News & Insights 23 December 2022

Conversations with friends: breaking down barriers to volunteering

Over the festive period, many of us will be catching up with friends and family members. Ever thought that uncle, cousin or great-aunt would make a great volunteer tutor? This is the perfect opportunity to chat to them about getting involved! Read on for our top tips around breaking down barriers to volunteering.

We know that there are plenty of people out there who care about tackling the attainment gap, and would love to support young people to reach their potential. But, many of those people will have reservations about not volunteering. Lack of time, confidence with technology or experience working with children are all common barriers we come across. Our No Barriers campaign aims to tackle those barriers and misconceptions about volunteering as a tutor. 

The best way to respond concerns in your network is by talking about your own experience volunteering – and sharing your highlights! To help you navigate these conversations this holiday season, we’ve shared a few common barriers to volunteering as a tutor. Below each one, you’ll find assurances you can provide.

  1. “I don’t have time to volunteer…”

The time commitment is just one hour a week. 35% of our current volunteers work full-time; our 8am sessions are perfect for fitting in volunteering before work or around your studies. And, our tutor workbooks contain session plans, so there’s minimal preparation time involved!

  1. “I haven’t worked with children before…”

You don’t need experience working with children, or any teaching experience, to be a volunteer tutor.

We value that our volunteers come from a diverse range of occupations and may not have worked with children before. You’ll be supported every step of the way, with training, resources and in-session support from your Programme Coordinator.

  1. “I don’t have the right qualifications…”

We look for volunteers with a B grade or above at A-level in either maths or English, or a related subject, and a degree in any subject (or working towards a degree). If you didn’t study A-levels, or go to university, we consider all equivalent qualifications and experience. We’d still love to read your application!

  1. “I’m not familiar with the current curriculum, so how can I tutor it?”

You don’t need to be. Our maths and English tutor workbooks are carefully tailored to the national curriculum and contain all of the methods and approaches you need to know. We work closely with our partner schools to ensure the content of our workbooks mirrors pupils’ classroom learning.

  1. “How will I know if I’m making a difference?”

We will keep you updated on your pupils’ progress! We run assessments before and midway through the tutoring programme to assess progress. We also endeavour to capture all final exam results for our pupils.

Action Tutoring’s No Barriers campaign will launch on our social media channels on 26th December. Over the 12 days of Christmas, we’ll be tackling 12 barriers to volunteering – showing how simple it is to get involved, and how well-supported and structured the programmes are.

Our tutoring programmes resume in the new year. With the attainment gap at its widest in ten years and schools struggling because of the cost of living crisis, more and more pupils are in need of our support. To meet the demand, we need more volunteer tutors to join our mission.

Please support us to reach more potential volunteers by liking and sharing our posts on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn, or sending them directly to friends, family and colleagues.