News

National Tutoring Programme statistics released: where do we go from here?

16 May 2024

The National Tutoring Programme (NTP) released its latest statistics today and it’s a story of mixed progress. An additional 655,288 tutoring courses were started by pupils this academic year, bringing the total over 5.3 million since the programme began – an achievement that shouldn’t be overlooked and highlights that it is possible for tutoring to happen at mass scale in the education system. 

Schools opting out?

However the statistics also revealed a concerning drop: a decrease in the number of schools participating in the NTP from 65.7% last year, to just 50.1% today. 

There are no reasons given for this decrease, however two possibilities come to mind for us at Action Tutoring. We know the significant pressure on school budgets and many will have been unable to cover 50% of the costs this year, with the Government decreasing their subsidy to 50% this year from 60% last year and 70% the year before. Indeed many in the sector have warned repeatedly of the struggle for schools to match the subsidy. 

Secondly the announcement that the NTP will end this year may have prompted schools to opt out of engaging, if it wasn’t going to be something they felt they could embed longer term. 

Pupil Premium participation: a more promising outcome

Tutoring for disadvantaged young people has increased slightly, reaching 50.4% this year (up from 47% last year). This still falls short of the programme’s initial target of 65%. With an equal match in participation of Pupil Premium and their wealthier pupils, sadly it is unlikely the NTP will have a significant impact on the academic attainment gap.

At Action Tutoring, nearly 70% of our pupils are eligible for Pupil Premium funding. We know it is possible to engage this cohort in tutoring and that it makes a significant difference to their outcomes.  

Looking ahead

While we recognise the hugely positive value of these pupils receiving this academic support, we know that there are thousands more who are missing out. The attainment gap is now at its widest since 2012. It is the pupils facing disadvantage who suffer the most from the limited engagement in this support. 

The NTP had the potential to be a game-changer in tackling the academic attainment gap. With its funding ending in July, we are calling on the next Government to see sense and commit to funding targeted tuition for disadvantaged pupils. This is a critical opportunity to level the playing field and close the achievement gap.

Action Tutoring: committed to making a difference

At Action Tutoring we are relentlessly focussed on supporting those who need it most. We have a decade of evidence to show that we are making a difference. Our fundraising efforts have ramped up this year to ensure we can heavily subsidise our programmes next academic year. We will keep costs as low as possible for schools, whilst not compromising on quality.

The need for effective interventions to tackle the attainment gap is significant. We are calling for support to ensure all pupils have the chance to succeed, regardless of their background.

Get in touch to find out more:

To find out more about partnering with us as a school, email: schoolenquiries@actiontutoring.org.uk

If you are interested in supporting our fundraising efforts, email: hannahoneill@actiontutoring.org.uk

If you’d like to support us as a volunteer tutor, no previous experience required, visit our web page: www.actiontutoring.org.uk/volunteer

Employees tackle south coast fundraising challenges!

2 May 2024

Showing true team spirit, three exceptional Action Tutoring employees have gone the extra mile for fundraising. Stepping outside their everyday role, Alice, Louisa and Stuart all completed sponsored runs to raise vital funds. Testing their physical resilience, their inspiring efforts support our ongoing mission of closing the education attainment gap.

Read on to find out why they laced up their shoes and kept going to support pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. 

Braving the Brighton Half Marathon

Alice, our former engagement coordinator, daringly achieved her goals at February’s Brighton Half Marathon. She took Brighton’s infamous winds in her stride, sailing through her challenge on the electric seafront.

“My energy matched the event’s atmosphere. Music blasted everywhere and crowds constantly cheered you on!”

Alice

Alice says while initially feeling daunted by the physical challenge, she soon enjoyed her training runs. All her efforts paid off on the day when she had that runners high!

“I really enjoyed pushing beyond my comfort zone. I find running is great at testing both your physical and mental strength. That post-run feeling is always amazing!”

Alice

Alice worked brilliantly on both her training plan and her fundraising too. She raised an incredible amount of £305, with an additional £60 in Gift Aid!

“The most rewarding part for me was fundraising. Seeing every lovely supportive message was such a joy. It made all those practice runs seem worthwhile.”

Alice

Taking on the Brighton 10k

Staying with Brighton, one of our Sussex programme coordinators, Louisa, ran April’s exciting Brighton 10K (BM10K). Brighton’s blustery weather returned, but Louisa battled through to enjoy a great day running for our charity.

“Was a lovely sunny (albeit windy!) day and I was delighted to get my sub hour target! This was my first time completing something like this and I was surprised how much I enjoyed it! “

Louisa

Louisa found having this race as an aspirational goal kept her motivated and active across the colder months.

“It was so helpful having a target during winter. It helped to force me to leave the house and stay active.”

Louisa

Considering a similar challenge for Action Tutoring? Louisa says our staff brilliantly supported her fundraising journey, providing resources and tips to help her reach the target. Louisa raised an incredible £400, rising to £493.75 with Gift Aid!

Southampton 10k success!

Finally, our communications officer, Stuart, boldly took on the Southampton 10K. Race day saw few clouds as crowds offered banners and powerful cheering to energise runners.

“The crowds were incredible and gave lovely support. The kids also had very engaging power up and tap for a boost banners which were fun and motivational.”

Stuart

Stuart soon released early race nerves, finding a calm flow. Enjoying a rewarding experience, Stuart raised an amazing £105.00 plus £26.25 in Gift Aid.

“Fundraising for Action Tutoring and making a difference to the lives and learning of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds is fantastic.”

Stuart

For future budding fundraisers out there, Stuart recommends doing something you naturally enjoy. 

“I’d suggest thinking carefully about which challenge will bring out the best in you. This may empower you to complete it and enjoy it better.

Stuart

Get involved to help us tackle education inequality!

Feeling inspired by Alice, Louisa, and Stuart’s extraordinary achievements?
We have several charity spaces available at summer sporting events. Find a full events list on our fundraising page. Alternatively, email our fundraising coordinator, Molly, via molly.cottrill@actiontutoring.org.uk for more events information. You can also contact Molly if you’re considering taking on your own challenge, sports based or not!

Supporting our work

Join our mission to transform the lives of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. You can contribute to their brighter future, including: 

Together, we can cross the finish line of opportunity and bring lasting difference to every pupil.

A turning point for tutoring? The debate that brought our mission to the House of Commons

21 March 2024

This week, the House of Commons held a Westminster Hall Debate on tutoring provision in England. The debate itself is unquestionably a positive step. Politicians from across party lines acknowledged the transformative impact of tutoring. They highlighted its ability to close the attainment gap and boost pupil confidence. Action Tutoring was highlighted specifically for its work by MP Paul Howell.

Quote from Paul Howell (Conservative MP for Sedgefield): "Action Tutoring’s analysis shows that 65% of disadvantaged pupils pass their maths GCSE after attending at least 10 tutoring sessions with the charity. Action Tutoring pupils were nearly 13 percentage points more likely to pass maths GCSE than other disadvantaged pupils nationally. Those are significant interventions. I could continue, but what I want to say is that Action Tutoring’s work is indicative of so much of the valuable tutoring provided by volunteers and others. We must celebrate that work."

MP and Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Education, Munira Wilson, proposed the debate. She proceedings arguing for the continuation of government-funded tutoring programmes for disadvantaged children. Quoting research from The Sutton Trust, Public First, and the Education Endowment Foundation, Ms Wilson urged the minister for education to “do battle with his Treasury colleagues” and find funding for tutoring.

Quote from Munira Wilson (MP for Twickenham, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Education): "Under-18s in England must retake GCSE English and maths if they do not achieve a grade 4 pass. In 2023, that resulted in a staggering 167,000 students having to retake maths and 172,000 resitting English. When combined, that is the highest number of retakes in a decade. We are setting those children up for repeated failure unless different help and support is provided."

Much of our advocacy work, alongside that of our colleagues from Get Further and The Tutor Trust was mentioned. Multiple case studies and the letter to parliament signed by over 500 schools all reinforcing the point that stakeholders including pupils, parents, and teachers all support continued investment in tutoring programmes.

Quote from Jonathan Gullis (Conservatve MP for Stoke-on-Trent North): "Education is the absolute bedrock to levelling up. It is the bedrock to making sure that life chances can be achieved. I have no fiscal rules when it comes to education, because I believe that if we shove all the money there, we will have better outcomes on health and work, fewer people needing to use the welfare state, better home ownership, better wages, and less poverty in our country. Education is at the epicentre of achieving that, and we should therefore be pouring money into the sector."

Shadow Minister for Education, Catherine McKinnell, criticised the government for neglecting the National Tutoring Programme (NTP) despite its potential benefits. She highlighted the significant learning gaps caused by the pandemic, especially for disadvantaged pupils. Despite improvements to an initially flawed NTP, schools likely can’t afford to keep it going due to a lack of continued funding.

Quote from Catherine McKinnell (Labour MP for Newcastle upon Tyne North, Shadow Minister for Education and Schools): "The Institute for Fiscal Studies has found that schools funding in England is already not increasing as fast as the cost pressures schools are facing. That means that the poorest schools are likely to struggle the most to find the cash for tutoring, and that our most disadvantaged pupils will miss out."

In his response, the Rt Hon Damian Hinds, Minister of State for Education, defended the decision to end funding for the NTP. Stating that the Government believes tutoring remains important and schools will continue to be able to use pupil premium funding to support it. This is a sentiment that was not supported by many members present.

Quote from Damian Hinds (Conservative MP for East Hampshire, Minister of State for Education): "Although the national tutoring programme was always a time-limited programme post-covid, tutoring will continue to play an important role and we know that the evidence shows that tutoring is an effective, targeted approach to increase pupils’ attainment."

What now?

Action Tutoring remains firmly committed to providing access to quality tutoring for all pupils who need it. We are actively exploring alternative funding options, including increased philanthropic support, to keep costs low for schools and continue offering our services.  However, this cannot replace the long-term, sustainable funding that is needed to truly embed tutoring within the education system.

Setback, not stopgap: Funding cuts won’t end the fight for equitable access to tutoring

6 March 2024

In disheartening news, the Government has decided not to renew funding for the National Tutoring Programme and the 16-19 Tuition Fund, as confirmed in today’s spring budget. While acknowledging the difficulties this presents for schools facing very significant budget constraints, we at Action Tutoring remain resolutely steadfast in our commitment to support pupils facing disadvantage. We predate the National Tutoring Programme and have a long history of providing vital tutoring support.

We believe every child deserves the opportunity to thrive, and that’s why we have been actively exploring alternative funding options. To this end, we will subsidise 60% of programme costs through philanthropic activities next year, significantly reducing the burden on schools and ensure continued access to this crucial support for disadvantaged pupils. We will soon release further details about our customised programme offerings for 2024-25. In the meantime, please share this information with any colleagues facing concerns about affording vital tutoring support. We stand ready to help more schools in the face of this funding gap.

The founders and CEOs of Action Tutoring, Tutor Trust and Get Further have worked in collaboration throughout this time, campaigning for tutoring to be accessible to pupils from all backgrounds. They have come together again to produce the following statement in response to the spring budget:

Today is a truly disappointing day for education in England. In the face of the evidence, the Government has chosen not to renew funding for the National Tutoring Programme and 16- 19 Tuition Fund.

Both were launched in 2020 with much fanfare, to address lost learning due to the COVID- 19 pandemic. Tutoring was chosen, because, as ministers have repeatedly pointed out, we know it works. An evaluation of tutoring by the Educational Endowment Foundation has proved it. The aims of the programme were to build back from COVID-19, to embed tutoring in the education system, and to help tackle the attainment gap. We know tutoring has had an impact, but COVID-19 still casts a shadow over our education system, more time is needed to embed tutoring into the system, and the attainment gap is yet to be tackled. Indeed, former Education ministers Lord Blunkett and Robin Walker, and experts on social mobility such as Professor Lee Elliott Major and Alun Francis, the chair of the Social Mobility Commission, all believe tutoring for the poorest young people should have its own dedicated funding stream.

What is more, research has shown that 85% of parents believe tutoring had positively impacted their child’s mental health and self-confidence. In the face of a crisis in school attendance, there, too, tutoring has an impact: 68% of parents said it had improved attendance. Economic modelling has suggested a £4.3 billion benefit to the economy from the NTP between 2021-2023. For every £1 spent on tutoring, there was a benefit to the economy of £6.58.

In short, tutoring closes the attainment gap, makes society more equal and, properly invested, helps solve the crisis in productivity. Implementation has not always been straightforward, but 5 million courses later, we’re confident that the NTP and 16-19 Tuition Fund has made a real difference.

Between our three organisations, we have worked with over 50,000 pupils, from primary schools to colleges. We are acutely aware of the pressure schools face, and how stretched the Pupil Premium has become. In the absence of dedicated funding from the NTP and 16- 19 Tuition Fund, the Pupil Premium will be squeezed further, and there is no Pupil Premium post-16. Colleges, sixth-forms, and schools will be forced to significantly scale back or cease tutoring altogether, and four years’ worth of tutoring infrastructure is now set to crumble.

The NTP and 16-19 Tuition Fund had taken huge steps towards making tutoring accessible to all who need it, not just the wealthy. In its absence, an all too familiar story will continue: young people from low-income backgrounds will miss out.

We call for an immediate reversal of the government’s decision.

Susannah Hardyman (Action Tutoring)
Abigail Shapiro (Tutor Trust)
Sarah Waite (Get Further)

From tutor to teacher: The role of tutoring in education careers

14 February 2024

Is tutoring being overlooked as a pathway to great teachers? Here at Action Tutoring, we see first-hand the positive impact tutoring has on teacher recruitment. A remarkable number of our tutors transition from passionate volunteers to dedicated teachers. In fact, 38% of tutors who are currently supporting us, expressed an interest in teaching when they applied. Surprisingly, even with our diverse range of volunteer backgrounds, including retirees and corporate partners, this academic year alone saw an incredible 1,004 volunteer applicants indicating their interest in pursuing a teaching career. This accounts for 57% of all the applications we’ve received.

These statistics tell a powerful story. They showcase not only the passion and potential within our tutoring community but also the valuable experience Action Tutoring provides as a stepping stone to a teaching career.

Quote from Action Tutoring tutor to teacher Luke: "[Tutoring] was a fantastic gateway into teaching. I learnt I enjoyed the teaching element and wanted to take it to the next level with formal training to take a career change. I have no regrets. I am now a teacher and this journey all started with supporting Action Tutoring."
Luke was on a career break after 10 years working in the energy industry when he started volunteering with Action Tutoring. After a year volunteering with us it confirmed for him that teaching secondary school pupils was the career path that was right for him.

Why is tutoring such a powerful springboard for teachers?

Real-world experience: Tutors gain first-hand experience interacting with pupils from diverse backgrounds, with a range of learning styles. New teachers also expressed to us that they value the experience of refamiliarising themselves with the curriculum. This hands-on exposure allows them to hone their teaching skills and develop classroom management strategies. Most importantly though, it allows them to discover the joy of hearing, “I get it!”

Flexible stepping stone: Tutoring offers the perfect balance of gaining valuable experience whilst working around existing commitments. This flexibility is ideal for those exploring teaching or seeking a gradual transition.

Support and guidance: With training and guidance throughout their experience, tutors are offered invaluable insights and feedback. This supportive network also enables them to navigate through any potential difficulties with the experienced Action Tutoring team on hand every step of the way.

Shared passion: Action Tutoring works closely with schools and communities to ensure our tutors deliver high-quality, impactful learning experiences. This provides a fulfilling and purpose-driven foundation for aspiring teachers.

Quote from Action Tutoring tutor to teacher Katherine: "Life changing in all the best ways! The positive experiences I had with Action Tutoring confirmed that teaching was the career I wanted to pursue, particularly in the primary setting. My programme co-ordinator and other volunteers on the programme shared their own experiences of teaching with me and, as a result, I chose to apply to the PGCE course I am currently on."
Katherine was studying sociology at the University of Durham when she started volunteering with Action Tutoring. Tutoring helped Katherine affirm her beliefs that she would like to become a tutor. She is now studying for a PGCE at Cambridge University.

Discovering new passions

Our volunteer tutors sometimes start without an interest in teaching before discovering a new passion. One such story is Gemma, a journalist for ten years, who began tutoring with us in East London. After a few months, she found it so enjoyable that she decided to give up her journalism career and re-train. Or Patrick, a lawyer for eight years, who realised working with young people was much more meaningful. He re-trained as an English teacher with Teach First and is now an Assistant Head in Kent, following years in an inner-city London school.

What could this mean for the future?

A national initiative could seamlessly connect aspiring teachers with the diverse and enriching experiences they need to take the next steps. A well established collaboration, weaving together the expertise of Initial Teacher Training (ITT) providers and tutoring organisations could unlock unimaginable potential. ITT providers could encourage prospective applicants or those waiting to begin their training towards high quality tutoring organisations to increase their experience and in turn, these organisations can point those who’ve declared an interest in teaching in the direction of different teaching routes, alongside supporting them with feedback, training and ongoing development. 

One of our partnerships that is already bringing this to life is with Now Teach. Now Teach promote our volunteer opportunities as a way to experience the classroom environment before embarking on their teacher training. Every two months, we collaboratively host an information session for those interested in committing to a teacher training course. The result is a wealth of passionate, dedicated tutors volunteering on our programmes, as well as tangible classroom experience for career changers who might never have had the opportunity to work with children before. We also promote Now Teach as a route into teaching to our volunteers who have indicated an interest in this career route, in bi-yearly emails.

At Action Tutoring, we’re already seeing the huge potential of the tutors to teachers trajectory. Investment into structures that establish these pathways between ITT providers and tutoring organisations, could go a very long way to potentially thousands more passionate and talented individuals entering into the teaching profession each year, equipped with the practical skills, mentorship, and real-world understanding gained through tutoring.

Join the journey

A powerful voice delivered: Petition for tutoring funding reaches Downing Street

9 February 2024

On 8th February, 2024, a resounding message was delivered to Downing Street. A message driven by data, backed by educators, and amplified by the potential of countless pupils. Action Tutoring CEO and founder, Susannah Hardyman and fellow representatives of the Fair Education Alliance presented a petition demanding the continuation of vital tutoring funding for schools and colleges.

Sarah Waite (Get Further), Abigail Shapiro (Tutor Trust) and Susannah Hardyman (Action Tutoring) deliver the signed letter to 10 Downing Street
Sarah Waite (Get Further), Abigail Shapiro (Tutor Trust) and Susannah Hardyman (Action Tutoring) deliver the signed letter to 10 Downing Street

524 teachers and senior leaders from 423 schools and colleges have signed the petition. All are united in their support for essential funding to ensure their pupils receive the academic support they need for success. After four years, the government is set to end funding for its flagship National Tutoring Programme (NTP) this summer. Boris Johnson launched the £1.5 billion programme in 2021 in order to address the national educational gaps exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

graph to show signatories by job title

The economic and social case for tutoring

This move comes at a critical juncture. The pandemic’s shadow lingers, widening the attainment gap and placing immense pressure on school budgets. However, research paints a clear picture of the transformative power of tutoring, proving it to be a powerful response to this challenge:

  • Public First highlighted a £4.3 billion net benefit to the economy from the NTP between 2021-2023. This substantial impact is driven by individuals who, through tutoring, enhance their grades and subsequently secure higher lifetime earnings.. This translates to 430,000 grade improvements, opening doors to further education, higher earnings, and a brighter future. For every £1 spent on tutoring, there’s a benefit to the economy of £6.58. 
  • Action Tutoring’s impact report brings the numbers to life: a 14-percentage point jump in maths standards for disadvantaged primary pupils, a 13-percentage point rise in GCSE pass rates for secondary pupils. All whilst simultaneously empowering confidence and engagement across the board for those who received tutoring support.

These figures aren’t just statistics; they represent lives changed, potential unlocked, and a more equitable society built.

One pupil’s plea for continued tutoring

In the midst of discussions about the potential end of vital tutoring funding, a poignant moment unfolded at a recent school visit by Labour MP Catherine West. When informed by his headteacher that the Government may not fund tutoring next year a, normally shy, 10 year year-old wanted to ensure he had a chance to speak to the “lady from parliament” with a message that resonated deeply:

Pupil speaks to MP Catherine West about the importance of tutoring

“I just wanted to tell you how good English tutoring has been for me. Sometimes I struggle with and feel quite anxious about my English, such as my vocabulary, and my tutor has really helped me. I speak a few languages at home and it really helps me be better at English.”

This wasn’t just a casual comment; it was a testament to the transformative power of tutoring. His message serves as a powerful reminder to policymakers: don’t let this story end prematurely. Don’t deny countless other children the chance to experience the transformative power of individualised support.

What can you do?

  • Share this message, raise your voice, and contact your representatives! For a template letter to contact your MP about funding extension, email us at hello@actiontutoring.org.uk.
  • Stand with the Fair Education Alliance and organisations like Action Tutoring in demanding a brighter future for all.
  • Donate or volunteer your time to tutoring programmes in your community.

Fuelling futures, month by month: how Payroll Giving powers Action Tutoring

5 February 2024

Payroll Giving Month February 2024 #PayrollGivingMonth

Every February, charities, Payroll Giving agencies, professional funding organisations, and companies come together to raise awareness of Payroll Giving.

Payroll Giving (sometimes known as Give as You Earn) is an easy and tax-efficient way of making regular donations to your favourite charities straight from your gross pay. There are many benefits to this form of giving, and at Action Tutoring, we advocate it as an efficient and effortless way to support our mission and help us tackle the attainment gap head-on. Read on to learn about Payroll Giving and how you can set it up in three simple steps!

Impactful giving

Supporting Action Tutoring through payroll giving allows us to continue our vital work across the country, supporting over 5,700 pupils to achieve their dreams. We believe that disadvantaged pupils do not lack the drive or ambition, but the resources to help them succeed academically. A steady donation stream coming in monthly allows us to plan ahead with this vital work, and a seemingly small monthly contribution can add up to make a real difference in a child’s life.  

£5 a month could provide online tutor training for a volunteer tutor

and £10 a month could provide a high quality workbook for a face-to-face pupil.

Image of a tutor and pupil at an Action Tutoring

Convenience and ease

Donating to Action Tutoring by a Payroll Giving Scheme is super easy and convenient! Donations are taken straight from your gross salary (before your tax is deducted) which provides you with immediate tax relief on your donations. 

Depending on your individual tax situation, you could receive tax relief on each one of your donations. Take the example of a high tax rate such as 40% to begin: on a £20 pledge you could reclaim £8 from your tax bill, effectively reducing your net contribution to £12. With Payroll Giving, regardless of whether your tax situation is higher (45% allows £9 tax relief from £20) or lower (20% allows £4 tax relief from £20), your donation will go further at less of a cost to you.

Image of a smiling tutor and pupil in an Action Tutoring session

Set up Payroll Giving today!

You can set up payroll giving by following these three easy steps.

  1. Check your employer is signed up to a Payroll Giving Agency, like the Charities Aid Foundation.
  2. Ask your payroll team to set you up on payroll giving. It’s as simple as ticking a box on your payroll system!
  3. Choose Action Tutoring as your charity of choice and set the amount you want to give each payday. No matter how big or small, your donation will make a difference.

Please share this with others too, by resharing the blog on social media and engaging with our content about Payroll Giving this month on Action Tutoring’s social media platforms, using the hashtag #PayrollGivingMonth.

Image showing how much a contribution can do for Action Tutoring. Pupil workbook = £5.99, Headphones for online learning = £25, Online training for 20 volunteer tutors = £62, 1 year of face to face tutoring for a pupil = £391
What difference can your donation make?

“Payroll Giving is a great way to support Action Tutoring. These donations enable us to plan ahead with our vital work. It’s a really effortless way for employees to donate to us and helps us reach more disadvantaged pupils that need our support to achieve their dreams”

Hannah O’Neill, Head of Philanthropy

Action Tutoring transforms lives: Unveiling our Impact Report 2022-23!

17 January 2024

Imagine a world where educational equity unlocks not just individual potential, but also fuels economic prosperity. Today, that vision takes a significant step forward with the release of two reports: Action Tutoring’s seventh Impact Report and Public First‘s research into the Economic Impact of the National Tutoring Programme (NTP). These reports showcase the undeniable two-fold impact of tutoring: enriching lives and empowering economies.

Our Impact Report shares our key highlights and draws attention to the attainment gap, which is now at its widest in 12 years, and our robust foundation of evidence that proves we are a meaningful solution to help close it.

Why do these reports matter? 

More than just numbers and data; it’s a testament to the 1,743 passionate volunteers who have poured their hearts into 58,880 hours of transformative tutoring for 5,743 pupils facing disadvantage. It is the tangible proof that investing in tutoring works and tells a remarkable tale of economic impact.

Headlines from Public First’s Economic Impact Modelling Release

  • £4.3 billion: The net benefit to the economy from tutoring in two academic years, demonstrating a benefit-cost ratio (BCR) of 6.58. This significantly exceeds other programs, such as adult apprenticeships (BCR 4.7).
  • £3.06 billion: The economic contribution of maths tutoring, delivering exceptional value with a BCR of 7.73
  • 430,000 grade improvements: Of these improvements, 26,000 achieved a “pass” (Grade 4) in maths, and 36,000 in English, who otherwise were not expected to. This significantly increases their chances of accessing further education, employment, and higher earnings, highlighting the substantial long-term economic benefit of tutoring.

This isn’t just about boosting numbers on a spreadsheet. It’s about building a stronger, more equitable society where everyone has the chance to contribute and thrive.

The headlines from our Impact Report

  • Closing the achievement gap: National averages for primary school pupils facing disadvantage (or eligible for pupil premium) who received 10 or more tutoring sessions with Action Tutoring saw a 14-percentage point jump in maths and a 7-percentage point gain in reading standards. That’s more than just numbers – it’s lives changed forever.
  • Empowering potential: In secondary schools, our support boosted maths GCSE pass rates by nearly 13 percentage points, giving countless pupils the keys to unlocking their dreams.
  • Building confidence and engagement: Pupils rated their tutors’ clarity at 8.1 out of 10, while teachers acknowledged the overall positive impact of Action Tutoring on pupils with a resounding 8.7 out of 10. This speaks volumes about the positive ripple effect we create.

These achievements aren’t just personal victories – they’re the foundation for a more prosperous future.

How can you join us in building this brighter tomorrow?

Schools: Partner with Action Tutoring and watch your pupils soar, while contributing to a stronger local economy.

Funders: Invest in a solution that delivers both individual and societal rewards.[Website link]

Volunteers: Share your knowledge and passion, become a mentor, and fuel the engine of economic growth.

Everyone: Spread the word, advocate for educational equity, and be part of the change. [Website link]

Volunteers Week 2024 – three ways you can get involved

12 January 2024

Every year in June the UK comes together to celebrate the incredible contribution of volunteers in our communities. Volunteers’ Week 2024 takes place from 1st to 7th June. Among other things, it’s a fantastic opportunity to say thank you to the amazing people who give their time and energy to make a difference.

Who are volunteers?

Volunteers are our neighbours, friends, and family members who give their time to causes they care about. They come from all walks of life and all ages, and they contribute to our communities in countless ways. Here’s a breakdown of Action Tutoring volunteers occupations out of those who applied in 2023:

Surprised to see such a mix? You’re not alone. Many see volunteering as something you do as a student to build your CV, or in retirement to get involved with your community. But many from other occupations volunteer, too. Employers value volunteering for a multitude of reasons, as it benefits both the employee and the organisation in terms of skills development, and it shows the company as being socially responsible and caring of the community in which they operate.

tutor with two secondary school pupils
Joanna Ball, tutor at Dalmain Primary School, Forest Hill, London

Why is Volunteers’ Week important?

Volunteers’ Week is important because it gives us a chance to:

  • Say thank you: It’s a chance to say a big thank you to all the volunteers who give their time so generously. 
  • Raise awareness: It’s a chance to raise awareness of the vital role that volunteers play in our communities.
  • Inspire others: It’s a chance to inspire more people to get involved in volunteering. There are so many ways to make a difference in your community, or further afield, and Volunteers’ Week is a great time to start.

So, how can I get involved?

There are many ways to get involved in Volunteers’ Week, whether you’re a seasoned volunteer or you’re thinking about volunteering for the first time. Here are our top three:

  1. Share your volunteering story.

If you’re a volunteer, share your story on social media using the hashtag #VolunteersWeek and tag the charity. Social media is an important tool for charities to reach new volunteers and spread awareness. Your story could inspire someone else to volunteer, donate or fundraise. 

  1. Attend a Volunteers’ Week event: 

There are hundreds of events happening across the UK throughout Volunteers’ Week, from volunteer recruitment fairs to celebration events. Closer to the time, search for events near you to find out how you can get involved.

  1. Find a volunteering opportunity: 

If you’re interested in volunteering, there are many websites and organisations that can help you find an opportunity that’s right for you, like Do-It or Charity Job. You could also find your local volunteer centre.

If you’re interested in volunteering as a tutor for an hour a week, click the button below to find out more.

Our volunteer stories

“Tutoring is one of the few things I do that gives me real satisfaction, enjoyment, and self-fulfilment. It’s very rewarding to be able to give something back to your community.”

Youcef, Diversity and Inclusion Manager at TFL

Read Youcef’s story.

“Online tutoring is great because it enables so many more tutors to help – you literally can give one hour a week. And if you’re doing other exciting things in your life, you can actually do it from different places, as long as you’ve got a laptop with you.”

Sally, retired optometrist

Read Sally’s story

“In terms of resources for classes, I had never written a class resource, I had no idea where to start. So having the workbooks that we’re all working with, and having them all every week with the templates was great, because it meant I was able to participate [alongside my studies]. In terms of time consumption, it would just take me half an hour to read over answers and read over the lesson plan before going into the session.”

Eilidh, student at the University of Aberdeen

Read Eilidh’s story

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog and learn more about Volunteers’ Week. We hope we’ve inspired you to get involved in some way!

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Young impact makers attend Platinum Jubilee Award reception

8 December 2023

Newcastle volunteer tutor, Eliza Blowes, and Action Tutoring’s fundraising coordinator, Molly Cottrill were part of a special group of volunteers and charity representatives who attended the prestigious reception for Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee Award recipients. Her Royal Highness Princess Anne was the special guest of honour.

Eliza and Molly were chosen to represent the education charity at the reception last week Tuesday, which offered places for two change agents under age 25 and two staff from the organisation to attend. Founder and CEO, Susannah Hardyman and deputy CEO, Jen Fox, also attended the event at the Fishmongers’ Hall in London.

Guests at the Jubilee Award reception held at the Fishmongers’ Hall in London

Action Tutoring received The Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Volunteering Award, in recognition of the significant impact of its volunteer tutors on disadvantaged young pupils across England. This esteemed award, equivalent to an MBE, now known as the King’s Award for Voluntary Service, represents the highest acknowledgment bestowed on local voluntary groups in the UK. The aim is to celebrate fantastic work by national charities and their volunteers to empower young people and provide them with skills and opportunities.

Positive transformation

Eliza, a master’s student at Northumbria University, Newcastle, was chosen for being actively involved in providing additional academic support to disadvantaged young individuals within her local Newcastle communities. Since August 2022, Eliza has tutored primary and Secondary English, in-person and online, in 51 sessions across eight different programmes in local schools.

Eliza tutors a pupil at a primary school in Newcastle

Expressing her passion for language and its transformative potential in diverse and disadvantaged communities, Eliza, who is studying for a postgraduate in Applied Linguistics for TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), emphasised her interest in contributing to better outcomes for pupils in schools.

“Having personally witnessed the positive transformation we have brought about in pupils within my community, I am elated to see the organisation receiving this well-deserved recognition.”

Eliza

Relatively young charity

HRH Princess Anne spent time handing certificates and speaking to representatives of each awarded charity. HRH Princess Anne was particularly interested in the history and impact of Action Tutoring, as a relatively young charity, being awarded alongside established and centuries-old charities, including the British Red Cross and Scouts. With only 12 years since its founding, Action Tutoring said it was delighted to be among the recipients of the award which included renowned and household-name charities for this award.

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and also the Department for Business and Trade plus Minister for Equalities, Stuart Andrew, gave a speech and met with charities to appreciate their work.

CEO of Action Tutoring, Susannah Hardyman (left) and deputy CEO, Jen Fox

Increasing life chances

Susannah Hardyman expressed pride in the volunteers’ selfless commitment to supporting disadvantaged young people, highlighting their positive impact on academic progress and the wellbeing of pupils.

“The recognition serves as a reminder of the invaluable contributions made by our volunteers within their local communities across the country. Like Eliza, they are not only helping disadvantaged pupils in academic progress but also fostering their sense of confidence and increasing their life’s chances.”

Susannah

Action Tutoring is proud of its diverse pool of volunteers from different backgrounds and between the ages of 18 to 82,  including university students, full-time or part-time workers 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 later in life.

In the 2022-23 academic year alone, 1,744 volunteers supported 5,743 primary and secondary pupils in 25,600 sessions in 140 schools across the country. Volunteers are at the core of Action Tutoring’s work and remain an invaluable resource in driving our purpose and impact.

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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 resources you need.

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