices after Year 11.”

As a small but steadily growing charity, Action Tutoring is keen to showcase its work and spread the word about the importance of its efforts to level the playing field between disadvantaged pupils and their wealthier peers.

Jen Fox, interim CEO at the charity added, Mr. Starmer’s visit is a lovely opportunity to highlight the incredible volunteers and pupils we work with in Camden. The time and commitment these volunteer give to our local young people is admirable and we are privileged to be a charity that brings these two groups together to make education more fair in this country.”

Action Tutoring started in London in 2011 and now provides support in partnership with schools in seven cities and areas across the UK: Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool, London, Newcastle, Sheffield and Sussex. The charity needs to recruit as many volunteers as possible to ensure that these pupils can be supported.