We have played a key role in two successful Education Endowment Foundation-led randomised control trials - the ‘gold-standard’ evidence of impact.
Schools should consider the Tutor Trust’s model as a cost-effective way to boost attainment for struggling pupils."Sir Kevan Collins, former head of the EEF
Our first EEF-led RCT
Our first RCT was in the 2016/17 school year, when the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) funded research into our tuition. The results gave positive results and prompted the EEF to designate us as a ‘Promising Project’.
This EEF evaluation was a large-scale, high-quality effectiveness study in the form of a randomised control trial, involving 105 primary schools and 1,290 pupils across Greater Manchester and Leeds. The study examined the impact of Tutor Trust’s Year 6 Maths tuition on KS2 SATS results in May 2017, with KS1 SATS results as the baseline.
The headline results were very strong: pupils in the intervention group who received our tuition made an additional three months of progress in Maths compared with pupils in the control group. On average, this three months of additional progress was the outcome from just 12 hours of tuition, delivered on a 1:3 tutor to pupil basis. The cost of the intervention was low, at just £112 per child.
We were particularly thrilled that EEF found our tutors made the biggest difference to pupils on Free Schools Meals and pupils with low prior attainment. The pupils in this evaluation were three times more likely to be on Free School Meals than the national average.
This ambitious research study was designed to test whether the Tutor Trust intervention worked under everyday conditions in a large number of schools, and we passed this test with flying colours.
In addition to the rigorous data analysis of outcomes, EEF also conducted a process evaluation. This included observations of tuition as well as interviews with and surveys of Headteachers, classroom teachers, and pupils. The feedback from schools was overwhelmingly positive.
Tutor Trust: Affordable Primary Tuition
The ‘Snap Survey’ – our second RCT (published 2022)
Our most recent RCT, published in June 2022, involved three other Tuition Partners of the National Tutoring Programme and is further improving and informing our tutoring practices as we seek to ‘transform lives through tutoring’ across the North of England.
This research project was a 'Snap Survey' programme that we ran with our Secondary school tutors and tutees in 2021. This trial was commissioned by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) as part of the delivery of year one of the National Tutoring Programme, of which Tutor Trust is a key delivery partner. The trial was carried out by the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT), which is sometimes called the government's 'nudge unit'.
The purpose of our trial was specifically to try and boost engagement and attendance by pupils at Secondary school tuition sessions, which has always been a challenge, and even more so during the COVID pandemic. The target was to increase attendance in the intervention group by 5 percentage points compared to the control group, and we slightly exceeded that target. ‘Snap Survey’ is a quick, simple and effective get-to-know-you game played by tutors and tutees at their first session together; the proposition is that the game helps them to bond and to find shared interests, which should make tutees feel more positive about tutoring and more likely (a) to remember and (b) to attend their subsequent tutoring sessions.
This research has informed our training programme and practice for our tutors, and we are rolling out use of the Snap Survey for the 2022/2023 academic year.