Delivering online tuition can be an effective way to support the learning of disadvantaged pupils during partial school closures – if supportive measures are in place – according to a new report published by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF).

The report, produced by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen), evaluates the reach of the National Online Tutoring Pilot, commissioned by the EEF in partnership with the Sutton Trust, Impetus and Nesta, to support disadvantaged pupils’ learning during and after partial school closures in the first national lockdown. Its aim was to test the feasibility and promise of online tutoring to support learning while pupils, in particular those from low-income backgrounds, were unable to access school in the normal way. It was the first study to look solely at online delivery in England.

We were one of four organisations that took part in the pilot between June and October 2020.  In that time we supported 90 pupils in Years 5 and 10 across Greater Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool, with each pupil receiving 12 hours of Maths and 12 hours of English tutoring.

Our co-founder and CEO Nick Bent says:

Our mission is to transform lives through tutoring, so when the country went into lockdown last year we moved quickly to set up an online platform so that our tutees were able to continue their learning.  We knew how important it was for them to have continuity of support from our tutors. The report clearly shows how valuable online tutoring has been for those pupils who have needed that extra help. 

Rebekah Wilson, Deputy Headteacher at Shakespeare Primary School in Leeds, said:

The Tutor Trust pilot allowed our children and families to maintain aspects of a consistent routine and remain engaged in learning. It ensured regular and meaningful opportunities to recall what they had already learnt as well as providing a platform for new learning.

“The strong communication between school, families and the Tutor Trust made the project a true success. It allowed some of our most vulnerable pupils to move forward and make progress in their learning at a time when that felt almost impossible to achieve.

If you’d like to know more about how we can support your pupils with tutoring, and how the National Tutoring Programme can support with costs, please contact Nick: [email protected].