Research into a collaborative project between Tutor Trust and a second award-winning charity shows how tuition combined with counselling and other emotional wellbeing support helps marginalised young people unlock their learning and academic potential.

The Right Angle Summary Evaluation Report, from ImpactEd, shows that The Right Angle project, a collaboration between us and sister charity, TLC: Talk Listen, Change, the award-winning relationships charity which helps support safe, healthy, happy relationships, is having a positive effect on those who face some of the biggest barriers to education through its unique dual-pronged approach.

The report makes four key findings:

  • Key Finding 1: English and mathematics GCSE working-at grades and Learning by Questions scores were higher following the programme,
  • Key Finding 2: The relationship between the number of tutoring sessions attended and the academic progress made was unclear due to the limited data available,
  • Key Finding 3: Participants showed a significant increase in their emotional wellbeing,
  • Key Finding 4: Those who completed counselling made significantly greater progress in English than those who did not.

The independently conducted research backs up the partners’ own evaluation that shows the benefits of the Right Angle’s approach in supporting young people struggling with their mental health. The project has additional relevance now, as the effects of Covid and lockdowns are felt throughout the education sector and the learning gap for those young people in disadvantaged communities widens further. And whilst Key Finding 2 had unclear results due to the limited size of the group, the Tutor Trust’s own large-scale Randomised Control Trial, conducted by the Education Endowment Foundation, found that pupils who had 12 hours of tuition made three months additional progress in Maths.  

“We knew The Right Angle was having a positive impact, and it is good to have our own findings verified by ImpactEd, another Fair Education Alliance Scaling Impact award winner, as they share our values of democratising education and supporting young people to achieve,” say Tutor Trust Co-Founders Nick Bent, Chief Executive, and Abigail Shapiro, Executive Director.

We had identified a gap in support for young people on the fringes of education and we wanted to reach them with a project that would support the whole child. We set up the Right Angle thanks to funding from the Department for Education’s Alternative Provision Innovation Fund in 2018.

Our ambition now is to grow The Right Angle further and continue to work with ImpactEd to get more statistically viable data and more qualitative input, so that we can continue to shape The Right Angle to meet the growing need for mental health support amongst the North’s most vulnerable young people.”

Michelle Hill, Chief Executive of TLC: Talk, Listen, Change said: "We know there is a real benefit to the combination of academic and therapeutic support and it is powerful to have the ImpactEd findings support this. We are looking forward to continuing our partnership with Tutor Trust to support more vulnerable young people in this way."

Owen Carter, Co-Founder and Managing Director of ImpactEd commented: "We have been delighted to lead the evaluation of the Right Angle project. We know that there is strong evidence around the impact of tutoring in general, but the combination with counselling and other wellbeing support is less well studied. Working in collaboration with the Tutor Trust and TLC, we are pleased to make a small contribution to this evidence base, with encouraging findings for the efficacy of The Right Angle project in general and in particular its impact on wellbeing, working at grades and progress in English. We are looking forward to scaling this evaluation to help us continue to test the significance of findings with a larger group.".

Sirwan Davies, the Fair Education Alliance’s Director of Scaling Impact added: “The current outcomes for young people in AP and for Looked After Children are disproportionately low. There is an urgent need to provide support to those who face critical need.  As one of our 2020 Scaling Award winners, we are delighted to be working with Tutor Trust and their partner TLC to scale The Right Angle project.  It is great to see this external evaluation delivered by fellow Scaling Award Winner, ImpactEd, confirm the positive impact that the programme has on both attainment and wellbeing outcomes for the most vulnerable students. We look forward to seeing how this evidence can support the further development of The Right Angle and other initiatives to make a difference to the lives of young people who need their support most.”

The Right Angle, funded by PorticusUK and the MariaMarina Foundation, currently supports young people in schools and alternative provision settings across Greater Manchester.  The ambition for 2022-2023 is to extend into more mainstream settings across Greater Manchester, and to support Children who are Looked After as well as those at risk of exclusion, who face greater barriers to education than their peers. We hope that the project will also move beyond Greater Manchester and into the Leeds, Bradford and Merseyside city regions.

The schools and educational establishments the project is partnered with currently are:

  • Alder Community High School - Tameside
  • All Saints Catholic College - Tameside
  • Droylsden Academy - Tameside
  • Fairfield High School for Girls – Tameside
  • Great Ashton Academy - Tameside
  • Highfield's College Pupil- Referral unit Stockport
  • The Pendlebury Centre - Stockport
  • Kingsland Pupil Referral Unit - Oldham
  • Laurus Rycroft High School- Tameside
  • Mossley Hollins High School - Tameside
  • Oldham Virtual School - Oldham
  • Newman College - Oldham
  • The Bluecoat School - Oldham
  • Rochdale Virtual School - Rochdale
  • Crompton House School - Oldham
  • Trafford High School and Medical Education Service - Trafford.

Schools wanting to know more, or how they can partner with us and the subsidies available, should contact our Director of Alternative Provision Jo Meredith ([email protected]) or visit the Tutor Trust  website.