Established in 2011, we’ve worked hard to develop an effective tutoring model with proven impact. We do more than just tutor. We know how to engage pupils and understand the demands and pressures busy schools are under.
We form partnerships with schools; design and supply the tutoring resources; complete baseline and interim assessments to measure pupil progress and provide staff members to coordinate the delivery. We recruit, train and develop our diverse and inspiring tutors too.
We have been officially approved by the National Tutoring Programme to deliver tutoring to pupils at home. We also piloted our home-based approach, as part of a national evaluation of online tutoring delivery, in 2020.
If you’re a school interested in finding out how we might be able to support you this year and what our home-based set-up requires, do get in touch. You can also complete our initial enquiry form if you’re interested in partnering with us.
“[Action Tutoring’s Impact Report] shows that it is possible to close the attainment gap and Action Tutoring has had huge success raising attainment. The pupils are proof that regardless of your circumstances, it is possible to get crucial English and maths qualifications. Action Tutoring offers a practical, structured solution. Action Tutoring’s vision is one that I fully endorse.”
– Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP, Minister of State for School Standards, March 2019
Frequently Asked Questions
If you can’t find the answer to your question below, do get in touch via our main email.
NTP Tuition Partners were awarded funding based on a comprehensive eligibility and quality criteria assessment led by the Education Endowment Foundation. Action Tutoring and other approved Tuition Partners will be promoted to schools across the country who can then approach us to set up a tutoring programme for pupils facing disadvantage.
Schools will only contribute 25% of the cost of these programmes, the remainder covered by the Government, making it much easier for them to access this beneficial support.
We have established ourselves in eight cities across England (Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool and Wirral, London, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield and Sussex). We welcome enquiries from schools located in or near to these cities and in the following additional areas:
East Midlands: Derby, North Nottinghamshire, East Derbyshire, South Nottinghamshire, South and West Derbyshire.
South East: Medway, Kent Thames Gateway, West Kent.
North East: Durham, Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees, Darlington, Sunderland.
North West: Cheshire West and Chester, Merseyside, Sefton.
South West: Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.
West Midlands: Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall, Coventry, Wolverhampton, Dudley.
Yorkshire and Humber: Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham.
State primary and state secondary schools.
1:2 online (where pupils are based in the school) or in person tutoring (can flex to 1:3 or 1:1 depending on school preference).
We aim to provide between 8 and 10 tutors per programme, to support between 15 and 20 pupils. Schools can choose to run multiple programmes at once.
English and maths support for Years 5, 6, 7, 10 and 11.
£882.50 for an NTP programme of tutoring (8-10 sessions), lasting one term. This works out as roughly £4.40 per pupil per session.
So to reach 15 NTP sessions, schools will commit to two terms of tutoring at £1,765 in total. This is for up to 20 pupils, and could include up to 20 sessions.
The cost is the same for both online and face to face programmes.
Should you wish to do a third term of tutoring with Action Tutoring in the summer, we will only charge you the NTP school rate for it, even if you have exceeded your NTP allowance. We will subsidise the remaining cost with our own fundraising.
We are aiming to support nearly 200 schools in 2020-21. We have scaled our staff team and infrastructure to meet this demand, doubling our reach from the previous year. Should school partnership requests stretch beyond this we will review our resources to see if they can be met.
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 the criteria listed below. We have refined this over our years of operation and it is in line with other peer organisations:
Educated to degree level, or to be studying for a degree.
Achieved a B grade (or above) at A Level (or an equivalent qualification) in the subject they wish to tutor.
Able to commit to at least one programme of tutoring (8-10 weeks).
Evidence of strong communication skills
Experience working with young people, or able to demonstrate that they would have the skills required.
Empathetic towards the young people we support.
All tutors complete an online application form where they provide details of how they meet the criteria and any other relevant experience and motivations, which is carefully assessed by an Action Tutoring member of staff. We telephone interview applicants who are close to meeting the qualifications and ask a series of competency and subject-related questions to confirm their suitability. Generally we find by making the requirements really explicit, volunteer tutors do self filter as to whether they are suitable or not, but we do reject a proportion that apply that don’t meet the requirements. Once accepted, tutors must then complete an Enhanced DBS check and Action Tutoring will conduct a check of them on the Prohibited Teacher List.
We’ve designed, developed and refined our tutor training process over the past eight years. Currently, all successful tutor applicants are invited to attend ‘initial tutor training’. This is a two hour, live, small group, training session than covers the following content:
Who we are and why we exist as a charity
Our expectations of them as tutors and what they can expect from us
An exploration of the challenges faced by disadvantaged young people
Safeguarding, covering our policy and the use of scenario-based examples
An introduction to the curriculum and exam process
A guide of how to use our curriculum, workbooks to effectively plan sessions
How to manage different pupil behaviours
Overview of the next steps and opportunities for continuous training and development as a tutor
Online tutors attend additional training to cover elements specific to online delivery including:
Online-specific safeguarding considerations
How to adapt tutoring for online delivery
How to get started and make best use of our online tutoring platform (Vedamo)
We provide continuous training across the year and our Programme Coordinators monitor tutoring to deliver feedback on an individual basis.
Each school is assigned a Programme Coordinator who is responsible for the day to day running of programmes and attends every session. They liaise with the school contact (link teacher) to provide updates and communicate any requests.
Our Programme Managers and Head of Delivery set up the partnerships initially and check in throughout the year to ensure satisfaction with delivery.
We work in conjunction with teachers at the school to highlight pupils that will benefit most from our programme, but also in line with our criteria (disadvantaged pupils/ at risk of underachieving). Together with teachers we identify the best time to run sessions and to manage the logistics and to gain their input on specific areas of need.
The average score given in 2018/19 by schools when assessing the quality of our communication and organisation as a whole was 4.8 out of 5.
Pupils sit a baseline assessment initially, before they begin tutoring, and a ‘progress check’ halfway through, ensuring that tutoring focuses on the areas that they are struggling with. Programme Coordinators attend every session to monitor progress. Baseline and progress assessment results are shared with schools. We request pupils’ ‘working at status’ before tutoring commences.
We have invested strongly in evaluating the impact of our programme both internally and externally. In our most recent impact report (academic year 2018–19), 74% of primary school pupils achieved the expected standard in reading and 81% in maths after support from Action Tutoring – 12% and 14% higher respectively than the national average for disadvantaged pupils.
At GCSE, for those pupils who attended at least ten sessions of Action Tutoring support, 61% achieved grade 4 or above in their English GCSE and 58% achieved this benchmark in maths – both again exceeding the pass rate for disadvantaged pupils nationally. This is despite Action Tutoring pupils in the majority being identified by their school as at risk of not achieving a grade 4 or above, or not not achieving expected standards, when starting the Action Tutoring programme.
In 2014–15, an external control group study conducted by NIESR suggested that our GCSE pupils typically achieve half a grade more than similar peers after attending at least seven sessions of our intervention. This study matched over 700 Action Tutoring pupils against a control group using the NPD. Schools typically expect pupils to make one grade of progress in a whole academic year.
We have built further evidence of a strong correlation between the number of sessions attended and grade achieved. Where they attended the equivalent of just two terms of once-a-week tutoring sessions, Year 11 pupils supported by Action Tutoring over 2017/18 and 2018/19 tended to improve their pass-rate by 16%. Furthermore, statistical modelling by an independent external evaluator in 2019 suggests that the average chance of a pupil passing maths increases from 42% after three Action Tutoring sessions, to 64% after 12 sessions, while attending 17 sessions implies a 75% chance of passing. For English, going from 3 to 12 sessions implies an increase from 52% to 62%, and a 67% chance at 17 sessions.
To ensure our face to face programmes can go ahead safely, we have created some guidelines for our volunteers to ensure social distancing measures are adhered to. Where partner schools are enforcing their own social distancing measures, we will keep volunteers informed as appropriate. Action Tutoring's policies are subject to change as further guidance is released by the Government.
We have also developed a detailed Covid-19 delivery policy which highlights how and when a programme might need pausing. As far as possible we want to continue delivering face to face in the schools where that method has been agreed, however we have the systems and technology in place to move programmes online if needed.
“Jo [Action Tutoring staff member] goes above and beyond in supporting the school to support pupils. The resources provided to pupils have plugged gaps in learning and have been an effective revision aid. Pupils have openly informed the school that they felt more confident going into the examinations and the strategies that tutors covered with them significantly reduced stress levels. Pupils’ self esteem throughout the year has increased significantly and the relationship that they form with their tutors is a huge part of this. Pupil mindsets changing from ‘I can’t do this’ to ‘let’s do my very best’ is something that the programme scaffolds pupils with fantastically.”
Ross Scherer, Year 11 Assistant Principal for Achievement, Kenton School Newcastle
For further questions relating to COVID-19 (coronavirus) please visit our dedicated FAQ page.
Action Tutoring is proud to be part of Teach First’s Third Sector Partner Organisations, enabling us to reach more schools ensuring more disadvantaged young people can benefit from tutoring
NTP documents for schools: