News & Insights 27 September 2021

Spotlight on Nottingham: The birthplace of Torvill and Dean and where Action Tutoring has been supporting disadvantaged pupils since 2019

Nottingham. Birthplace of Torvill and Dean. Home to Raleigh Bikes. And since autumn 2019, where Action Tutoring has been supporting disadvantaged pupils to reach their potential.

Do you want to read more about how our tutoring programmes work? Here you’ll find all the details! 

Many people believe there is very little child poverty in the UK today, but this is not the case.

Over the past two years, we have been working with schools in Nottingham to support the city’s disadvantaged pupils. Sadly, Nottingham has high levels of deprivation. It ranks eleventh out of the 317 districts in England – we wanted to help tackle this issue.

Children who grow up in poverty lack many of the experiences and opportunities that others take for granted. Providing quality education to disadvantaged pupils can greatly increase their chances of breaking the poverty cycle and create a better future for themselves and their families.

There is a growing concern that the disadvantage gap in education may increase even more in schools as more and more pupils fall into longer term poverty.

Early intervention is important to ensure pupils have the right learning foundation to continue their education. That’s why we are delighted to partner with schools in Nottingham and help them best support primary and secondary pupils.

Studies have shown that Government efforts to “level up” funding for education have resulted in Nottingham schools missing out. The report found almost 60% of the most deprived fifth of schools had seen a real terms reduction in Government funding since 2017-18.

Our tailored tuition supports partner schools in Nottingham to provide further academic support in maths and English to their disadvantaged pupils.

Our volunteer tutors have been going into schools and working directly with pupils from a range of backgrounds, who have greatly benefited from small group tuition.

Fun fact about Nottingham: The UK’s first radio phone-in took place on Radio Nottingham in 1968. It’s ‘thought topic’ was on pest control. 

Those who have been joining us for face-to-face tutoring have expressed not only how much they have enjoyed supporting our pupils, but also how much they have also benefited from volunteering with Action Tutoring. Tutors have learned new skills, gained tutoring experience and had the opportunity to give back to their local community.

Our work has even drawn the interest of local Nottingham MPs. Year 6 pupils at a local primary school were awash with excitement when Alex Norris, MP for Nottingham North, visited their programme last year. Being able to demonstrate the progress they had made in subject knowledge; study skills and confidence was a fantastic opportunity.

(L- R) Alex Norris, MP for Nottingham North, pictured alongside Jen Fox, Interim CEO of education charity Action Tutoring, during his visit to Heathfield Primary School in Kersall Drive, Nottingham. Photo: Friday 2nd July 2021. (Photo: Joseph Raynor/ Nottingham Post)

In 2021-22, we will be continuing our work, supporting young people across eight schools over 15 programmes.

“We can’t wait to get started. As programme coordinators, we love seeing the progression pupils make throughout the year – our end of programme celebrations are always a highlight. We come together – pupils, staff and tutors – to celebrate everything that has been achieved.”
Sam Paterson, Programme Coordinator for Nottingham

We couldn’t be more proud of our volunteers in Nottingham who are committed to our cause and help us reduce the attainment gap one pupil at a time. The help of our tutors can have a significant impact on the pupils’ academic performance, which has been affected by school closures during lockdown.

More studies from the EPI annual report reveal that disadvantaged secondary school pupils in Nottinghamshire are more than 18 months behind their better-off peers.

Researchers at the EPI said a rise in persistent poverty had stunted progress in closing the gap nationally over the last five years, with the poorest GCSE students still an average of 18.1 months behind.

There is now abundant evidence that poverty and social vulnerability require urgent action both in and outside of school.

Jo Hutchinson, report author and director of social mobility and vulnerable learners at the EPI

And we need your help to make all this possible. The pandemic has had a massive impact on young people’s education and here in Nottingham, we need your support with face-to-face tutoring.

Sign up today to be an in-person tutor and be part of something special or recommend us to a friend.

Do you want to read more about volunteering as a tutor with us? Read Sam’s experience, a student volunteer from the University of Nottingham here and learn how supporting others can also be highly rewarding for you!