Unity Schools Partnership

MAKING REMARKABLE CHANGE HAPPEN

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Why Use Tutors?

The Evidence

There is extensive high-quality evidence demonstrating the potential of one-to-one and small-group tuition as a cost-effective way to support pupils who are falling behind in their learning, suggesting that it can boost progress by up to five-plus months. Randomised controlled trials funded by the EEF have also found positive effects for a range of tuition models.

Access to tutoring is often limited to the schools and parents that can most afford it. Almost all the pupils that need intensive support are not able to access it, with estimates indicating that 80% of disadvantaged pupils don’t have access to quality tuition. NTP will help schools address this disparity.


There is a substantial attainment gap between pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds and their classmates – and the EEF’s analysis suggests this is likely to be growing significantly while schools are closed to most pupils.

– EDUCATION ENDOWMENT FOUNDATION –


Schools will direct this programme

Guided by quality standards and clear criteria to target support to the most disadvantaged pupils, teachers and school leaders will decide:

  • which approach best fits their needs
  • which tuition partners to work with
  • which pupils will benefit most from additional tuition.

Therefore, schools will direct this programme so tutoring is linked to their curriculum and complements their catch-up programme. This way, programmes can be tailored for long-term impact on outcomes rather than short-term gap filling. Providing high-quality tutoring within the system can ease the burden on schools and support them to help those pupils who have missed out the most.

The National Tutoring Programme provides a unique opportunity. Tutoring will be subsidised by up to 75%. This means that a school can buy a session that would normally cost £50, for £12.

Schools are also free to use additional catch-up funding, announced by the Department for Education in 2020, to pay for the remainder of the cost.

Every £1,000 committed by
schools buys £4,000 of tutoring

How will working with SP Tutors benefit your school?

SPT is determined to contribute via the National Tutor Programme to making a difference for pupils, particularly those that have been disproportionately disadvantaged. Our tutor training programme will ensure that our tutors are equipped with the necessary information and tutoring skills to make a real impact on outcomes for pupils. Our training consists of modules are designed around specific areas of pedagogy or school curriculum subjects, but all focus on pupil needs, including, but not limited to:

  • promoting self-regulation and metacognition
  • social and emotional needs
  • vocabulary acquisition, understanding and retention
  • language comprehension
  • oracy skills

Each tutor can undertake as many modules as they need to to ensure they are focused on utilising appropriate evidence-based strategies for the pupils they work with.


More Information:

On Monday 13th July we offered three opportunities to attend an online school leaders’ briefing to outline these plans in more detail:

  • Dr Tim Coulson outlined the need for a focused, collaborative strategy to make best use of the funding on offer from the Govenment’s catch-up programme (National Tutoring Programme). He emphasised the need for schools and trusts in our region to work collaboratively, so that our pupils receive the very best tutoring from evidence-informed, trained tutors. By choosing tutor partners carefully, it is possible to maximise the resources we will have access to, potentially turning £1000 of tutoring into £4000, with the funding that is on offer.
  • Marc Rowland is Unity Schools Partnership’s Pupil Premium and Tackling Disadvantage Advisor. Marc works tirelessly for the trust and up and down the country for the wider educational community (including Government departments and Local Authorities) to ensure the right strategies are used, and the right focus is placed on closing the attainment gap for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. In the briefings, Marc emphasised the need for evidence-based strategies and a relational approach when deploying tutors; for pupils to gain the most out of one-to-one tutoring, schools and tutors must coordinate their approach so that tutoring supplements teaching and doesn’t replace it. He also centred on identifying pupil need and maintaining the correct emphasis on tutoring (long-term catch-up and not short term gain) to ensure we are not building on sand;
  • Andy Samways (Director of Unity Research School) spotlighted the vast amount of research evidence there is from the EEF, in the form of their very useful guidance reports, that can inform our strategy and ensure our pupils get the right support, at the right time, in the right way.

If you weren’t able to attend the online briefing, you can watch a recording of the first one here:


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