Tutor Trust were delighted to welcome Professor Carlo Raffo, from the University of Manchester, to our offices on Swan Street yesterday afternoon.  Prof. Raffo delivered a three-hour workshop on educational equity to our tutors.  This workshop was part of the ‘Transition Project’ that Tutor Trust are currently collaborating on with the Institute of Education at the University, to assess the effect of our work on children who are transitioning from Primary to Secondary school.

Tutor Trust are extremely excited about this collaboration with the Institute of Education, who are helping us with our study by carrying out the research of our impact on 100 pupils in Salford.  This builds on a strong partnership that we already have with the University of Manchester, and we are excited to be working with Prof. Carlo Raffo and two of his PhD students, including Michael Omuvwie, who also attended the workshop.  The team will be helping us to carry out case studies of our work, and measuring the qualitative impact of our tuition.  We have partnered with seven feeder Primary schools in Salford to tutor their pupils who will be attending Buile Hill Visual Arts College from September 2018.

This qualitative element of the monitoring and evaluation of our Transition Project is being funded by the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council), following a successful joint bid by Prof Raffo and Tutor Trust.  Separately, we will also be carrying out a quantitative analysis of the impact of our pre-SATS tuition on tutees’ test results.  Indeed, from September 2018, Tutor Trust and the Widening Participation team of the University of Manchester will be jointly funding a three-year Studentship at the University, based in the Institute of Education. 

The workshop was designed to give our tutors a deeper insight into relational pedagogy, and the way in which schools and educators can work towards becoming more inclusive in order to make school environments fairer.  The tutors were greeted in the Tutor Trust’s meeting room with lunch and drinks before Co-Founders Nick Bent and Abigail Shapiro welcomed them all to the workshop.  Prof. Raffo then delivered a talk on relational pedagogy before leading a group discussion on tuition and how it affects a child’s personal development.  Prof. Raffo commented “Today has been an excellent opportunity to compare ideas with the tutors involved in this project.  I was very impressed with the experiences that the tutors have shared, and here at the university, it’s given us a deeper insight into the everyday issues that tutors are faced with.  I’m even more excited to now move forward with the project, and in particular with the case studies that we will be carrying out in this final academic term.”

The training event provided a valuable opportunity for our tutors to broaden their understanding of the effect that they have on a child’s confidence, as well as their academic attainment.  This is particularly important at this stage of the transition project, with tutors commencing their post-SATs mentoring with pupils in the run up to the Summer School, due to take place over two weeks in August at Buile Hill Visual Arts College.  Tuition has concluded with the pupils ahead of their SATs, and from September these pupils will receive tuition whilst at Buile Hill.

Our tutors really enjoyed the workshop, with tutor Alice Taylor saying “I’m really pleased to have come away from this workshop with a greater understanding of teaching scholarship and pedagogy that I can now use in my tuition.  Carlo gave us a great insight into how to unpack student behaviour and accommodate that to get the best out of our tuition sessions.  It was really interesting to compare the scholarly and real-world approach from a professor and tutors in group discussion, and to explore how those two can work together in a positive way.”

We were really pleased to see our tutors take so well to Prof. Raffo’s training, and even provide their own insights based on their tutoring experience.  We are incredibly excited to see them take ideas that were explored and discussed yesterday into the next stages of the ‘Transition Project’.

Co-Founder and CEO Nick Bent commented “This was a big moment for us and our Transition Project.  At Tutor Trust, we aim to do everything to the highest possible standards and to listen and learn constantly, in order to maximise the positive impact of our tuition on local young people.  This partnership with Prof Raffo and his colleagues will help us to do this more effectively than ever.” 

“We feel privileged to be able to tap into the research expertise at the University, and there is a strong match of ethos and values between the Institute of Education and Tutor Trust.”