A student sits at a desk with a tutor

New GCSE resit pilot launched for post-16s

We’re delighted to announce that we will be working closely once again with the Education Endowment Foundation


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This new pilot project will test the feasibility of our programme, and is designed to support the best outcomes for underserved post-16 students

Our highly trained tutors will act as mentors and positive role models, providing academic support to learners, with a view to preparing them for resit exams in GCSE English and Maths. 

This partnership is unique in that Tutor Trust was set up thanks to an EEF (Education Endowment Foundation) launch grant, and we are the only tutoring organisation to have worked with the EEF on two Randomised Control Trials (RCTs), from which we embedded our learnings and used the evidence to optimise the programme.

We’ll be working with colleges across Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and Merseyside over the course of the 2024/2025 academic year. This pilot project will be evaluated by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER).  

A record number of resits 

The 2022/2023 GCSE results highlighted the continued additional needs of learners of this age in the North of England. Resitting an exam can be challenging for learners and can often result in lower levels of motivation as they want to focus their attention on their chosen college course. In our post-16 tutoring sessions, we’ll be offering 1:1 support that aims to develop a supportive and motivational relationship. Tutors will adopt a coaching approach to support learners to identify barriers to progress, and to help them to develop the skills and strategies they need to feel empowered in their tutoring sessions and beyond. 

How post-16 tutoring will work

We’ll use a hybrid model of in-person and online tutoring, with tutors meeting learners face-to-face initially. In this introductory session tutors will use a Snap Survey tool designed to establish a positive relationship between tutors and learners from the outset. A light-touch baseline assessment will also take place in the face-to-face session to identify misconceptions and priority topics. Some of the remaining 1:1 sessions will take place online. All learners will be offered 15 hours of tuition with the aim of a minimum of 12 to be completed, in line from the findings from our first RCT. 

The programme aims to improve students' knowledge and skills in key areas, but also increase their confidence and resilience. Evidence from our existing 1:1 programmes show that learners attend and engage well when they develop a strong relationship with an enthusiastic and supportive tutor.

Looking to the future

Recent evidence has also shown that tutoring boosts the economy by £4.3bn due to the increased lifetime earning potential of young people whose attainment is improved through tutoring. We hope that this feasibility pilot will enable us to explore how we might contribute to wider efforts towards closing the regional inequality education and employment gap, as well as boosting the economy in our city regions. 

Tutor Trust’s CEO said:

This is a really exciting opportunity for us to be able to support learners in colleges with their resit exams. This academic year there are a record number of young people who need to resit GCSE Maths and English, and the GCSE attainment gap has widened for young people in Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and Merseyside. The pilot will provide learners with bespoke support and mentoring, with the aim of helping them pass their resit exams with renewed confidence, and help them on their journey through education and into employment.”
Ed Marsh, Tutor Trust CEO

The EEF are looking forward to seeing what learnings the pilot can deliver:

We know that post-16 education is our ‘last chance’ to minimise socio-economic attainment gaps before most young people leave the education system. We also know how important it is for future life chances to achieve a good level of Maths and English.

“For us, finding better ways to support teaching and learning in the post-16 space is a crucial part of this. It’s great that we’re able to pilot Tutor Trust’s model, to find out if it’s a feasible approach to support resit learners.”
Kath Davies, Post-16 Lead, Education Endowment Foundation

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) are also optimistic about the forthcoming pilot: 

Support for these learners is much-needed, as demonstrated by last year’s GCSE results. This pilot will test new ways of engaging with post-16 learners to enable them to get the GCSE grades they need to make their next step. GMCA is proud to invest in the young people of Greater Manchester, ensuring that they are set up for success and we are very much looking forward to working with Tutor Trust, a fantastic Manchester-based charity.”
Gemma Marsh, GMCA’s Director of Education, Work and Skills

We've also already had positive buy in from colleges: 

Feedback from our colleges that have taken part in the pilot has been overwhelmingly positive – and most importantly the work of the Tutor Trust has the potential to add value to our learners.”
Richard Caulfield, Senior Policy Manager at GM Colleges

We’re excited to begin to look ahead to the start of this pilot in September and to embark on another pioneering project with the EEF.

A tutor and pupil are discussing content on a laptop. Both are smiling.

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