If you can’t find the answer to your question below, please get in touch at hello@actiontutoring.org.uk 

How does Action Tutoring work?

Action Tutoring partners with primary and secondary state schools to deliver tutoring programmes for pupils in Years 5, 6, 7, 10 and 11 in English and maths.

You will be paired with between one and three pupils, with pupils grouped according to their proficiency with particular areas of the curriculum.

We run tutoring with schools over the course of an academic year.  We ask tutors for an initial commitment of 1-1.5 hours a week for 10-20 weeks, with sessions at the same time and day each week. If you enjoy it, we love you to continue so that you can keep on supporting the same pupils with their progress.

We are not offering any evening sessions currently and Saturday morning slots are limited. 

Sessions run before, during or shortly after the school day, and also some programmes on Saturday mornings. Each session lasts for 1 to 1.5 hours, where pupils receive support with maths or English, or both. Programmes run during term time, there are no sessions during the school holidays. 

Tutoring is either delivered in person, with volunteers travelling to the schools of the pupils they are working with, or delivered remotely, using our online virtual classroom. As a volunteer, you will be able to choose which programme you are allocated to.

Click for more information about how our programmes work

What’s the commitment?

We ask that our volunteers commit to at least one hour of tutoring each week, attending the same school at the same time each week, over the course of a programme (10-20 weeks). You will need to attend one of our online training sessions and be willing to put some time into preparing for your sessions.  We love you to stay with us for longer if you’re enjoying it and have the time. 

Consistency and continuity in tutoring delivery is really important to enable our pupils to achieve; you must be able to commit to attending every session before signing up to a programme.

What will I be tutoring and what resources will I use?

We have produced a portfolio of 12 carefully structured workbooks, designed in reference to the SATs and the different GCSE exam boards by curriculum specialists, that include activities intended to be effective in a tutoring environment. These workbooks organise the subject material across weekly sessions and provide activities to develop pupils’ understanding of different subject areas.

As a tutor, you will receive mirroring tutor workbooks that contain guidance on how to explain particular topics and common misconceptions.

If you are a secondary maths tutor, you will be covering a range of maths skills including percentages, fractions, algebra and probability, as well as exam question practice. In primary schools you will be covering arithmetic and basic maths operations.

If you are a secondary English tutor, we primarily look to focus on supporting pupils with their English Language paper, not the English literature paper. This paper looks at reading and writing skills e.g. spelling, punctuation and grammar, essay writing skills, reading comprehension, and more. In primary schools, you will be focusing on improving pupils’ language comprehension skills by reading various short fiction and non-fiction texts.

What’s the timeline for getting involved?

You can apply to become a volunteer tutor all year-round! Below you will find the steps and roughly how long each stage takes. Please note these times may differ throughout the year and are just an estimate.  Depending on availability, you can normally join a programme approximately 3-4 weeks after applying. 

  1. Apply to be a tutor by filling out the online application form. 
  2. Receive response within 1-2 working days (a short telephone interview is sometimes also required to provide further details).
  3. Attend one of our online training sessions – these last for 2 hours and 15 minutes. Multiple sessions are available each week throughout the year, fewer during holidays.
  4. Complete an Enhanced DBS check (this can take between one day and six weeks, applications are usually processed within two weeks).
  5. Sign up to a programme – (most tutors join at the beginning of the autumn, spring and summer terms*)
  6. Tutor on a programme.

*As we support pupils directly in schools, our programmes run in line with the academic school year. Hence, the time of year you sign up to volunteer can change the length of time you can support a pupil. For example, if you sign up in the autumn term, you will have the opportunity to support pupils up until their exams in May.

I don’t live in any of your regions – can I still apply to be an online tutor?

Yes, you can! Around 70% of our programmes are delivered through our online tutoring platform, meaning you’ll be able to join one of our tutoring programmes from anywhere in England, Scotland or Wales.

If you are based in the UK but are travelling elsewhere, you can be abroad (and delivering sessions) for a maximum of six weeks while tutoring on a programme.

Can I tutor from a different country, if I’m tutoring online?

Unfortunately, we are unable to accept applications from tutors living outside of England, Scotland and Wales. This is due to being unable to run a DBS check.

If you are based in the UK but are travelling elsewhere, you can be abroad (and delivering sessions) for a maximum of six weeks while tutoring on a programme.

What equipment do I need to tutor online?

A desktop or laptop computer, a webcam (built-in or external) and internet access (e.g Wi-Fi).

Online tutoring will take place in a virtual classroom using our online delivery platform, Vedamo. Full Vedamo training will be provided to all tutors before their first online session.

What support will I receive?

You will be given initial training, tutor resources and will have the support of the Action Tutoring staff, including a Programme Coordinator, who will attend tutoring sessions and deliver ongoing tutor development during the course of a tutoring programme.

If you would like to talk to one of our existing tutors to find out what’s involved, please email fleur@actiontutoring.org.uk.

What is a Programme Coordinator?

A Programme Coordinator is an Action Tutoring member of staff who oversees the delivery of every session, by attending the schools where pupils receive tutoring.

As a volunteer, you will be assigned a Programme Coordinator when you sign up to tutor on a specific programme. They will be your main point of contact with Action Tutoring while tutoring at your chosen school and will offer support and advice over the duration of the 8-10 week programme, as well as being on hand to answer any questions between sessions.

How does the National Tutoring Programme impact tutors?

We have carefully refined our tutoring model for nearly a decade. We know what we do works, so the way we deliver our tutoring and the responsibilities of our tutors has not changed as a result of being part of the National Tutoring Programme. However we are able to partner with more schools than we ever have before so have lots more tutoring opportunities available to choose from and need lots more volunteers.

What qualifications do I need?

We look for volunteers who have or are studying for a degree (in any subject) and have a B grade (or above) at A Level (or equivalent) in the subject they wish to tutor. English or maths related A Level subjects are also considered, such as: history, politics or sociology (for English tutors) and physics, chemistry and economics (for maths tutors). This is to ensure that you are confident and comfortable with the topics that you will be tutoring.

If your qualifications do not match these requirements, we still encourage you to apply and we would love to hear about any other qualifications/training/work experience related to the role. Once we review your answers, we may then arrange a call with you to find out more. We take all previous experience into consideration, so please include anything you think might be relevant.

Can I tutor while studying for my A Levels or equivalent?

Unfortunately we are unable to accept applications from students who are under 18 years old and who haven’t yet completed their A Levels or equivalent. This is for safeguarding reasons and our requirements for subject knowledge and delivery.

We would therefore encourage you to only apply once you have completed your studies.

What skills do I need?

As a tutor, you need to have good communication skills and be a fluent English speaker. You’ll need to be willing to make your sessions engaging and interactive.

Experience working with young people is preferable but not essential. Working with young people requires patience, commitment and resilience.

Can I apply to volunteer if I have a disability?

Action Tutoring is committed to ensuring fair and equal treatment of its volunteers and welcomes applications from anyone who believes they meet the required criteria. 

In line with the Equality Act 2010, if you require any help, advice or specific adjustments for the interview process, training or tutoring please get in touch with us and we will be happy to make the necessary arrangements. Or, if you would like to discuss this before applying, please contact volunteer@actiontutoring.org.uk.

Will I be paid?

Our model has always been to use volunteers. We believe in harnessing the potential of social power to ‘do good’ and ‘give back’, without financial reward. It is central to our mission. We have an inspiring and diverse pool of tutors including corporate employees, retired individuals and university students who bring huge benefits to their pupils. They support us because they believe in our mission and share our values.

We are a charity and a not-for-profit organisation. Funding we receive from the Government as part of the National Tutoring Programme (NTP) covers our central costs, for example, recruiting and training our tutors and employing Programme Coordinators to manage school relationships. We believe passionately in empowering volunteers to make a difference, at a time when support is needed most, and are continuing with our volunteer-based model.

We want to continue doing what we do for years to come, so it is essential to maintain a sustainable model that can continue with or without government funding.

Will I be able to get a reference?

Within certain guidelines, we are happy to provide a reference once you have completed a full programme. You can view our references policy in our policies and procedures booklet.

Do you cover travel expenses?

We cover reasonable travel expenses, up to £5 per session. Travel expenses are reimbursed once you have completed a programme, rather than on a week by week basis. Please see our volunteer expenses policy for more information. Some volunteers choose not to claim to further support us in our work as a charity, and this is always appreciated but not expected.

How do I apply?

Click to complete our online volunteer application form and our team will then be in touch with you shortly.

If you would like more information about what being a volunteer entails, click to read a more detailed role specification.

What are the latest rules around COVID-19 in schools, colleges, and the wider workplace?

Since March 2022, when the final Covid restrictions were lifted, the UK Health and Security Agency (UKHSA) has advised that COVID-19 should be managed like other respiratory infections, such as flu.

If you have symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as COVID-19, and you have a high temperature, you should let your programme coordinator know and not attend a tutor session until you no longer have a high temperature (if you had one) or until you no longer feel unwell.

You can find more general guidance on treating Covid-19 and other respiratory infections within a public health context here and in education-specific contexts here. If you have any specific queries, please ask your Programme Coordinator.

What’s a DBS check? How do I get one?

An Enhanced DBS check is a criminal record check, which Action Tutoring are required to carry out for all volunteers. DBS checks enable us to make safe recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with children and young people.

Action Tutoring complies with the relevant DBS Code of Practice and undertakes to treat all applicants for positions fairly.

You can read more about the DBS process and what’s required here.

Success stories

Hear from some of our tutors about their experience volunteering with Action Tutoring.

Phil, volunteer maths tutor and retired IT technician
Gustav and Mateo, volunteer tutor and pupil
Justina, volunteer maths tutor and consultant paediatrician
Cara and Sobia, volunteer tutor and pupil