How can disadvantaged children access high-quality teaching through the National Tutoring Programme?
The National Tutoring Programme (NTP) is a scheme for 5 to 16 year olds that all school leaders must consider. Tutoring is seen by many as the ‘wild-west’, with so many who need it not having high-quality access.
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It’s safe to say that teachers and senior leaders are doing unbelievable work right now. From keeping schools open and safe to managing year-group ‘bubbles’, to delivering remote lessons to those who are self-isolating. Teachers are working above and beyond!
Lockdown and Learning Loss
Speaking to hundreds of teachers each week, I know that there’s a very genuine worry about the massive impact that COVID-19 has had, especially on our most disadvantaged children.
Projections by Education Endowment Foundation suggest that all of the sector’s progress made to narrow the attainment gap over the past decade could be lost if we don’t take immediate steps to fix the situation.
There is a substantial attainment gap between pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds and their classmates – and this is likely to have grown significantly since school closures. There is extensive evidence showing the impact of tutoring to support pupils who have fallen behind.
On 22nd October 2020, I spoke with Robbie Coleman, director of the secretariat of the National Tutoring Programme, and Emily Yeomans, the EEF’s Director of Tuition Partners and Yalinie Vigneswaran, Teach First’s Head of Academic Mentors.
I put some questions to the EEF on behalf of my newsletter subscribers that I think teachers needed answers to in order to really understand who the NTP is primarily designed for and how it will work.
We also shared the initial findings from four pilots of online tutoring that the EEF ran during school closures.
1. Additional support from tutors and mentors
The NTP is a new scheme that gives schools access to subsidised, high-quality tutoring for disadvantaged pupils. The programme, which is being established by the Education Endowment Foundation and Teach First, will launch in November 2020.
The Programme has two main pillars – NTP Tuition Partners and NTP Academic Mentors – and has been designed to ensure that tutoring and mentoring can be provided to as many children as possible over the course of the next school year, providing support in a flexible way that meets the needs of different schools and multi-academy trusts.
The programme aims to provide disadvantaged children with high-quality tutoring many of their better-off peers have long taken for granted.
2. Subsidised, high-quality tutoring
Through NTP Tuition Partners, participating schools will be able to access subsided high-quality tutoring from an approved list of tuition partners. These organisations – who will all be subject to quality, safeguarding and evaluation standards – will be given support and funding to reach as many disadvantaged pupils as possible and provide a longer-term contribution to closing the attainment gap.
3. Reaching disadvantaged areas and pupils…
Meanwhile, NTP Academic Mentors is an initiative designed to help schools in the most disadvantaged areas to employ, and then provide intensive support to the students that need it most. Teach First is supporting the recruitment, training and placement of the first cohort of Academic Mentors with their salaries being funded by the Government.
Through NTP Academic Mentors, trained graduates will be employed by schools in the most disadvantaged areas to provide intensive catch-up support to their pupils, allowing teachers in these schools to focus on their classrooms.
Schools will be able to decide whether to use tuition sessions in addition to their pupils’ normal school day, or during their timetabled day.
Specialised subjects include English, humanities, maths, languages, science and primary literacy, numeracy and science. Tutoring is backed by a large body of evidence that shows us the impact it can have on pupils who have fallen behind.
Register your interest
High quality, small group tutoring can result in four additional months’ progress and a block of sessions through the NTP could cost as little as £50 per pupil, for a block of 15 tutoring sessions. Now is the time for schools to register their interest to help ensure that those with the most disadvantaged pupils are able to access the programme first.
We anticipate online delivery will play a part in NTP Tuition Partners as it may be particularly useful for some schools, particularly those in remote areas. The NTP will pay 75% of the cost and schools will pay the remainder.
Teachers will be able to book a range of national and local tutors from an approved list of tuition partners from 2 November 2020. A mix of tuition models – including online and face-to-face – will be available. The programme is being run by the EEF who have used rigorous criteria to create an approved list of school groups, universities, charities, and established tuition companies that schools can book student support from.
Register your interest as soon as possible.
If they get this right then, for the first time, parents and teachers in deprived parts of the country will have the opportunity to access – long-term – the kind of tutoring better-off areas have long taken for granted.