A tutor and a pupil prepare to fire a bow and arrow during a fun activity at an Easter Club

Maths, Archery, Inequity and Easter

Our CEO Ed Marsh reflects on the importance of the work of Tutor Trust, inspired by visiting some of our Easter Clubs in the holidays.


  • Time to read: 5 minutes

It is just over two months since I started working for The Tutor Trust, and Easter provided a timely reminder of the importance of the work that we do. 

It is easy in any leadership role to become increasingly focused on ‘what’ and ‘how’ rather than the why. 

Across England, someone from a socially disadvantaged background will on average be 18 months behind in their education by the time they reach 16. Between the ages if 11 and 16, 30% of young people receive private tuition (a number which is increasing). But as ever the top line stat is an over-simplification of a complicated and unequal picture. That 30% figure soars to 46% in London, further baking in existing regional inequality. Whilst amongst those from the lowest income households the 30% figure sinks to 13%, further baking in economic inequity.

Which is why my organisation provides tuition to those who need it rather than those who can afford it.

But as shocking as those stats are, and as inspiring a story as my organisation is, nothing can really compare to seeing things first-hand.

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting Easter clubs where we were providing tutoring to pupils preparing for upcoming SATs and GCSEs. Our work involves recruiting tutors from local universities, providing them with high quality training and then supporting them to provide tuition in local schools.The tuition happens on a 1-3 basis and the results are incredible with 12 hours of tutoring typically resulting in the equivalent of 24 hours of learning. We work with schools in areas which have higher rates of social deprivation across the North of England. We know that our model works but seeing it in action was truly special.

At Larkhill Primary School in Salford, just around the corner from where my dad grew up, a combination of maths tuition and activities (some very fun archery and highly competitive football) provided a brilliant balance which you could feel was creating incredible energy and positivity. I asked one of the pupils what he enjoyed about the day, and he answered ‘Can I say two things? Because I like the football and maths! This is a combination I can get behind (even if he was a United fan).

Then off to Dean Trust Ardwick, a fantastically ambitious school which is championing the diversity of Longsight. The groups here were in full-on GCSE English revision mode: the timeless An Inspector Calls was being combed over for contemporary social context by children who clearly find it as captivating today as I did many years ago. 

Across the Easter fortnight we ran six Easter camps with over 70 attendees, each with an inspiring story to tell. I realise that Easter is normally the end of a resolution… but this year my Easter resolution is to spend as much time as possible seeing the work that we do. 

Easter reminded me that the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ will always matter… but the ‘why’ is the most important.

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