Student Volunteering

We know how fantastic university students are as volunteer tutors for our pupils, and what brilliant experiences students can gain from volunteering with us. From building your CV, to developing key skills around communication, organisation, planning and listening – volunteering with Action Tutoring can truly support you throughout and beyond your degree.

Whether you want to participate in a placement, tutor as part of a volunteering module, or volunteer independently for as little as one hour per week, we have an opportunity for you!

Volunteer as a university student

University placements

Through a placement with Action Tutoring you will actively support between one and three young people across a school term (8–10 weeks), helping them build their maths or English subject knowledge, confidence and study skills in order to achieve academically. The number of programmes you partake in can be increased depending on the requirements of your placement, and additional responsibilities can be built into your volunteering to ensure you meet the hours required to support the objectives and aims of your placement. 

If you want to discuss getting involved with Action Tutoring for a university placement, email our Partnerships Coordinator (Universities) Lilah Sharp, lilah@actiontutoring.org.uk.

Hear from our 20-21 placement students

“The aims of my placement were to gain valuable and transferable skills for both my degree and my future career. My placement with Action Tutoring has more than helped me reach these, specifically in confidence, planning, and time-management. It was amazing and it has truly made me want to pursue more tutoring roles in the future. My decision was not so certain before this placement so thank you so much!”

Elsie volunteered with Action Tutoring for one term as part of a university placement module. Read her placement experience with Action Tutoring here.

Tutor as part of your volunteering module

Action Tutoring placements are flexible and you can build your volunteering hours depending on how many programmes you sign up to. If your module requires more than one hour per week, you can sign up to multiple programmes and gain a breadth of experience by choosing to work with different year groups, tutor a different subject, volunteer in different schools, or in different cities as an online tutor!

Volunteer for one hour per week

Volunteering doesn’t have to be related to your course. If you want to sign up as a tutor for one hour per week, join us by applying online! 

Want to advocate for us? 

If you volunteer with us already and are interested in representing Action Tutoring within your university as an advocate, please email your interest to ilina@actiontutoring.org.uk.

Activities could include sending introductory emails to your networks or societies, organising a fundraising event, or supporting one of our staff members at a fair, on a university stall or in a presentation. Another fantastic opportunity to add to your CV! 

Student volunteering FAQs

What if I don’t think I have enough time to volunteer?

To be part of our volunteer community you’d only need to commit to an hour each week! We offer in-person volunteer opportunities, as well as online tutoring for those with a busy schedule, less able to go to school locations. 

Amber, one of our tutors, volunteered with Action Tutoring during her final year at Nottingham Trent University. She has said that “the actual delivery of the session plus planning time is completely doable alongside other commitments”

She would urge anyone considering an application not to worry about whether they can fit it in as it is “totally manageable”!

What do I need to think about before I decide to volunteer?

The first and most important thing to consider before sending your application is to make sure you can commit to one hour every week, so both you and your pupils can get the most out of the volunteering experience!

You can also decide what age group works best for you. Would you feel more comfortable tutoring pupils in primary school, or secondary school? In addition, we would advise university students who are interested in pursuing a career in teaching that choosing in-person tutoring might be even more beneficial, since you get to interact more with your pupils and get a better understanding of how schools work.

Lastly, we encourage our student volunteers to reflect about what they want to gain from their volunteering experience with us. Set some goals for yourself, such as improving your communication skills or making new friends, and compare

What skills do I need?

We want to make sure our volunteer tutors deliver excellent tutoring sessions to disadvantaged pupils. That’s why we look for qualities such as patience, good communication skills and empathy. 

Specifically, as a tutor the ability to remain patient, calm and respectful is necessary. This will allow tutors to better interact with pupils and ensure sessions run smoothly. 

Will I receive training?

Online tutors will need to complete a Looop training before they can sign up to a programme. This introduces them to Vedamo, their virtual classroom tools and key considerations for online programmes. The topics covered are listed below. Once you have a Looop login, you will be able to work through the topics yourself. 

What will the initial training session include?

  • Action Tutoring’s mission
  • Why tutor online?
  • Safeguarding updates relating to online tutoring
  • Differences between online and in person programmes
  • Online tutoring resources
  • Opening up the virtual classroom
  • Importing session templates
  • Using the virtual classroom’s tools
  • Next steps
What can I expect from my volunteering experience?

Joining our inspiring volunteering community means you’ll have the chance to gain tutoring experience, have access to our optional Bright Ideas training session for further support and also be able to use our workbooks and resources. 

You can expect to have dedicated members of staff supporting you from the moment you apply until the last tutoring session with us. Our Programme Coordinators are always available to offer you support and further guidance. 

Read More: How Action Tutoring helps volunteers with their careers

I’m on a student visa. Does this activity count as volunteering or voluntary work?

In December 2020 our charity sought legal advice to review our volunteering activity and determine how it should be categorised. Following their research they concluded that our tutoring opportunity is volunteering, not voluntary work, as our tutors do not work under a contract. Tutors can choose from a selection of times to support (they are not bound by a specific time); there is no payment in kind and no penalty if they drop out.

What if my question isn’t answered here?

If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us at volunteer@actiontutoring.org.com

Watch the video below to see what the pupils we work with think about our volunteer tutors: