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Positive results in second EEF randomised control trial

Tutor Trust is thrilled to have achieved strong results from a second randomised control trial (RCT), making us unique in the UK education sector


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Randomised Control Trials (RCTs) are the gold standard for evidence of impact, and Tutor Trust is now unique in the UK education sector in having successful results from two RCTs to our name.

The insights and recommendations from this fresh research – involving three other Tuition Partners of the National Tutoring Programme – will further improve our tutoring practices as we seek to ‘transform lives through tutoring’ across the North of England.

This latest research project was a 'Snap Survey' programme that we ran with our Secondary school tutors and tutees in 2021.  This trial was commissioned by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) as part of the delivery of year one of the National Tutoring Programme, of which Tutor Trust is a key delivery partner. The trial was carried out by the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT), which is sometimes called the government's 'nudge unit'. EEF have today published the full findings of the research project.   

The purpose of our trial was specifically to try and boost engagement and attendance by pupils at Secondary school tuition sessions, which has always been a challenge, and even more so during the COVID pandemic. The target was to increase attendance in the intervention group by 5 percentage points compared to the control group, and we exceeded that target. ‘Snap Survey’ is a quick, simple and effective get-to-know-you game played by tutors and tutees at their first session together; the proposition is that the game helps them to bond and find shared interests, which should make tutees feel more positive about tutoring and more likely to remember and to attend their subsequent tutoring sessions.  And now, we have proof that it works. 

Today’s positive report from EEF builds on their large-scale evaluation of Tutor Trust’s work in schools in 2017.  This was a randomised control trial of our Year 6 Maths tutoring and gave us evidence that our tutors boost academic outcomes for the pupils we serve.  We were particularly pleased that the analysis showed that the benefits of our tutoring were especially strong for pupils on Free School Meals and pupils with low prior attainment, as this showed we contribute to closing attainment gaps in schools.

The previous RCT report was published by EEF in 2018 and led directly to Tutor Trust becoming an official 'Promising Project' of EEF and a portfolio charity of Impetus.  Tutor Trust remains the only tutoring organisation in the country – either charitable or commercial – with proven, positive results from a large-scale randomised control trial.  You can read more on the 2018 EEF RCT into the impact of our work here

We are delighted to again have positive results from a randomised control trial with EEF.  These valuable insights will inform and further improve our practice in hundreds of schools and help ensure that pupils get the boost to outcomes they need.  Given the unequal impact of the pandemic on learning, we are more determined than ever to maximise the success of the National Tutoring Programme and to play our part in closing attainment gaps."
Abigail Shapiro, Co-Founder and Executive Director

Abigail went on to say:

“Our staff team and our tutors took part in this important research in the middle of the pandemic and in highly challenging circumstances; as always, we are incredibly proud of the Tutor Trust family and grateful for their dedication and professionalism.  Their hard work has resulted in another significant success for our charity.

“We would also like to thank our friends at EEF and Impetus, and colleagues at the Behavioural Insights Team (especially Lal Chadeesingh and Rizwaan Malik), for making this project such an enjoyable and worthwhile experience."

If you would like to find our more you can read today’s EEF press release here.

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The background to the Snap Survey

Read the Behavioural Insights Team's blog on the Snap Survey, which includes links to the resources.

Why the survey stood out

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