Action Tutoring News

‘Thank You’ notes from pupils that warmed our hearts in spring term

26 April 2023

We can think of thousands of reasons why working with children brings us joy, purpose, and fulfilment. But what’s even more heart warming is when the children you support recognise your impact on their lives and share inspiring thank-you notes of appreciation. Thank you, tutors!

Despite the odd challenge of managing children during sessions, their boundless energy, honesty and humour keep us all going.

Watching pupils grow in subject knowledge and confidence is even more motivating for our volunteers who spend an hour each week to help them improve their English and maths skills.

With summer term just beginning, let’s throwback to some of the remarkable words and notes of gratitude some pupils shared with our volunteers and programme team in schools last term.

1. Being a child’s favourite grey-haired person is indeed a compliment!

2. Sometimes, playing is learning and learning is playing. Finding the best approach for every child is essential.

3. Appreciation in poetry

Aww! Now, who’s cutting onions?

4. Group high-5 for Brenda

5. World’s best!

6. The best tutor award goes to…

7. Is there anything like positive anger?

8. Tutoring goes beyond knowledge. Changes behaviours and attitudes too.

9. Levelling up

10. Certainly a good use of time!

Why we do what we do

These words of appreciation and witnessing a pupil grow from strength to strength are why we do what we do.

Why not join us and shape a child’s future by volunteering an hour a week to help them improve their academic performance in English or maths?

Changing the future of disadvantaged pupils in Chester & Westminster

3 March 2023

In a classroom at Blacon High School in Chester, Lillie listens attentively as her tutor reads the first practice activity in an English tutoring session. She asks questions for clarity on evaluating language and narrative throughout the session. 

Lillie is one of forty pupils in Years 10 and 11 in Blacon High receiving weekly tutoring support from Action Tutoring. Although her favourite subject is Graphics Production, passing the English GCSE is essential to furthering her education. Lillie believes the personalised academic assistance is making a real difference for her.

With the extra help, I feel more confident with my answers in class and when doing my homework. The fact that the tutoring sessions are one-on-one or in small groups means I get to ask my tutor any questions I have, without feeling embarrassed about getting it wrong in front of a whole class.

Lillie

Improve young lives

With a new grant from the Westminster Foundation to support the work of Action Tutoring over the next five years in Chester and Westminster, the education charity will expand tutoring access to more pupils in need of additional academic support. The partnership includes a grant of £500,000 to fund tutoring provision targeted at disadvantaged pupils in nine schools in both cities to help improve their subject knowledge, confidence, and outcomes.

Providing maths and English tutoring to pupils at risk of leaving school without basic qualifications is a priority, particularly following the disruption in education amid the Covid-19 pandemic and the widening attainment gap. I am delighted that with our grant Action Tutoring can continue to deliver this important support in Westminster and Chester to help improve the futures of so many young people.

Kate Brown, Westminster Foundation & Philanthropy Director

Positive impact

Rachel Hudson has been the headteacher of Blacon High School for four years. After observing the consistent improvement in the performance of pupils receiving tutoring support, she said pupils have gone on to take more ownership of their learning, even beyond just the core subjects.

“The tutoring sessions have helped students to achieve or exceed their target grades in maths and English. The tutors have built strong relationships with our students, are flexible in their approach to tutoring, and have shown a genuine understanding of the challenges they face with learning. Tutoring has had a positive impact on their confidence and performance across the board, enabling them to go into successful courses and pathways.”

Rachel Hudson
Pupils receive online tutoring in maths and English at Blacon High School

Change the trajectory

Since its establishment in 2012, Action Tutoring has supported over 26,000 primary and secondary school pupils across England with the help of over 11,500 volunteer tutors. The charity is on track to support at least a further 6,000 pupils this academic year, through in-person and online tutoring delivery.

The attainment gap alarmingly stands at its widest level in a decade which means more young people are leaving school without reaching expected standards. The odds are even worse for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. With this grant, we can positively change the trajectory for thousands of pupils in Chester and Westminster  by delivering tutoring support to unlock their potential and increase their life chances.

Susannah Hardyman, founder, and CEO of Action Tutoring

With disadvantaged people at risk of slipping through the net to become not in education, employment and training (NEET), the partnership will enable more disadvantaged pupils to receive the needed academic support to pass their SATs and GCSEs and to progress in further education, training, and employment.

Lillie’s dream career is to be an airline cabin crew member in the future and she thinks the consistent interactivity during her tutoring session is already steering her in the right direction by building her confidence level.

“My tutoring sessions have made me feel less anxious about talking to people I’ve never met before. This will definitely help when I have to speak to hundreds of new people every day.”

Lillie

Because of You campaign celebrates the impact of volunteer tutors on pupils

13 January 2023

Lyron’s dream of becoming a successful singer and actor in the future fuels his passion for singing in the church choir and exploring theatre. The primary six pupil at Comber Grove School in London previously struggled with understanding mathematical concepts. After receiving tutoring support from Action Tutoring and constant motivation from his mother to keep practising maths, Lyron is experiencing a positive turnaround.

I feel more confident in maths now, which means I can ace my SATs. My tutor is very good at helping me to improve in the subject

Lyron

Tutors have helped improve the academic outcomes and confidence of many young people. The impact tutors have on pupils goes beyond grades, with many mentoring and sharing advice with young people to build their resilience and confidence and to encourage them to think about their future career paths. Every child deserves the best possible start in life and a learning environment that enables them to fulfil their potential. Tutors support the work of teachers to give children a stronger educational foundation to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow.

Through the Because of You campaign, Action Tutoring celebrates the marked difference volunteer tutors make to pupils through their selfless and dedicated commitment. Volunteers are the bedrock of Action Tutoring’s work and play a valuable role in driving the education charity’s purpose and impact. With the bigger goal of helping to narrow the stark academic attainment gap, Action Tutoring optimises the power of its passionate volunteers to support disadvantaged young people across the country.

Pupils share testimonies of how tutors have impacted their lives in Because of You campaign video

The Because of You campaign comes hot on the heels of Action Tutoring receiving The Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Volunteering Award last month, which recognised the service and impact of its inspiring volunteer tutors on disadvantaged young people across England. The award celebrates the fantastic work of Action Tutoring’s volunteers to empower young people and provide them with skills and opportunities.

Action Tutoring delivers tutoring through the support of its diverse pool of volunteers who come from a variety of different backgrounds, including university students, full-time or part-time employees from different sectors of business, and retired professionals. Not only do volunteers help pupils achieve better grades, but they also serve as positive role models by creating a supportive environment for learning and mentoring pupils to thrive in school and beyond. Last year alone, our volunteer tutors delivered a staggering 30,855 tutoring sessions, in-person and online, to support 6,159 primary and secondary pupils facing disadvantage.

Over the last decade, Action Tutoring has been delivering academic support to disadvantaged young people through the dedication of our volunteer tutors and in partnership with schools. With the support of over 11,500 dedicated volunteer tutors, the charity has supported over 26,000 primary and secondary school pupils since 2012.

Action Tutoring has been working to help narrow the academic attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their better-off peers at both primary and secondary levels – which is at its widest for ten years.

In the current challenging environment of the rising cost of living, volunteers continue to support pupils with their knowledge and skills to get a better start in life. Lyon is grateful to his tutor and all others for dedicating their time and efforts to create a better future for disadvantaged young people.

Thank you very much for helping me all through these months. You’ve been helping me to try and improve my maths. I hope because of you, I will ace my SATS and do very well. Thank you.

Lyron

Become a volunteer tutor with Action Tutoring and help disadvantaged children improve their academic strength and build a better future. With just one hour a week, you can volunteer to tutor pupils in English or maths at primary or secondary level, online or in-person. No previous teaching experience is required and we will provide you with all the tutoring resources you need.

Conversations with friends: breaking down barriers to volunteering

23 December 2022

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. 

Inclusive communication at Action Tutoring: Why it matters

29 July 2022

Action Tutoring is proud to be an inclusive, equal opportunities organisation for its staff and volunteers. We’re always looking to attract the very best volunteers from the most diverse and widest possible talent pool.

We understand that language can break barriers, but without us realising, it can also create them. That’s why adopting inclusive language and communication is one of our top priorities. 

It is important that everyone feels comfortable and receives the information they need in the most effective way. What we mean by inclusive communication is sharing information in a way that everybody can understand.  

Why is inclusive communication important? 

It is estimated that one in seven people in the world have some form of disability, including vision impairment, being deaf or hard of hearing, physical and learning disabilities.

All these groups of people should be able to enjoy life opportunities and participate in different activities in the same way as anyone else.

Equal access for people with disabilities is both the right thing to do and a legal obligation under the Equalities Act 2010. It is extremely important to apply it in our work so we don’t exclude any potential tutors or job applicants.

Just as important as what we communicate is how we communicate it. We recognise that people understand and express themselves in different ways and in order to meet their needs, it is essential to use inclusive communication in all forms; written, verbally, on our website and social media platforms, presentations (internally or externally), and face to face.

This helps us create an environment of respect in which every individual is welcomed, valued, and empowered to be their authentic selves.

tutoring tips volunteer as a tutor

How do we make communication more accessible?

Our communications team understands the power that language and visuals hold. For this reason, they try different communication approaches so that no one is left behind. They encourage everyone in our organisation to respect and acknowledge that people’s ability to access and process messages is as varied as they are.

We all try to implement the following strategies in order to be as inclusive in our communication as possible.

✔️ We use plain English when communicating with external audiences. This means using simple, everyday words, and explaining acronyms or Action Tutoring terms. For example, instead of saying ‘WAG’ for ‘Working at Grade’, we prefer to simply say ‘the grade at which the pupil is currently working’.

✔️ In our blogs, social media posts and emails to tutors, we avoid using figures of speech and idioms, as these can be challenging for autistic people and speakers of English as an additional language.

✔️ In our additional resources for volunteer tutors, we have included a Diversity and Inclusion tutor code of conduct in order to make sure that everyone is treated fairly and in accordance with Equal Opportunities policies. If you want to learn more about what we expect from our volunteers, you can read our D&I tutor code of conduct here.

We are always mindful of accessibility when it comes to our content on our website. We use text instead of graphics when sharing important information, so that those using a screen reader can access it.

✔️ Inclusive communication is not a one-and-done box ticking activity. It’s an ongoing process and requires constant learning and adjustment. Our team is always looking for new ways to improve how we communicate and include as many people as possible in our cause.

It’s time to make a conscious decision to create a welcoming and  safe environment for everyone. When we strive to be more inclusive, everyone benefits!

Can you support our cause?

If you could spare an hour each week to help disadvantaged young people receive the academic support they need in English and maths, apply today to join our cause.

We’d love to hear from you!

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

Watch the video below and learn more about the impact of our work.

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

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!

gender equality tutoring

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

volunteering as a tutor helps your career

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. 

mental health award

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.

gender equality international women's day

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.

Tutoring has been proven to be an effective tool in tackling education inequality and making a real difference in the lives of young disadvantaged people. Watch the video below if you’d like to learn more about the impact of our work in 2020-21.

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!

mental health award

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.

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