The latest episode of our Tutorcast podcast is a lively and upbeat episode where we bring you an exciting discussion on the impact of the National Tutoring Programme (NTP) over the past three years.

In: What next? Exploring the National Tutoring Programme’s impact and its role in shaping the tutoring landscape, our special guests are our own Jenny Muter, Director of Impact, and Ben Gadsby, Head of Policy and Research at our sister charity Impetus.  The two share their insights on this game-changing initiative and their thoughts on the future of tutoring. Later in the episode, we’re also joined by Madeehah Khan-Israeel, one of Tutor Trust's longest-serving tutors.

This episode, talking as it does about the impact of the NTP, is especially timely as it coincides with the launch in Westminster last week of a collaborative report, The Future of Tutoring, to tie in with the third anniversary of the NTP. (You can read more about our presentation of the report to 10 Downing Street and its launch at a parliamentary reception, here).

In the first part of the podcast, we explore the partnership between Impetus and Tutor Trust, the birth of the NTP, and, despite the well-documented challenges throughout the programme, its impressive achievements in supporting over three-and-half million children to catch up the lost learning from the pandemic. We discuss the importance of measuring and evaluating the programme's effects to ensure educational equity and excellence for all students.

With approximately 87% of schools in the UK participating in the programme, the NTP boasts an extensive reach and has helped tutoring to become an integral component in closing the attainment gap. Given this, we explore the importance of a sustainable role for tutoring in the education system after the NTP ends.

Ben talks about how tuition makes a real difference in closing the attainment gap: “The short answer is tutoring works, and the slightly longer answer is tutoring works, and we still have a massive [attainment] gap that we need to address [the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their more advantaged peers has grown as a result of the pandemic].  A six per cent wider gap doesn't necessarily sound like it's hugely wider than it was, but in reality, it was pretty wide to start with.

“So young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are only about half as likely to achieve key GCSEs in subjects like English and Maths.”

Ben also advocates for the development of a quality assurance system akin to a kite mark, which would provide schools with a clear signal of excellence and instil confidence in the tutoring programmes they choose.

In the episode, we also hear from Madeehah, a dedicated tutor who shares her firsthand experience with tutoring during the pandemic and the vital role it played in providing support to pupils during the challenging times of school closures and disrupted learning.  And it’s not just about their academic achievements. Madeehah shares one experience where she assisted a pupil, a young refugee from Afghanistan, to settle into his new environment.

In the episode, Madeehah also reflects on her personal growth as a tutor, highlighting the impact it has had on her patience, empathy, and flexibility.

Tune in to delve deeper into the transformative power of tutoring!