Learning during Lockdown

It has been a busier summer than usual for all of us in Education.  At Tutor Trust, we have continued to fulfil our mission of ‘transforming lives through tutoring’ despite lockdown, in close partnership with schools.  

Our team of staff and tutors have been delivering not one but two pilots of online tutoring; we have been heavily involved in the advocacy and planning for the National Tutoring Programme, for which applications have opened today; we have moved our tutor recruitment and training online and hired over 100 new tutors; and from early September we will be running a ‘Hybrid Tutoring Project’ to pilot a blend of both in-person and online tutoring (funded by the Hg Foundation).

We are also delighted that more schools than ever before have booked in tutors from early September, and we cannot wait to have tutors back in our partner schools!


Online Tutoring – here to stay after two successful pilots

At the time schools were locked down in March, Tutor Trust had never delivered a single hour of online tutoring.  Five months later, we have supported over 150 children and young people over the period of school closures, across Greater Manchester, Leeds and Merseyside.   The feedback from the parents, teachers and pupils involved has been overwhelmingly positive.  Our online tutoring has been featured on both local and national media, and we have supplied free laptops to pupils who needed computer equipment at home.

In addition to our own pilot commencing in May, Tutor Trust was also asked to be one of four delivery partners for the Government’s official national pilot of online tutoring.  This began in June and was run by our friends at the Education Endowment Foundation on behalf of the Department for Education.  Tutor Trust was the only delivery partner based in the North of England.  The national pilot is being independently monitored and evaluated by NatCen.  

Crucial to this successful online work has been our fantastic tutors, who have been willing to venture into the unknown with us as we sought new ways of supporting children and young people while schools were closed. The quality of our tutors is what sets us apart, and the Quality Checks that have been carried out have amply demonstrated how committed they are to ensuring that sessions are genuinely making an impact.

Online tutoring is here to stay at Tutor Trust, and we are happy to offer online sessions in English, Maths and Science to pupils of all abilities from Y5 to Y11.  Pupils can do online tutoring either from home or at school.

We are also open to combining in-person and online tutoring in ‘hybrid’ tutoring programmes, if this would be of interest. 


National Tutoring Programme – we hope to be a major delivery partner

In June, the Government committed £350m to a National Tutoring Programme to help schools give high-quality catch-up support to pupils.  This tutoring will be targeted at those learners who are Pupil Premium.  Tutor Trust worked closely with a broad coalition of education leaders to lobby successfully for the creation of this scheme. 

The NTP is also being run by our friends at the Education Endowment Foundation (Tutor Trust is one of just 18 official ‘Promising Projects’ of the EEF and the only one based in the North of England).  Indeed, a lot of the thinking behind the NTP has been shaped by Tutor Trust because we have such a strong evidence base for the quality and impact of our work, not least the positive results of our randomised control trial in November 2018.  Tutor Trust is the only tutoring organisation in the country which has been through a large-scale randomised control trial and come out with positive results.  

Like other tutoring organisations, we will need to make a formal application to the NTP in early September.  The details of the scheme and the application form were published today on the NTP website.  The EEF will announce the successful applicants in mid-October and the subsidised tutoring should begin in late October or early November. 

We are committed to doing all we can to support school leaders and teachers to help pupils to fulfil their potential, despite the challenges that lockdown has caused.  So, our goal is to submit an ambitious and robust application to the National Tutoring Programme and to become a major delivery partner for NTP in the North of England.  If we are successful, this should give some great opportunities to Primary and Secondary schools across Greater Manchester, Leeds and Merseyside.  Busy teachers would be able to have help from our tutors at about half the usual cost, because of the generous direct subsidy from DfE.

Equally, more schools than ever before have booked in tutors from the first week of September, to ensure that pupils who need extra help can get it immediately.  We still have capacity to support more schools with tutors from early September. 

The guidance published today about the National Tutoring Programme confirms that any schools who are already working with Tutor Trust in the autumn term will automatically be eligible for the reduced costs for the remainder of their tutoring programmes from late October/early November onwards (assuming our application is successful).

Next steps

If you would like to discuss either an immediate tutoring programme or the potential opportunities with the NTP with us, please get in touch. You can check our National Tutor Programme website page for more updates.

Please also check out the National Tutoring Programme page on their website: