The impact the school closures will have on our pupils is significant. As pupils have now returned to schools, it’s our ambition to deliver as much face-to-face tutoring as possible, in addition to our online sessions, to support our pupils when they need it most.
We ask all volunteers to be over the age of 18 and to have received their A Level results.
Please do complete our application form if you are interested in volunteering with us. Your help will make a difference.
Read our FAQs below for more information about tutoring with us.
1) Fill out our volunteer online application form
2) Attend a training session and complete a DBS check
3) Select the programme you’d like to attend
Join us as a volunteer and support disadvantaged pupils in Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool and Wirral, London, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield and Sussex.
We are now offering online tutoring, which is a great option for anyone on a busy schedule, less able to get to school locations or continuing to keep their distance from groups of people. Online tutoring also allows us to expand and recruit tutors from outside of our regions.
To find out more about what being a volunteer entails, you may refer to our more detailed role description. For additional information, read the Action Tutoring Volunteer Policies and Procedures 2019-20 and check out our latest newsletter.
Action Tutoring is proud to be an inclusive, equal opportunities organisation for its volunteers. We’re always looking to attract the very best volunteers from the most diverse and widest possible talent pool. We’re committed to ensuring that all applicants are treated fairly throughout the recruitment and training process. If you require any advice, additional information, or support before or during your application with us, please let us know via [email protected]
Frequently asked questions
If you can’t find the answer to your question below, do get in touch via our main email.
Action Tutoring partners with primary and secondary schools to deliver tutoring programmes for pupils preparing for their GCSEs and SATs in English and maths. A 'programme' means a term of tutoring at a partner school, with sessions at the same time and day each week. A programme is usually between 8 to 10 weeks long (the equivalent of a school term), occasionally they can stretch to 12 weeks. The start and end dates will be communicated with you before you commit.
There are no sessions during school holidays.
As a volunteer, you will be able to choose which programme you are allocated to. For the pupils, all tutoring takes place at school. If you decide to tutor on one of our in person programmes, you will attend these sessions in schools, where you will be working in a team alongside other volunteer tutors. For our online programmes, tutors work remotely and support pupils in English or maths in a virtual classroom.
We ask you to commit to attending the same school at the same time each week for an hour, over the course of a school term (8-10 weeks). You will need to attend one of our online training sessions and be willing to put some time into preparing for your sessions.
Consistency and continuity is really important for the delivery of the tutoring to enable our pupils to achieve; you must be able to commit to attending every session before signing up to a programme.
Please note that tutoring sessions usually take place before, shortly after or during the school day. Travel to and from the school must be factored into your weekly time commitment. There are occasional tutoring opportunities on Saturdays, but we do not run tutoring sessions in the evenings. Our programmes run during the school terms so there are no opportunities available over July and August.
If you are a secondary maths tutor you will be covering a range of maths skills including percentages, fractions, algebra and probability, among others, as well as exam question practice. In primary schools you will be covering arithmetic and basic maths operations.
If you are a secondary English tutor, we primarily look to focus on supporting pupils with their English Language paper not the English literature paper. This paper looks at reading and writing skills e.g. helping with spelling, punctuation and grammar, essay writing skills, reading comprehension, and more. In primary schools you will be focusing on improving pupils' language comprehension skills by reading various short fiction and non-fiction texts.
Yes, you can! We have recently launched our online tutoring platform, meaning you'll be able to join one of our tutoring programmes from anywhere in England, Scotland and Wales.
Unfortunately, we are unable to accept applications from tutors living outside of England, Scotland and Wales. This is due to being unable to run a DBS check. If you are a tutor based in the UK but are travelling elsewhere, you can only be abroad (and delivering sessions) for a maximum of six weeks whilst tutoring on a programme.
A desktop or laptop computer (not a tablet), a webcam (inbuilt or external) and internet access (e.g Wi-Fi).
Online tutoring will take place in a virtual classroom, using our online delivery platform, Vedamo. Full Vedamo training will be provided to all tutors before their first online session.
You can apply to become a volunteer tutor all year-round! Below you will find the steps to becoming a tutor and roughly how long each stage takes. Please note these times may differ throughout the year and are just an estimate.
- Apply to be a tutor by filling out the online application form.
- Receive response within 1-2 working days. (Telephone interview is sometimes also required to provide further details)
- Attend one of our online training sessions (these last 2 hours 15 minutes. Multiple sessions available each week throughout the year, fewer during holidays).
- Complete an Enhanced DBS check (This can take between one day and six weeks. Applications are usually processed within two weeks)
- Sign up to a programme - (Most tutors join at the beginning of the autumn, spring and summer terms*)
- Tutor for 8-12 weeks
*As we support pupils directly in schools, our programmes run in line with the academic school year. Hence, the time of year you sign up to volunteer can change the length of time you can support a pupil. For example, if you sign up in the autumn term you will have the opportunity to support them up until their exams in May.
An enhanced DBS check is a criminal record check, which Action Tutoring are required to carry out for all volunteers. DBS checks enable us to make safe recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with children and young people.
Action Tutoring complies with the relevant DBS Code of Practice and undertakes to treat all applicants for positions fairly.
You can read more about the DBS process and what's required here.
We have carefully refined our tutoring model for nearly a decade. We know what we do works, so we won’t be changing anything about our approach.
The way we deliver our tutoring and the responsibilities of our tutors will not change. However we expect to partner with lots more schools as a result of this programme, which means there will be lots more tutoring opportunities available to choose from.
To ensure no child is left behind, we need more tutors. We know you’re not able to volunteer right now but can you help to spread the word? Please share our opportunities with any individuals or organisations who could support us through volunteering. With online and face-to-face programmes available over a range of days and times, it’s never been easier to take part.
You will be given training, resources and will have the support of the Action Tutoring staff, including a Programme Coordinator, who will attend tutoring sessions and deliver ongoing tutor development during the course of a tutoring programme.
If you would like to talk to one of our existing tutors to find out what's involved, please email [email protected].
We look for volunteers who have or are studying for a degree (in any subject) and have a B grade (or above) at A Level (or equivalent qualifications/training/work experience, something we would love to hear about!) in the subject they wish to tutor. English or maths-related A Level subjects are also considered, such as: history, politics or sociology (for English tutors) and physics, chemistry and economics (for maths tutors).
This is to ensure that you are confident and comfortable with the topics you will be tutoring.
If your qualifications do not match these requirements, we would still encourage you to apply. Once we review your answers we may then arrange a call with you to find out more.
We take all previous experience into consideration, so please do include anything you think might be relevant.
As a tutor, you need to have good communication skills and be a fluent English speaker. You’ll need to be willing to make your sessions engaging and interactive. Working with young people requires patience, commitment and resilience – experience working with young people is preferable but not essential.
Unfortunately we are unable to accept applications from students who haven’t yet completed their A Levels or equivalent. This is due to safeguarding issues, as well as level of subject knowledge.
We would therefore encourage you to only apply once you have completed your studies.
Action Tutoring is committed to ensuring fair and equal treatment of its volunteers and welcomes applications from anyone who believes they meet the required criteria.
In line with the Equality Act 2010, if you require any help, advice or specific adjustments for the interview process, training or tutoring please get in touch with us and we will be happy to make the necessary arrangements. Or if you would like to discuss before applying please contact [email protected]
In addition to helping a young person, we believe there are many benefits for our volunteers. These include:
- Giving back by supporting and interacting with young people living in your community. It gives you the opportunity to make a difference to a young person's academic attainment and future opportunities.
- A chance to improve your communication and problem solving skills
- Meet and socialise with like minded people
- Valuable opportunity to share your skills and your spare time to give back
- Boost your CV
- Experience working in a school (particularly useful for aspiring teachers)
You can read more about our volunteer tutor experiences through looking at these case studies.
Hear from Simrat (New York University student) about her experience volunteering with Action Tutoring in London last year:
Our model has always been to use volunteers. We believe in harnessing the potential of social power to 'do good' and 'give back', without financial reward. It is central to our mission. We have an inspiring and diverse pool of tutors including corporate employees, retired individuals and university students who bring huge benefits to their pupils. They support us because they believe in our mission and share our values.
We are a charity and a not-for-profit organisation. Funding we receive from the Government as part of the National Tutoring Programme (NTP) covers our central costs, for example, recruiting and training our tutors and employing Programme Coordinators to manage school relationships. We believe passionately in empowering volunteers to make a difference, at a time when support is needed most, and are continuing with our volunteer-based model.
We want to continue doing what we do for years to come, so it is essential to maintain a sustainable model that can continue with or without government funding.
Within certain guidelines, we are happy to provide a reference once you have completed a full programme. You can view our references policy in our policies and procedures booklet.
Yes we can cover reasonable travel expenses, up to £5 per session. Travel expenses are reimbursed once you have completed a programme, rather than on a week by week basis. Please see our volunteer expenses policy for more information. Some volunteers chose not to claim to further support us in our work as a small charity, and this is always appreciated but not expected.