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"My Voice Matters": The importance of children’s mental health in tutoring

Empowering young people’s wellbeing through tutoring.


  • Time to read: 5 minutes

This year, one of our partner charities Place2Be have chosen ‘My Voice Matters’ as the theme for Children’s Mental Health Week 2024. 

At Tutor Trust, we’re dedicated to empowering the young people that we work with and ensuring that their voices are heard. As well as being an effective intervention in improving educational outcomes, tutoring is also a vital tool in supporting them on their mental health journey.

An issue which is continuing to grow 

The continued impact of the pandemic on young people’s mental health is reflected in the fact that one in six are likely to have a mental health problem – a figure that has risen by 50% in the last three years. The cost-of-living crisis has compounded this issue, especially among families who were already experiencing poverty, leading to almost half of children from low-income backgrounds worrying about money. 

For these young people, tutoring can provide them with a safe space in which they can ask questions or share their opinions without the worry of being judged, enabling to find their own voice. Research by Ofsted published in October 2023 showed that, for these reasons, tutoring had a major impact on the confidence of pupils, not just in the subject that they were receiving tutoring in, but in all aspects. In last year's Future of Tutoring report*,  84% of parents of young people who had received tutoring said that it had improved their confidence. 

The 'whole child' approach in tutoring

Understanding that tutoring can allow young people to grow in confidence is a vital part of our work with those who have more complex needs and who require a more bespoke approach. This is where our Tutoring Plus service can provide that extra level of support, by taking a ‘whole child’ approach. In Tutoring Plus, we work with young people on a 1:1 basis, enabling them to build a trusting and positive relationship with their tutor, who can focus fully on the areas in which they need most support. 

The ’whole child’ approach means that Tutoring Plus tutors receive additional training to equip them with the skills, resilience, and patience to work with young people who may be facing challenges in their lives. This academic year, we launched ‘Time for Me’, a programme for secondary and primary pupils which combines tutoring with mentoring. Our tutors have been given mentoring training to enable them to be able to work with young people as a positive role model that can support them in their aspirations. 

Mental health beyond tutoring 

It's not just in our tutoring sessions that we’re giving young people a voice. As part of our Local Matters research project with The University of Manchester, which explores how we can better support the communities that we work with, we’ve been looking at how we can collect feedback from our tutees. To do this, we’ve used a social justice framework to find out what tutoring feels like for the young people we support and how it fits into their lives. These Pupil Voice surveys will be fundamental in helping us to evolve our tutoring so that it’s as effective as it can be for our pupils. 

Lastly, our creative writing and oracy competition, Speak Up North, is all about giving young people a platform to share their voices, submitting works on the theme of ‘belonging’. Open to all key stages, the competition is a real celebration of our regions and the inspirational young people who we work with every day. 

We’re committed to ensuring that young people are not just heard but listened to, fostering their overall well-being and not just their academic outcomes. Register your interest to find out how we can support your pupils, and for more on Children's Mental Health Week and how to participate, visit Place2Be.

*The Future of Tutoring was commissioned by a consortium of tutoring partners, with research conducted by Public First. 

A pupil is smiling and looking eagerly at the tutor during a tuition session.

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