A learning organisation
One of our core values is that 'we learn,' and we're committed to learning as much as possible about the impact of our programmes. We want to ensure that every hour a pupil spends with one of our tutors positively affects the pupil's attainment, progress, confidence and enjoyment of learning.
Our impact team gather data from a wide range of sources. To evaluate the impact of individual programmes, we look at:
- Pupil demographic data (provided by the school)
- Pupil baseline attainment data (provided by the school)
- Pupil baseline assessment test and attitude to learning survey
- Sessional data on pupil / tutor attendance
- Session-by-session tutor feedback
- Pupil endpoint assessment test and attitude to learning survey
- Pupil performance in SATs / GCSEs
- School feedback surveys
We also look more widely at our impact and the views of all of our stakeholders, including through:
- Tutor demographic and activity data
- Tutor feedback surveys
- School partner, tutor and pupil focus groups
- Comparative national and regional data
We take data protection seriously: our Data Protection Policy and Privacy Notice can be found here. All data we collect is securely stored on our Salesforce CRM and is protected by multi-factor authentication.
We welcome opportunities to partner with external evaluators and participate in sector-led research into how to maximise the impact of tutoring.
I got a million times better in English because of my tutor.Year 5 pupil, Pinehurst Primary School, Liverpool
We love hearing from our tutees because their feedback is so honest and unfiltered!
At the end of every programme, we ask them about their tuition experience, what they liked, where we might improve and how they rated us in several key areas.
Analysing this data allows us to understand our programmes from the tutee perspective and incorporate their feedback into future programmes to continually improve our programme for their younger peers.
Teachers at our partner schools regularly give us informal feedback about the tuition programmes we are running with them, and we use that to inform next steps.
We also have a number of opportunities where we gather more formal feedback from schools: At three-week reviews, shortly after tuition has started, which enables us to further fine-tune specific programmes if needed; through our school partner portal Insight, which includes inputs from tutors on specific programmes; and, through our annual School Partner Survey, where we gather feedback from all schools we’ve partnered with over the year.
In it where we pose a series of questions to gauge the impact of our tuition. Feedback here is a joy to read and 97% of our partners would recommend us to another school.
As a result of hearing from our teaching partners about the challenges some of their pupils were facing, we piloted a Phonics programme for our primary school partners’ very youngest learners. It proved very successful, and we are rolling it out across all our regions in 2023/2024.
This academic year (2023/2024) we’re looking at sharing a feedback survey with schools after every programme of tuition is completed, so we can gather this helpful data more frequently across the school year.
The individuals who tutor with us are a truly amazing group of people!
The vast majority of our tutors will have either a lesson plan or lesson observed, and that gives us valuable information about our training programmes.
We also have an annual Tutor Survey to find out more about our tutors’ experiences, how they feel about tutoring and the benefits they’ve found.
They tell us they feel more confident, made an impact and are better prepared for their future career. And that’s music to our ears!
In 2023, we were able to gather data from formal exams for the second time since the pandemic.
This year it showed us that, while progress was very similar to that in previous years, the make-up of the tutoring cohort meant that headline results at Grade 4 plus were lower than in 2022. This was particularly the case in Maths, where almost half of tutees started the programme achieving at Grade 2 or below. This lower starting attainment profile of many of our tutees may point to the ongoing effects of the pandemic, where preliminary research has indicated that Maths attainment, particularly among lower-income pupils, was particularly badly affected by school closures and disruption.
Pleasingly, in all three subjects, there was a correlation between the number of sessions attended and the likelihood of attaining a 4 or above at GCSE.
We continue to work with schools to maximise pupil attendance at tutoring sessions, as each additional hour of tutoring enhances progress and maximises a young person’s chance of achieving this benchmark outcome.
Last year (2023) is the second year since the pandemic that pupils have sat formal exams, and we can see the effects of Covid still playing out.
We analyse the SATs data for our tutees to understand how we can shape programmes the following year for Year 6 pupils.
In 2023, we found that our tutees continued to make very strong progress, with that in Maths increasing considerably from last year, from 6 scaled score points to 8.2 scaled score points. Progress in Reading was down from 8.5 scaled score points last year to 5.8 scaled score points this year, perhaps reflecting a particularly challenging SATs paper, but remained strong.
Interestingly, our analysis also shows that progress is strongest for those tutees who start the programme the furthest behind. This echoes the findings of our 2016/17 RCT, in which progress was found to be strongest for low prior attainers. Each year, our tutees with SEND, who are overrepresented in the low prior attaining group, significantly outperform their peers nationally. In 2022/2023, in Maths, 49% of tutees achieved the expected standard, compared with 36% nationally, while in Reading 49% achieved the expected standard compared with 39% nationally. We’re interested in understanding more about why tutoring seems to work so well with this cohort of pupils.
Many of the young people we are working with are in non-examination year groups. We work with the school partner to understand each learner’s current understanding of a particular subject and carry out our baseline tests so that we can tailor tuition to meet any gaps in knowledge. Alongside the baseline tests, at the start of a tuition programme, our tutors also use the ‘Snap Survey' toolkit to create engagement with the pupils, and to encourage attendance.
By administering baseline tests, we can examine individual pupil’s learning gaps and share this data with tutors and schools, and then follow up with end-of-programme tests to measure progress.
Very often we also receive feedback from the school which will talk about pupils’ increased confidence in the wider school setting.