How our programmes work

Action Tutoring partners with primary and secondary state schools to deliver tutoring programmes for pupils in Years 5, 6, 7, 10 and 11 in English and maths. We specifically help pupils facing socio-economic disadvantage who are at risk of leaving primary or secondary school without reaching national standards in their exams.

Partner as a School Become a Volunteer


Tutoring is delivered in person, with volunteers travelling to the schools, or remotely using our online virtual classroom.

Tutors will support between one and three pupils.  Pupils are grouped according to their proficiency with particular areas of the curriculum.

A programme provides tutoring for up to 20 pupils, supported by up to 10 volunteer tutors.


We support schools for the whole academic year and deliver two ‘blocks’ of 15 tutoring sessions.  Tutors commit to a programme of tutoring which lasts roughly a term (10-20 weeks).

Sessions can run before, during or shortly after the school day, Monday to Friday. Timings are agreed between the school and Action Tutoring to ensure high pupil attendance and engagement. There are no sessions during the school holidays. 

Each session lasts for one hour.  Pupils are supported with maths or English, or in both subjects.

Tutoring resources

We have produced a portfolio of 12 carefully structured workbooks, designed by curriculum specialists in reference to the SATs and the different GCSE exam boards.  The structured activities are intended to be effective in a tutoring environment. 

These workbooks organise the subject material across weekly sessions and provide activities to develop pupils’ understanding of different subject areas.

The mirroring workbooks used by our tutors contain guidance on how to explain particular topics and common misconceptions.

Our online classroom contains session templates for our tutors to work through with their pupils. These have been carefully adapted from our printed workbooks, to suit the online environment.


All of our pupils sit an initial baseline assessment before they begin their tutoring with us. ‘Gap reports’ are then produced to identify the subject areas that need the most attention.

Halfway through their time with us, pupils will sit a progress check to identify the progress they have made and the knowledge gaps where tutoring should be focused ahead of their exams.

Every year, we gather the SATs and GCSE results of the pupils we’ve supported, to measure our impact and review our programme. We also monitor pupils for their development of softer skills, which can have a benefit beyond progress in their tutored subject.

Support provided to volunteers and schools

Action Tutoring Programme Coordinators oversee the delivery of tutoring (usually in-person, or online for virtual programmes) and enable the development of our tutors.

For both schools and tutors, your Programme Coordinator is your point of contact with Action Tutoring and coordinates all elements of your programme, providing updates and communicating requests.

Tutors receive ongoing developmental support through our additional tutorial videos and resources and through specific feedback from their Programme Coordinator following observations.

Online tutoring

For our online programmes, pupils are set up on computers in their classrooms and receive tutoring from volunteers through our virtual classroom. The virtual classroom connects tutors and pupils via video link and tools to draw, type and edit content directly onto the virtual whiteboard.

Action Tutoring’s workbooks have been adapted into ‘session templates’, which are pre-loaded onto the online platform for tutors and pupils to work through together. Before joining an online programme, tutors will receive additional, online-specific training that will take them through the tools and functions of the virtual classroom.

Teachers and an Action Tutoring Programme Coordinator are present with the pupils in the classroom to support with any issues that may arise and to monitor the quality of the tutoring being delivered.

Our tutors are volunteers

All of our tutors are volunteers. We believe in harnessing the potential of social power to ‘do good’ without financial reward. It is central to our mission. We have an inspiring pool of tutors who support us because they believe in our mission and share our values.  

Our tutors range in age (from 18 to 82) and in background: undergraduates, former teachers, corporate volunteers and retired individuals. We are incredibly proud of the diverse range of volunteers we engage, who bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the pupils they support.

All tutors must meet our criteria (detailed on our Volunteer homepage), or have equivalent qualifications, training or work experience.

Our impact

We are passionate about making a measurable impact on the pupils we work with, to enable them to achieve a meaningful level of academic attainment. Read more about our impact in our Impact Report.