Abigail Shapiro and Jo Meredith from Tutor Trust are joined by guests at the launch of ImpactED's report

Evaluating innovative support for vulnerable pupils

Tutor Trust and ImpactEd have launched a new report evaluating an innovative holistic approach that leads to positive outcomes for the most vulnerable pupils


  • Time to read: 5 minutes

With support from the Fair Education Alliance and Impetus, Tutor Trust and ImpactEd have collaborated to evaluate the impact of Tutoring Plus and The Right Angle Project, two specialist tutoring models.

Both Tutoring Plus and The Right Angle provide specialist support tutoring for young people in challenging circumstances, including Looked After Children, young people at risk of exclusion, persistent absentees, and young people in alternative provision. Key findings in the ImpactEd report show that the programmes have had a positive impact on learners both academically and emotionally. It found:

  • A notable increase in academic achievement of around half a grade
  • An increase in average wellbeing and a decrease in psychological distress
  • A strong relationship between session attendance and outcomes, with consistent attendance to the first few sessions proving a stronger predictor of subsequent programme success

Download the full report

Find out more about the positive impact Tutoring Plus has had on the lives of pupils

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The launch of the report provided the opportunity to share our findings and learnings with key stakeholders who would be able to help us shape the future of this work. The event was hosted by ImpactEd at their offices and you can see in the image above from left: Abigail Shapiro (Co-founder Tutor Trust), Jo Meredith (Director, Tutoring Plus), Linda Thompson (Trafford Alternative Education) and Janeen Hayat (Fair Education Alliance).

The report looks at the impact of the 1:1 specialist tutoring that we provide through Tutoring Plus and The Right Angle; a programme that we have created in partnership with TLC (Talk, Listen Change) which combines tutoring with TLC’s counselling offer. This innovative collaboration takes a ‘whole child’ approach, combining academic and emotional support for pupils. Tutoring Plus also has a successful partnership with The Prince’s Trust and runs Time for Me, a programme which combines tutoring with mentoring. 

It was wonderful to have the opportunity to discuss the success of such an important and impactful approach to tutoring with influential figures from across the educational landscape, who were able to ask questions and find out more about the programmes and how these could potentially be scaled up and rolled out more widely. The effects of the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis have had a significant and detrimental impact on the mental health and wellbeing of young people and a more holistic approach to supporting them has been proven to be extremely effective. 

How to build on this success 

As well as a presentation of the key findings, there was a lively and engaging round-table discussion among attendees. We were joined by guests from:

Department for Education Children’s Commissioner 

Ambition Institute  Centre for Social Justice

Institute for Public Policy Research Secretary of State for Education.

The discussion centred on three points:

  1. What potential is there in combining academic and therapeutic support for young people facing a variety of barriers?
  2. In the context of a reduction in funding for tutoring, what avenues can be best used to reach vulnerable groups, particularly looked-after children and those in alternative provision?
  3. The sample sizes in this pilot are small; what could the next stage of testing this concept look like?

This discussion resulted in some exciting ideas on how alternative models of academic support could be scaled up and developed. 

“A profound and positive impact on our pupils…”

One of the attendees, Linda Thompson, Executive Headteacher at Trafford Alternative Education; speaking at the event said: 

The unique work of Tutor Trust and its various programmes of support has had a positive impact on our pupils. Tutor Trust and TLC's collaboration sees them working one-to-one with young people to support the whole child. This means not only supporting them academically but also helping them to their self-confidence and resilience.

"By giving our pupils a safe space to talk about their emotional and mental health concerns, Tutor Trust have then worked with them to develop the tools to manage any challenges they may face."
Linda Thompson, Executive Headteacher - Trafford Alternative Education

Abigail Shapiro, Tutor Trust Co-Founder and Executive Director said:

"I'm delighted that the findings of the ImpactEd report reflect this and that other pupils who have been supported by Tutoring Plus have had similarly positive experiences. The work being done by Tutor Trust in this space is so important and much needed in the current climate where pupils are increasingly needing more tailored support.

”I'm confident that this is the first step in scaling up this innovative approach to tutoring in combination with complimentary programmes to enable a greater number of young people in challenging circumstances to access holistic and impactful support. This is second report that we’ve worked on with ImpactEd and we’re extremely pleased with the positive findings.

"I was delighted to be able to share such positive messages on the work we've been doing through Tutoring Plus with attendees from across the education sector this morning. The discussion today has given us so much to grow and learn from for the future of this work.”
Abigail Shapiro, Co-Founder and Executive Director

Owen Carter, Co-Founder and Director of ImpactEd said of the event:

This new report clearly demonstrates the early impact of these programmes, but we were working with a relatively small sample size. Following the discussion today, we’re now clear on what evaluation is needed to further build the promising evidence we have to date.”
Owen Carter, Co-Founder and Director - ImpactEd

We were so pleased to get such a positive response to the report and to explore what could be next for this much-needed holistic approach to tutoring.  Get in touch with us to find out how Tutoring Plus can support your pupils.

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