What is educational disadvantage?
Pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds aren’t less able, but they have less access to the tools that support them to progress in school. This means they are not able to reach their full academic potential.
Nationally 71% of pupils leave school achieving a grade 4, or above, in their English and maths GCSEs but only 44% of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds achieve this benchmark. Only 48% of pupils from low income backgrounds meet expected grades in reading, writing and maths on leaving primary school. This means that the circumstances we are born into predict our chances of success in life. While there are many factors that contribute to all of these statistics, the bottom line is that it’s not fair and we should all be working towards a solution.
We know tutoring works to improve grades and this impact is not limited to young people from high-income backgrounds either. Small-group tuition provides a safe space for pupils with low confidence to speak up and learn from their mistakes. The Education Endowment Foundation has calculated that an intense programme of one-to-one tuition could add as much as five months’ progress to a young person’s schooling. It works because it is tailored to individual needs and can address misconceptions at the source. With the average cost of a tutor at £30 an hour, it’s unfortunately not an opportunity that is available to all young people. As more and more young people access private tutors, the gap in attainment between disadvantaged young people and their peers will grow. We use the power of volunteer tutors to bridge the gap and ensure tutoring support can be accessed by every pupil who needs it, not just those who can afford it.
Fair Education Alliance
Action Tutoring is also a proud member of the Fair Education Alliance; working towards a world where our education system is fair – where children’s educational success is not limited by their socio-economic background. This is a world where disadvantage no longer determines literacy and numeracy rates at primary school, GCSE attainment at secondary school, the emotional wellbeing and resilience of young people, participation in further education or employment based training and university graduation.