Our impact approach

Action Tutoring is committed to improving the academic outcomes of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, demonstrated through our impact data. We pride ourselves on our evidence-based approach to supporting pupils, using baseline assessments and progress checks to monitor the impact our tutoring is having and capturing the final exam results of our pupils and comparing against the national average for disadvantaged pupils. Each year a summary of our data is published in our annual impact report. You can read these reports below.


Action Tutoring published its 2022-23 Impact Report in January 2024.

2022–23 was a year of powerful partnerships, programme refinement and recognition for our work. We were thrilled in the autumn that our work was recognised with a Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Volunteering Award. We were one of only 20 charities honoured with this one-off award to recognise the service and impact of our inspiring volunteer tutors on disadvantaged young people across England.

Key findings:

  • A total of 5,743 disadvantaged pupils received more than 58,880 hours of tutoring delivered by 1,743 volunteers in 146 schools.
  • 71% of pupils supported were eligible for Pupil Premium funding.
  • The attainment gap is at the widest it’s been in 12 years. Following sustained progress in narrowing the attainment gap from 2011 to 2018, the gap increased slightly in 2019 even prior to the pandemic, and then substantially increased in 2022, wiping out a decade of progress.
  • In 2023, just 44% of disadvantaged pupils met expected standards, compared to 66% of non-disadvantaged pupils.
  • In 2023, just 43% of disadvantaged pupils passed both English and maths GCSE, compared to 73% of non-disadvantaged pupils.
  • After ten or more sessions with Action Tutoring, disadvantaged pupils were more likely to achieve the expected standards than other disadvantaged pupils across the country — by 7 percentage points in reading and 14 percentage points in maths.
  • Action Tutoring’s pupils were nearly 13 percentage points more likely to pass maths GCSE than other disadvantaged pupils nationally. After attending at least 10 tutoring sessions, 65% of disadvantaged pupils passed their maths GCSE compared to 52% of other disadvantaged pupils nationally.
  • Research by Impetus has shown that young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are 50% more likely to be out of education, employment or training (NEET) on leaving school than their peers and that three quarters of NEET young people have been stuck there for at least 12 months.
  • This year, the Department for Education (DfE) commissioned the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) to evaluate the NTP in its third year. It found that tutoring in 2021–22 delivered at least a month’s additional progress over the course of the academic year for maths and for English.
  • With Government plans to end funding for the National Tutoring Programme in 2024, we joined forces with policy and research consultancy, Public First, to underscore tutoring’s impact on attainment, attendance and mental health. Together with Public First, Impetus, The Tutor Trust and Get Further, we launched a report ‘The Future of Tutoring’.


Action Tutoring published its 2021-22 Impact Report in January 2023.

This report is a celebration of Action Tutoring’s impact in its 10th anniversary year. It shares some of the key highlights – record breaking reach and new geographies – but also draws attention to the significant impact of the pandemic on education and how it has hit disadvantaged young people the hardest.

Key findings:

  • Action Tutoring celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2022.  Since it was officially registered as a charity in 2012, it has supported over 26,000 primary and secondary school pupils with the help of over 11,500 dedicated volunteer tutors.  
  • In 2021-22 Action Tutoring supported the highest number of pupils in the charity’s history. 6,159 pupils received 67,800 hours of tutoring, with 586 pupils receiving support in both maths and English.
  • 3,026 primary school pupils received tutoring to support them with their reading or maths and 3,133 secondary school pupils received tutoring to help them with their English or maths.
  • 2,345 volunteer tutors delivered a staggering 30,855 hours of tutoring. Action Tutoring worked in partnership with 147 schools.  69% of pupils were eligible for Pupil Premium funding (a government grant given to reduce the attainment gap for disadvantaged pupils).  
  • Nationally the difference in overall attainment between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged pupils increased by 23 percentage points. It’s now at its widest for a decade. Action Tutoring’s analysis shows that pupils supported by the charity were more likely to achieve the expected standards than other disadvantaged pupils across the country — by 8 percentage points in maths and 8 in reading.
  • Key Stage 4 formal GCSE examinations took place in summer 2022 for Year 11 pupils, for the first time since 2019. Recent data shows the GCSE disadvantage gap index has widened and is now the largest it has been in ten years.
  • Action Tutoring’s analysis shows that 72% of disadvantaged pupils passed their maths GCSE after attending at least 10 tutoring sessions with the charity. When they began their journey with Action Tutoring, these pupils had been through two challenging years of pandemic disruption and were at risk of not achieving a passing grade. Unfortunately the data set for pupils who were supported in English for at least 10 tutoring sessions was too small, making it too difficult to draw meaningful conclusions from it. 
  • Pupils who also had Action Tutoring sessions in Year 10 were more likely to pass in that subject at GCSE, when compared to other Action Tutoring pupils — 11% more likely in English and 27% more likely in maths.
  • Disadvantaged pupils are, on average, 18 months behind their non-disadvantaged peers by the end of secondary school. This increases to 22 months for those who are persistently disadvantaged (eligible for free school meals for at least 80% of their time at school).
  • Recent research shows that four in five pupils say their education suffered during school closures and about half say they have been unable to catch up with learning lost amid the lockdowns. The study found that pupils from disadvantaged households were most affected by lost learning during the pandemic: they missed more school time, were less likely to attend schools that offered live lessons and less likely to be able to access online teaching.
  • Since schools fully reopened attendance has not yet returned to the pre-pandemic average, in the first term of the 2021-22 academic year, 50% of disadvantaged pupils in Years 10 and 11 had missed at least 10% of in-person sessions, compared to 35% of non-disadvantaged pupils.


Action Tutoring published its 2020-21 Impact Report in April 2022.

This report is both a reflection and a celebration: a reflection of the significant impact the pandemic has had on education and the even greater challenge this poses for pupils facing disadvantage who are prevented from reaching their full academic potential.

But it is a celebration of Action Tutoring’s 10 years of impact, recognising the achievements and evolution of delivery and positioning itself for another decade of making a difference.

Key findings: 

  • 2020-21 was a record breaking year for Action Tutoring.  The charity more than doubled in size in response to the ongoing pandemic. 150% increase in tutors volunteering and 160% increase in pupils supported. 
  • 5,528 pupils were supported in total, receiving over 61,700 hours of tutoring delivered by 2,749 volunteers. Action Tutoring worked in partnership with 156 schools
  • Action Tutoring is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2022.  Since it was officially registered as a charity in 2012, Action Tutoring has supported over 19,000 pupils with the help of over 9,000 volunteer tutors.  
  • Last year GCSE results were decided by teachers (teacher-assessed grades). Of those Action Tutoring pupils eligible for the Pupil Premium, who attended at least eight tutoring sessions in their subject: 81% achieved grade 4 or above in English and 80% achieved grade 4 or above in maths.  These pupils out-performed the national GCSE results for disadvantaged pupils (nationally 67% of disadvantaged pupils achieved a grade 4 or above in English and 62% for maths in 2020-21).
  • Due to the pandemic, SATs were cancelled for a second year for Year 6 pupils.  Action Tutoring carried out progress assessments with 500 of the Year 6 pupils it supported, approximately halfway through the academic year.   Positive progress was made in both subjects by the pupils, matching progress made by pupils in the previous academic year (pre-pandemic). 
  • School closures are likely to reverse progress made to narrow the academic attainment gap in the last decade.  Predictions estimate the gap could increase by as much as 75%.  A recent EPI report found the disadvantage gap at GCSE is significant, and outcomes for the very poorest pupils in long-term poverty have failed to improve after a decade.

Watch the video below to find out more.


Action Tutoring published its 2019-20 Impact Report in March 2021. The country was still in lockdown and schools closed. It is particularly poignant given the charity’s last report was also released under these same conditions, back in April 2020.

The report celebrates the charity’s achievements from the previous year – both before and after the pandemic struck – and also highlights the significant impact Covid-19 has had on education and the disadvantaged pupils Action Tutoring supports.

It is a valuable reflection of the year and highlights how important additional academic support, like Action Tutoring, is and will be in helping pupils make up for the time lost.

Read our impact report for an overview of key achievements for the previous year:

Key findings:

  • From September 2019 to March 2020, Action Tutoring supported 2,108 disadvantaged pupils, in 95 schools across eight cities. 

  • The charity’s incredible 1,098 volunteers delivered 8,983 tutoring sessions pupils in this time.

  • During the time of delivery, pupils made an average of +12% progress from their initial assessment, conducted at the start of their programme, to their progress assessment in February.

  • Even before the crisis, disadvantaged pupils were, on average, already 18 months behind their non-disadvantaged peers by the end of secondary school. Projections suggest school closures will widen this gap, reversing all progress made to narrow it since 2011. Studies suggest it could widen by as much as 75%.

  • Launching its online delivery proved vital in the following months. In autumn 2020, Action Tutoring had over 80 online programmes underway, as well as continuing delivering face to face. With the school closures in early 2021, the charity was able to quickly adapt its provision so that over 130 online programmes were up and running in a matter of weeks, providing valuable tutoring support to pupils whilst they were at home.


Action Tutoring released its 2018-19 Impact Report in April 2020, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Reflecting on its contents, Action Tutoring became even more determined to weather the crisis and ensure it could continue to deliver its impactful academic support to the pupils who will so desperately need it.

Read our Impact Report for an overview of key achievements for 2018-19:

Key findings:

  • In 2018-19, 1,150 inspiring volunteers supported over 2,500 disadvantaged pupils in 84 schools across seven UK cities.

  • Of the primary school pupils the charity supported, 74% met the expected standard in reading and 81% in maths (12% and 14% higher respectively than the national average for disadvantaged pupils).

  • Of the secondary school pupils who attended ten or more Action Tutoring sessions, 61% achieved a grade 4 or above in GCSE English and 58% reached this level in GCSE maths, both exceeding the national average for disadvantaged pupils. All pupils supported by Action Tutoring were at risk of not achieving these standards when they began the tutoring programme.


Action Tutoring launched its 2017-18 Impact Report in March 2019, at an event held in Westminster and attended by Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP. He shared his support for the charity:

“This 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.”

He also remarked on the “huge potential for more volunteers to use their knowledge and experience in this way to support young people”.

You can read the 2017-18 Impact Report and view our video of the event highlights below:

NIESR report and Nesta’s Standards of Evidence

For the academic year 2014-15, an external evaluator, NIESR, carried out a control group evaluation of our results, comparing the performance of just over 700 pupils tutored with Action Tutoring against a matched control group of pupils with very similar characteristics, using data from the National Pupil Database.

This work was funded by NESTA as part of the Social Action Innovation Fund. During this academic year, pupils on the programme had on average 6-8 tutoring sessions.

A full copy of the report, including detail about the methodology, can be viewed below:

Key findings:

  • The programme has a positive impact on GCSE point scores equivalent to 1/3 of a grade.

  • For those pupils who attend at least seven sessions, an additional 1/2 a grade progress was found.

We are delighted that in September 2016 Action Tutoring was validated as having achieved Level 3 on Nesta’s Standards of Evidence.

View our certificate here: Action Tutoring Standards of Evidence certificate

Nesta states,

“This means there is strong evidence of Action Tutoring’s impact. Rigorous evaluation techniques have been used to show a positive change in one or more key outcomes among the programme’s beneficiaries, and to show that this change was caused by the programme itself rather than other factors.”


Focus on Pupil Premium

Action Tutoring is a charity which was established long before the National Tutoring Programme and our mission has always been to support pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. We have not wavered from this focus. In 2021-22, 70% of our pupils were eligible for Pupil Premium funding. This year currently 72% are, with another 22% whose teachers have confirmed they would not otherwise have access to tutoring. We are committed to closing the attainment gap through our work and ensuring our support reaches the right pupils is crucial to our delivery.