News & Insights 4 March 2022

National Tutoring Programme target for poorer pupils removed

Schools Week has announced that the target of 65% of Pupil Premium pupils participating in the National Tutoring Programme has been removed for Tuition Partners. This comes as a surprise since the 65% pupil premium requirement was initially a key performance indicator between the DfE and Randstad.

Below you will find our joint response with other Tuition Partners to the removal of the Pupil Premium target.

We are writing to you as a collective of organisations committed to the success of the National Tutoring Programme and with specific expertise in working with disadvantaged young people.

We are disappointed that the target of 65% of Pupil Premium pupils participating in the National Tutoring Programme has been removed for Tuition Partners, following the communication from Randstad today. We consider this a dilution of the core original purpose of the programme, to support disadvantaged pupils to recover from the pandemic. The programme now fails to focus on the disadvantaged pupils who need this support the most, which was its original aim. We believe that in the long run, this will only serve to widen the attainment gap further, surely a consequence no one would wish to see from the NTP.

The tuition partner KPI of 65% of Pupil Premium pupils still allowed schools the discretion to add pupils not eligible for the pupil premium, something we recognise was important and needed. It was a balanced approach to ensuring support was reaching those that needed it most, whilst rightly allowing schools some flexibility to adapt to their contexts.

We are concerned that this target has now been lowered due to Randstad’s apparent failure to deliver on the pupil premium target and to ensure uptake of the programme overall. The solution to that is surely not to then change a valuable and needed target, but to review the design of the programme and address Randstad’s ability to deliver the programme in line with the original aims.

We would urge the DfE to reconsider this change and to ensure that supporting disadvantaged pupils remains a top priority of the National Tutoring Programme.

Yours sincerely,

Susannah Hardyman, Action Tutoring
Nick Bent, Tutor Trust
Adam Alagiah, TalentEd
Paul Singh, Equal Education
Robin Chu, Coach Bright
Nathan Sansom, The Access Project
Aisha Washington, Get Further
Gina Cicerone and Janeen Hayat, Fair Education Alliance

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