Volunteer placement opportunities

Choosing Action Tutoring for your volunteer placement is a rewarding way to make a difference to the lives of disadvantaged young people.

You will be directly supporting children to help ensure they leave school with the grades needed to build a bright future – all while developing your own skills and experience.

Apply now

Why do a volunteer placement with a charity

Volunteering with a charity is an excellent way to start a career in the charity or non-profit sector. Charities will almost always look for experience of volunteering on your CV. Many of our current staff members started as volunteer tutors!

“Volunteering with Action Tutoring helped guide my career. I always knew I wanted to work with young people, and volunteering helped me create networks and find a charity that best matched my values.”

Maryam, our Safeguarding and HR Administrator

As well as looking good on your CV, there are countless other benefits of volunteering with a charity on your placement. You can support a cause you care about, support your local community, boost your mental wellbeing and make new contacts.

Volunteering is a great way to network and forge connections with like-minded people ahead of leaving university.

What does a volunteer placement with Action Tutoring look like?

Through a placement with Action Tutoring, you’ll support 1-3 young people across 10–20 weeks (or longer depending on the timeframe of your placement). You’ll help them build their maths or English subject knowledge, confidence and study skills ahead of their SATs or GCSE exams.

You can choose to work with primary or secondary pupils, with options to support Years 5, 6, 7, 10 and 11.  Sessions are just one hour a week. If you have more hours to make up, you can volunteer on multiple programmes across different subjects and year groups.

The sessions can be face-to-face (in a local school) or online. Each week you’ll help your pupils to understand and practise topics from our workbooks.

Student on volunteer placement

Additional activities can be built in, such as:

  • Supporting us on volunteer recruitment campaigns, such as Student Volunteering Week (February) or Volunteers’ Week (June).
  • Acting as a cover tutor either face-to-face or online. This is a good way to get more experience with pupils from different age groups and geographical locations.
  • Running an event to raise awareness of or money for the charity. Our friendly Fundraising Coordinators can support you with ideas!
  • Writing a reflective piece at the end of your programme, or a blog post for the Action Tutoring website.
  • Supporting an online event, such as one of our open sessions or panel events. 
  • Acting as an ambassador for Action Tutoring at your university, raising awareness of the charity. This could be through your university department, societies you’re involved with, or course friends.

As an international student, being a volunteer tutor for Action Tutoring is actually my first placement in the UK. I feel well-supported and those unique experiences give me more confidence and inspire me for my future career.

Ningyu Guo, BA Education student at the University of Nottingham

Placement hours

You can choose a programme or programmes at a time, day and location that suits you. The number of programmes you sing up to on is flexible depending on the number of hours you need to meet.

Let’s give an example… for a 50 hour volunteer placement, you might sign up to two 20-week programmes and tutor for two hours a week. The additional 10 hours can be made up through planning or additional activities outlined in the section above.

We can sign off up to 30 minutes of planning time per session, as all resources and structured lesson plans are provided.

What skills will I develop?

  • Communication
  • Confidence
  • Initiative
  • Planning and organisation
  • Time-management

You may also have the opportunity to develop additional skills such as advocacy, fundraising, volunteer recruitment or presentation support.

What support will I get?

  • Initial training: this covers who we are, why we exist, working with young people, safeguarding, the curriculum and our resources
  • Additional training for online tutors
  • Access to our optional, ongoing “Bright Ideas” training; particularly useful if you’re interested in a career in teaching or education
  • The resources you need to tutor, including physical tutor workbooks or online templates
  • A dedicated Programme Coordinator for each of your programmes.
  • An Enhanced DBS check (we cover the cost of this)
  • Up to £5 travel expenses per session (includes petrol mileage)

What are the requirements to apply?

  • We look for volunteers who are studying for (or have) a degree in any subject
  • We also look for at least one B grade at A-Level, or equivalent qualifications, in the subject they wish to tutor, or a related subject
  • A passion for working with young people

“Funded fuel expenses were very helpful as a student, as well as excellent managers supervising and checking in regularly.”

Cam Melville, Careers Development Module at Newcastle University

How to maximise your volunteer placement experience

  • Keep a log of your work experiences, positive and negative, and reflect on any challenges faced. It’s great to be able to reflect on scenarios in future interviews. 
  • Ask questions. If there’s a specific area of the charity you’re interested in, ask if you can speak to a staff member from that team to find out more about their experience and how they got there.
  • Make the most of what’s on offer. Enrich your volunteering experience by getting involved in one or more of the additional activities.

Information for universities

We currently partner with over 20 placement departments across England. If you’re a placement coordinator from England, Scotland or Wales, simply contact us to arrange a set up meeting.

Once a placement arrangement is in place, we’d be delighted to present the opportunity to interested students in an online session or in-person, if possible for that region.

Get in touch

Whether you’re a student looking for a volunteer placement opportunity or a university with a question about partnering, we’re happy to chat. Just email our friendly University Partnerships Coordinator, Lilah: lilah@actiontutoring.org.uk.