Action Tutoring News

Action Tutoring’s 10th anniversary!

12 May 2022

On Monday, we marked ten years since Action Tutoring registered as a charity, with a celebration last night at a wonderful event in parliament kindly hosted by Alex Norris MP and with a guest keynote message from the Children’s Commissioner, Dame Rachel de Souza.

So much in the sector has changed in the last decade. Ten years ago, tutoring was very much a private industry, with limited access to it for those without the means. We were established to address that. But a decade on, tutoring has become significantly more mainstream, thanks both to charity efforts and of course the arrival of the National Tutoring Programme (NTP). The NTP has certainly been an amazing opportunity for Action Tutoring to grow.

However, one thing I’ve consistently said since its introduction is that Action Tutoring was here long before its arrival, and we intend to be here as long as it takes the attainment gap is closed — that’s at the heart of the work we do. The NTP is an incredible opportunity to roll out the benefits of tutoring, which we have known about for years, on a significantly larger scale. Our long-term hope is that it can become embedded as a lasting feature of the education system.

10 year anniversary celebration event

Thinking back to those very early days of Action Tutoring, two seminal moments stand out. The first was a focus group with a group of enthusiastic teachers and potential volunteers crammed into my flat. This group, dreamed it had to be possible to level the playing field when it came to tutoring. We soon concluded that this idea to be successful, partnerships with schools had to be its heart.

That remains true to this day. The second moment was a few months on, during the very first ever tutoring session at a school in Peckham. It was on a Saturday morning and there were many nerves as to whether the pupils — and indeed tutors — would turn up. But they did. Once they were all settled, the Link Teacher and I looked at each other and just said, “Wow – This is actually working!

Their positive feedback afterwards convinced me of the imperative to replicate what was going on at a scale across the country.

And that’s exactly what we’ve done: by the end of this year we’ll have supported 26,000 pupils with the support of over 9,000 committed volunteer tutors from a fascinating range of backgrounds, with eight main areas of operation across the country.

Using high-quality volunteer tutors has always been central to our approach. We attract tutors from all manner of backgrounds, many of whom would have no interest in tutoring for financial reasons. They have so much to give and with the right structure and support, provided on our programmes, the quality of the interactions they provide is outstanding. Pupils are often amazed when they hear that our tutors volunteer for love. It empowers empowers them to think that people want to give up their time to help them succeed, as well as build social connections.

As one of our Link Teachers put it, “And all of your tutors volunteers? I think this is just the greatest act of kindness!” Pupils often reference the kindness of their tutors and how helpful they are, both key attributes that help to boost their confidence and in turn, their grades. One of our Year 6 pupils in London summed this up perfectly, “My tutor is very kind and she always helps me out. Whenever we get stuck on a question she will always be able to help us out. Tutoring really gives you a boost at school. You feel more confident.”

Whilst our ten-year milestone is certainly a moment for celebration there is much more to be done. We won’t be satisfied until we see a significant shift in the attainment gap, which sadly has only been further exacerbated by the pandemic. We know it doesn’t have to be this way — our own evidence and data tell us that — but there are many more young people to reach before we can to close it.

10 year anniversary celebration event

So what next for Action Tutoring?

We’re an aspirational organisation and we have four main priorities for the coming years that remain our goals, whatever the NTP may bring:

  1. Reach – We’ve demonstrated through our online programme and through pilots this year in new locations that it should be possible to deliver Action Tutoring in almost any school in the country. We want to significantly expand the number of schools we’re working with on this model outside of our current eight regions, to ensure we’re reaching young people that really need our support where programmes like ours are less available.
  2. Growth – Achieving a model that can deliver much more widely geographically gives us a springboard for further growth. We aim to be supporting 12,000 pupils a year in five years’ time.
  3. Impact – Being evidence based is one of our values. We want to keep building our evidence base of impact, especially for our online model and as we expand to new areas, so that we’re continually reflecting on what’s working and what could be better, learning and improving.
  4. Advocacy – We want to use our voice and experiences to ensure that the National Tutoring Programme leaves a lasting legacy and that tutoring for pupils facing disadvantage is permanently embedded in the education system to narrow the attainment gap.

To achieve all of this, collaboration – another core value – will be critical to success, with sectors partners, funders, schools and tutors and our wider network. We look forward to working with all of you over the coming years to achieve these aims, working together to ensure that no child’s future is limited by their background.

Now is the perfect time to get involved as we expand our reach!

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Action Tutoring 2020-21 Impact Report

28 April 2022

We are excited to share our annual impact report, which celebrates the commitment of our amazing volunteers and the hard work of our partner schools!

2020-2021 has been a record breaking year for Action Tutoring; it more than doubled in size due to the ongoing pandemic. There was a 150% increase in tutors volunteering and 160% increase in pupils supported.

Action Tutoring is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2022.  Since it was officially registered as a charity in 2012, Action Tutoring has supported over 19,000 pupils with the help of over 9,000 volunteer tutors. 

We owe a huge thank you to everyone who has supported us on our journey so far!

2020-2021 Impact Report 

Our new impact report is both a reflection and a celebration. It is a reflection of the significant impact the pandemic has had on education, and the even greater challenges this has posed for disadvantaged pupils trying to reach their full academic potential.  

But it is also a celebration of Action Tutoring’s 10 years of impact, recognising the achievements and evolution of delivery, and positioning itself for another decade of making a difference. 

We are hugely proud of our impact and the programmes we have offered to our partner schools. Since we are always looking to expand our reach and help even more pupils, being evidence-based, one of our core values, is essential to us.  Relying on data collection from schools, as well as our own baseline tests and interim assessments, ensures our support makes a real difference. 

We are extremely proud to have partnered with 156 schools across the UK and deliver over 61,700 hours of tutoring by 2,749 committed volunteers who joined our cause and made this all possible. 

Last year GCSE results were decided by teachers (teacher-assessed grades). Of those Action Tutoring pupils eligible for the Pupil Premium and who attended at least eight tutoring sessions in their subject, 81% achieved grade 4 or above in English and 80% achieved grade 4 or above in maths

These pupils out-performed the national GCSE results for disadvantaged pupils (nationally 67% of disadvantaged pupils achieved a grade 4 or above in English and 62% for maths in 2020-21).

Read more: GCSE results 2021 – what does our data show about the academic performance of pupils?

School closures are likely to have reversed progress made to narrow the academic attainment gap in the last decade. 

A recent EPI report found the disadvantage gap at GCSE is significant, and outcomes for the very poorest pupils in long-term poverty have failed to improve after a decade. That’s why our support and expertise in tutoring has never been more necessary;  providing quality education to children from disadvantaged backgrounds will continue to be at the heart of everything we do.

The 2020-2021 Action Tutoring report recognises there is still a long way to go until education is a level playing field, but tutoring provides a tangible solution and has successfully proved that it can make a real difference in the lives of disadvantaged young people.

How you can help 

Tackling education inequality, and social mobility, is only attainable through collective action. We need your help to ensure vulnerable pupils are given the opportunity to succeed. 

The commitment we ask of our volunteers is one hour each week to tutor with us. If that is not possible, there are other ways to help our cause! For example, spread the word; you never know if your friends or family members would be interested in tutoring.

You can also support our organisation by donating. Every donation that we receive helps us to reach even more young people and have a positive impact on their education and their futures.

Follow us on our social media pages and stay up to date with the latest Action Tutoring news!

Action Tutoring Initial Training for volunteer tutors: what does it include?

26 April 2022

Action Tutoring’s goal is to make sure all our volunteers feel supported and receive the information and guidance they need in order to deliver high-quality tuition to children who need it. 

Our education charity always strives to be transparent about the way we work and clear about our vision and mission. That’s why our Training and Curriculum team work relentlessly to ensure our volunteer tutors receive the training they need before their first session. 

What does the Initial Training with Action Tutoring include?

Getting to know Action Tutoring 

The first part of the training session is all about who we are, what we do and why we exist. This is a great way for our volunteers to better understand our mission and the impact of our work. 

Not everyone is familiar with education inequality issues in the UK and the importance of free tuition in closing the attainment gap, so we feel this introduction makes our mission clearer to our volunteers. An understanding of the educational landscape in the UK will allow them to better communicate our cause to their friends and family and spread the word. 

Understanding our resources and further training opportunities 

Our volunteers don’t have to prepare learning activities for the tutoring sessions; our team has designed workbooks and resources, tailored to the national curriculum, for volunteers to use. 

Following Initial Tutor Training, all tutors will get access to Looop, our training platform for tutors, within a week of attending Initial Tutor Training. There, they will be invited to complete ‘Compulsory Training for Online Tutors’ before the first session. 

What is Looop? It is basically our online library where tutors can access our workbooks and pre-programme packs. There, tutors can also book onto ‘Introduction to Vedamo’ webinars, as well as complete optional bitesize training sessions called Bright Ideas to upskill as a tutor.

Read more: How tutors can support pupils with dyslexia

DBS check 

The initial training with Action Tutoring also involves checking the DBS documentation of tutors. Since our charity works with vulnerable young people and children, an enhanced DBS (criminal record) check is required.

During the training, everyone is asked to have three documents ready for verification, or an existing DBS certificate, as well as a photo ID. Documents the government accepts for the DBS check are outlined clearly in an email before the training session.

Our expectations 

Another important part of our training session is volunteers understanding what they can expect from us, and what we expect from our tutors. To maintain high standards and to ensure quality tuition, the Action Tutoring team routinely perform “spot check” observations in order to support our volunteers with any guidance they need to improve their sessions.

Safeguarding

The last part of the training involves getting familiar with safeguarding issues, which is all about protecting the safety of our pupils and preventing and responding accordingly. 

When we discuss cases of abuse, we usually mention physical abuse, such as hitting or kicking, the most. What many don’t realise is that there are various types of abuse that people who work closely with children need to be aware of. You might be surprised to learn that online forms of abuse such as online grooming and cyberbullying are just as important and relevant as physical abuse.

Throughout this part, there will be interactive activities for our volunteers to better absorb the information and put their existing knowledge into practice.

Lastly, keep in mind that our amazing Programme Coordinators are always here to support our tutors in case they need further support during the sessions. Our volunteers have the opportunity to continue learning with us and further developing their skills until their last tutoring session. 

Are you ready to join our volunteer team? We’d love to hear from you!

Stay up to date with our latest news and support our cause by following us on social media. This will help us create an even bigger online community and spread the word!

We are excited to share our new mission statement!

19 April 2022

As an education charity, our goal has always been to remain transparent, straightforward and clear about our mission and values to our amazing volunteers, funders and partner schools. That’s why we are excited to finally share our new mission statement with you.

Our new mission statement: 

Action Tutoring unlocks the potential of children and young people who are facing disadvantage. We are tackling the attainment gap head-on by forging partnerships with schools nationwide. Our trained volunteer tutors are empowered to enable pupils to make meaningful academic progress, opening doors to future opportunities.

Having a  meaningful impact on the lives of disadvantaged pupils requires us to always evaluate our work and reflect on our values. Putting our mission into words allows our charity to have a clear and well-focused vision for our future strategy.

We hope our new mission statement resonates with all of you who have supported us by giving your time to volunteer, donating or simply by spreading the word about our cause. We also hope it inspires new volunteers to join our cause and help us expand our reach.

Our vision as a charity is a world in which no child’s life chances are limited by their socio-economic background.

What has changed?

Geography 

Since the creation of our first mission statement we have expanded to a number of new areas across the country and will continue to do so over the years.  We included ‘nationwide’ to highlight this.

Highlighting our core focus

We specifically reference the attainment gap as this is the core focus of our delivery and also our advocacy work.

Robust training

We have developed a robust training and development model for our volunteers and we wanted to emphasise this and their crucial role in our work.

Inclusive and accessible communication 

Lastly, Action Tutoring is proud to be an inclusive, equal opportunities organisation. That’s why we refreshed the language used to be warmer and more accessible.

We also realise that while mission statements can be powerful,  they need collective action to make a real difference. Our team is dedicated to our cause and works hard to attract the very best volunteers from the most diverse and widest possible talent pool. 

Action Tutoring values 

As an education charity, having high standards is our priority. We always strive to maintain professional standards through all of our interactions with partner schools and volunteer tutors and aim to achieve excellence in all we do. 

Being reflective is also part of our work culture; we regularly survey pupils, teachers and tutors to help inform improvements to the programme. We are hugely proud of our impact and the programme we offer but are always looking to make it even better. 

We do so by being evidence-based and rely on data collection from schools, as well as our own baseline tests and interim assessments, to ensure our support is having an impact.

Since integrity is a core value of our organisation, we always share all pupil progress data with partner schools, even if the outcomes aren’t as hoped, and make our evaluation reports widely available.

In addition, we work hard to develop our training and resources to support our pupils, tutors and staff to be the best they can be. Being aspirational allows us to aim higher and offer further support to those who need it the most.

Lastly, partnerships with schools are at the heart of our model. We also regularly engage with our peer charities and organisations such as Teach First, Impetus and the Fair Education Alliance, to maintain a united force on tackling education inequality. Effective communication and a strong sense of collaboration has enabled us to gain our supporters’ trust and work closely with our partner schools. 

Do you want to learn more about Action Tutoring? Read our story here.

We’re committed to ensuring more and more pupils can receive the education they deserve. We thank you all for your continuous support and hard work.

Action Tutoring is proud to receive the Rising Leader 2022 Headspace Award!

4 April 2022

Action Tutoring is happy to announce we have won the Rising Leader award in the 2022 “Headspace for Work” Mindful Workplace Awards!

Headspace, a mindfulness app, makes mediation easy and accessible for everyone through guided audio messages that aim to simplify the concept of meditating. With access to hundreds of exercises on everything from stress to sleep to focus and anxiety, it provides easy to use tools that can be used anywhere.

At Action Tutoring we have created a safe and inclusive working place where our team members are not only encouraged to progress and evolve professionally, but are also supported through any mental health-related challenges that may occur.

Action Tutoring defines success as cultivating a workplace where staff feel able to talk freely about mental wellbeing. We do this by having a mental health and wellbeing working group, which consists of 10% of our employees. They are all trained as Mental Health First Aiders (MFHAs), and offer one-to-one check-ins for any staff who wish to discuss their mental wellbeing. Through this we can prioritise emotional wellbeing and provide the necessary support to those who are struggling.

We began developing our wellbeing program in 2018. It was already well established by the time the pandemic began in March 2020, which as we all know, negatively impacted everyone in different ways. Our charity remained very conscious of the challenges our team was facing, such as anxiety, loneliness from working from home, screen fatigue, grief or sickness.

Adding Headspace for business to our organisation has helped us address mental health issues and support us in breaking the stigma. Our most recent wellbeing survey showed that 81% of staff agree or strongly agree with the statement ‘‘I feel confident talking to my manager about my mental wellbeing.’’

Headspace has not only contributed to supporting those with mental health challenges in our organisation, but also encourages a workplace culture of collaboration, compassion, and gratitude.

We are extremely proud of the award and recognition we have received as a charity, and mental wellbeing will continue to lie at the heart of what we do.

A warm welcome to our new Trustees!

15 March 2022

We are delighted to welcome our two wonderful new Trustees to our Board, Mark Shadrack and Andy Ratcliffe. 

They intrinsically understand the importance of quality education for all pupils, no matter their socioeconomic background, and bring a range of experience and knowledge that will shape our future strategy and help us reduce the attainment gap. 

Trustees play an important role as they build on our commitment to tackle education inequality and support us to provide further academic support to disadvantaged young people. They help to set our strategy and ensure that our activities and objectives are in accordance with our vision, and ensure we deliver on our mission. 

Trustees also support us to ensure that our charity’s resources are managed responsibly. This includes contributing to ensuring that our assets, reputation and people are adequately protected.

‘’Action Tutoring has many exciting and ambitious goals for the next 3-5 years and I’m really excited that Mark and Andy will be a key part of helping us achieve those ambitions, each bringing so many valuable skills and experiences to our team, as well as very importantly a heartfelt passion for the work that we do.’’

Susannah Hardyman, Action Tutoring CEO

Their contributions make a huge difference to the way we work and the impact we have.

A little bit more about Mark and Andy

Mark has extensive experience in finance, governance, and operations across the commercial and charity sectors. Since 2020 he has worked as Chief Operating Officer for the international charity Hope and Homes for Children, having previously been a trustee of the organisation. 

Prior to this, Mark enjoyed an international career in finance at Unilever which included leadership roles spanning operations, strategy, and change management.

‘’In my full-time work at Hope and Homes for Children, we believe that every child deserves to grow up with the love and support of a family. In turn, I am inspired by Action Tutoring’s vision of a world where no child’s life chances are limited by their socio-economic background.  So I am thrilled to join the organisation as a trustee, and I am looking forward to working with my fellow Board members and the Senior Management team in the next exciting phase of our development. I’m also hoping to try my hand at tutoring!’’

Mark Shadrack

Andy is currently Executive Director of Impact Urban Health. He has spent his career working on how poverty and deprivation affect people’s chances in life in the UK and abroad. He started out as a poverty researcher at Oxford University before moving into government including time as a senior education adviser in the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit.

Previously Andy was the CEO at Impetus, a venture philanthropy charity focused on social mobility, which was how he first came across our work.

“High quality tutoring can make a massive difference but children whose families can’t afford to pay for a tutor are missing out. That’s why I’m so proud to join the Board of Action Tutoring to support our incredible team to get the best tutoring to more children from disadvantaged backgrounds across the country” 

Andy Ratcliffe

Want to know who else is on our board? Take a look here.

Achievement in the face of adversity – celebrating GCSE results!

2 February 2022

At Action Tutoring we are proud to work with inspirational volunteer tutors, who support disadvantaged children in English and maths. With their help, we work towards our mission to narrow the attainment gap between pupils from low-income families and their peers. 

Education equality is at the heart of our mission, and the achievements of our pupils last year clearly highlight the value of tutoring in supporting this.

GCSE results 2021 – what does our data show about the academic performance of pupils?

Preparing for GCSEs provides pupils with a solid foundation in a variety of subjects. They serve as an educational stepping stone, giving pupils the opportunity to unlock access to higher education.

Pupils who attended at least eight sessions with an Action Tutoring volunteer in 2020/21 out-performed the national GCSE results for disadvantaged pupils.

Thanks to the hard work, resilience and commitment of our incredible school teachers and the continuous support of our volunteers, we are proud to say that 81% of our pupils achieved grade 4 or above in English and 80% grade 4 or above in maths!

These percentages were calculated using the GCSE results we received from 30 out of 49 of our partner secondary schools. This is a lower response rate relative to previous years and so whilst being very positive, these results may not be fully reflective of the overall picture.

Action Tutoring was able to continue supporting thousands of pupils last year, by converting to home-based tutoring when school closures were suddenly announced in January 2021. Online learning has been a valuable tool, allowing us to offer personalised and tailored support during the most challenging times.

Due to Covid-19, GCSE exams were cancelled in 2020 and 2021 and replaced by centre-assessed grades (CAG) and teacher-assessed grades (TAG) respectively. The different methods of awarding grades means they are not comparable with previous years; however a higher proportion of pupils earned grades 4 and above in each year relative to 2019.

Results for Action Tutoring’s pupils follow this UK-wide pattern: before the pandemic, around 50-55% of disadvantaged pupils passed GCSEs whereas in 2020/21, more than 65% did. From the results we have from the pupils supported by Action Tutoring, the proportion is similarly much higher than in previous years.

These results reinforce the idea that tutoring programmes lead to increased academic performance, and we see on the ground that it improves self- confidence and motivation for learning. This achievement wouldn’t be possible without the hard work of our dedicated Programme Coordinators, who ensure that all of our tutoring sessions are well-structured and run smoothly.

We believe good grades have the potential to open doors and provide lifelong opportunities. A grade 4 in English and maths at GCSE is essential to pupils continuing their education, or going on to future employment or training. GCSEs not only assess the academic ability of pupils, but also offer them transferable and significant life skills for their future.

As Action Tutoring CEO Susannah Hardyman says:

It’s precisely because grades open doors that GCSE results matter so much.

Read more: How Ofqual’s exam grading system reproduced the long-standing disadvantage that Action Tutoring exists to tackle

How can you help?

This year’s pupils sitting their GCSEs will still be affected by the disruption of school closures. Your help is vital so we can continue to deliver sustainable and effective support to young people who need it.

Could you volunteer for an hour each week and join our volunteering community? Your contribution is more important than ever.

Do you know someone who can volunteer with us? Spread the word by sharing our blog on social media!

How Action Tutoring helps volunteers with their careers

17 January 2022

Volunteering with Action Tutoring is an excellent way to contribute in narrowing the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers. But that’s not all! Joining our community of inspiring and passionate tutors is incredibly beneficial for our volunteers’ professional development, too.

By sharing your time, you are not only making a meaningful impact on disadvantaged pupils’ lives, but you are also gaining valuable experience and exploring more career opportunities.

How exactly does Action Tutoring help volunteers with their careers?

It is a great place to expand your networking 

Being a part of a volunteering community is an excellent opportunity for professional networking. You will encounter like-minded individuals who support your professional interests and who may be able to assist or guide you in your career. 

They could even end up being your future colleagues, or life- long friends; after all, you selected the same cause to volunteer for! Volunteering can also make social interactions much easier for those who may feel uneasy in social situations.

Charlie White, our amazing Communications and Policy Manager, was a volunteer tutor with Action Tutoring before she decided to join the team. Because of this, she understood what the charity was about, and was increasingly interested in its work.

Charlie subscribed to receive newsletters and job alerts. Upon seeing the communications role she knew she would apply, since she loves writing, design and problem-solving, and knows that great communication is a powerful change-maker.

Volunteering is a low-risk way to explore professional options and discover a new career path. Beyond its community-enriching benefits, it’s an excellent to gain hands-on experience in a field you are interested in, without the long-term commitment.

That’s what Phyllida Jacobs, our incredible Communications Administrator, did when she started to think about teaching as a career option. Volunteering with Action Tutoring, and seeing her pupils’ increased excitement around English, reaffirmed her enthusiasm for getting young people reading and writing.

It increases self-awareness and builds new skills

Charlie mentions how Action Tutoring’s commitment to its organisational values means that everyone is encouraged to stop and reflect.

Specifically, when asked how Action Tutoring helps volunteers become more self-aware, Charlie said that she’s had opportunities to expand her skillset and stretch herself.

Working with welcoming and open-minded people means you feel safe to make suggestions and take a punt on ideas. Our commitment to our organisational values means we’re all encouraged to stop and reflect. This has helped me learn more about what I enjoy and what I’m really good at.

Charlie

When Phyllida started tutoring, she was struck by how organised and friendly everyone was. She was initially quite nervous, having never worked with young people before, but felt reassured by having a Programme Coordinator and a structured workbook to support her.

Action Tutoring provides a friendly and supportive environment, enabling genuine, engaging conversations with people who share similar interests. This is what our lovely volunteer Emma has to say about her experience:

Our fantastic Programme Coordinator in London, Maisie Alderson, started volunteering one hour of her time per week whilst working.

The initial tutor training provided her with an understanding of the organisation, its mission and how it runs. This sparked Maisie’s interest in working in the charity sector.

An opportunity to work on your resume and interview skills

Lastly, the process of looking for a volunteer position and sending an application is very similar to applying for a paid position.

Our volunteers complete an application form to demonstrate their qualifications and previous experience, and apply for an enhanced background check. In going through this process, Charlie could tell that Action Tutoring took quality and commitment seriously, and remembers wondering if she’d get the role.

Volunteering was incredibly rewarding for Phyllida, since the experience helped to secure her first job after university; at the children’s book publisher Tiny Owl. Volunteering is a great way to gain experience and confidence to support students through the tricky transition from university to the working world.

Action Tutoring totally changed Maisie’s mindset, and her career path. As a Programme Coordinator, she feels she is now doing meaningful work that will lead to positive change, and make a real difference in closing the attainment gap.

Identifying our skills, achievements, hobbies, and principles is the foundation of a successful career, as it leads to self-awareness. Tutoring requires volunteers to be patient, empathetic and caring. Do you want to build on these qualities? Volunteering can be a great way to develop and put your skills to the test.

Read more: One of Action Tutoring’s first ever volunteer tutors tells us how this experience helped prompt a career change to becoming a teacher.

Back to school – Join our online or in person tutoring programmes!

10 January 2022

Our online tutoring and face to face programmes are operating as normal this term. If you want to become a tutor, you can join our incredible volunteers and help disadvantaged pupils receive the academic support they need in English and maths.

Action Tutoring gives tutors the opportunity to volunteer in schools and meet pupils in person. For those who wish to join our mission but find it difficult due to busy schedules, we offer online tutoring. It’s a great alternative to get involved and make a difference to pupils’ lives.

Online tutoring is the perfect choice if you’re not located near one of our schools or or are limiting your social contact due to the pandemic. Have a watch of our video to hear more about the benefits of volunteering with us:

Your support is needed more than ever. The school closures during lockdown significantly affected pupils from low-income families, increasing the academic attainment gap and, pushing them further behind their classmates.

That’s why we accelerated the development of our online tutoring provision so we could continue supporting pupils who needed our help and reach even more. We wouldn’t be able to achieve this without our inspiring volunteers and collaborative school partners.

All our volunteers receive mandatory induction training, complete the necessary safeguarding checks and receive additional resources and ongoing support from the team to help them develop as tutors.

If you are a primary or secondary school in England, why not consider partnering with us to provide additional support for your disadvantaged pupils and help them succeed.

Read more: How Action Tutoring’s partner schools benefit from our volunteers?

Online tuition provides additional targeted support to the pupils who need it the most.

How does online tutoring work?

Online tutoring can be a valuable resource for young people who need additional support, to help them achieve better results in school. It enabled us to increase our impact and reach more pupils across the country.

With the right tools, online learning can be both engaging and interactive. That’s why we use VEDAMO virtual classroom, a safe digital platform, to deliver online tuition. We can host live tutoring sessions, regardless of the location, create captivating learning experiences and easily manage the tutoring sessions and content.

Our Programme Coordinators are always on hand to make sure everything runs smoothly in our online and in person programmes.

What are the benefits of online tutoring?

In our technology-rich 21st century, strong literacy and numeracy skills are necessary for pupils to be successful later in life. The foundations of these skills are laid early on and tutoring can contribute towards raising confident individuals who go on to actively contribute economically and socially to society as adults.

Location is no longer a barrier to involvement online tutoring. We can now recruit volunteer tutors from across the country and support children so that they can reach their full potential.

We want to make sure we provide the academic support disadvantaged pupils need by working with motivated volunteers and offering a safe learning space for young people. The power of technology can be valuable in helping us close the education gap.

Spotlight on Bristol: Action Tutoring’s third biggest region

22 October 2021

Continuing our spotlight series on Action Tutoring cities, we come to the brilliant Bristol. We partnered with our first school in Bristol in 2014 and volunteers from across the city have been joining us ever since to support our mission to help disadvantaged pupils in the city to succeed.


Action Tutoring supports schools right across this hilly city, from Oldland Common to Stoke Gifford. This term we are partnering with nine primary schools and six secondary schools delivering twenty-six tutoring programmes. It will come as no surprise that it is our third largest city in terms of programme delivery.

Fun fact about Bristol: Ribena was invented just outside Bristol. The popular blackcurrant soft drink gained popularity during the Second World War as an alternative source of Vitamin C.

With lots of programmes to deliver, we need plenty of budding volunteers to get involved. We are very fortunate that we partner with several businesses in the city, including DAC Beachcroft and Arup, whose employees volunteer with us. All of our volunteers have a positive impact on the education of disadvantaged pupils across the UK’s first cycling city.

Why volunteer with us?

We’re not standing still. We need more volunteers to ensure we can reach as many pupils as possible this year. There are many benefits to volunteering with Action Tutoring, from gaining professional experience and making your CV stand out to meeting other like-minded volunteers who share the same values as you.

Nimantha is just one of our many volunteers in Bristol who tutored with us last academic year and has joined us again this year. As a university student, he can easily fit his tutoring sessions around his studies. As well as learning new skills, Nimantha is making a real difference to people’s lives:

I would highly recommend tutoring because you’re making a real difference to people’s lives by helping them reach their aspirations. Whatever level you tutor at, the pupils will be extremely grateful to you for devoting some of your time to pass on your knowledge.

Nimantha, Action Tutoring volunteer tutor, Bristol

If you live in this great city and would like to volunteer, our fantastic team in Bristol consists of Gemma, Alice, Lilah, Matt and Chloe. They will support you every step of the way and ensure that you have the best volunteering experience.

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