The National Tutoring Programme: A Quick Guide

Education News
Mary Lonsdale
A quick guide to the national tutoring programme from Mentor Education.

You may have read in the newspaper recently about the National Tutoring Programme, a vital national initiative aimed at helping schools and pupils get back on track after the coronavirus shutdown. In this blog, we’ll explain more about the scheme as well as our approach and involvement.

What is the National Tutoring Programme?

The National Tutoring Programme has been set up to support schools in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. Designed via a collaboration between four charities (the Education Endowment Fund, Sutton Trust, Impetus and Nesta), the scheme specifically targets disadvantaged children to help them recover academically from the 2020 coronavirus lockdown. From this autumn, the NTP will make high-quality one-to-one tuition available to these children (which will be heavily subsidised by the government).

The figure of £1bn has been widely quoted in the press, but not all of these funds will be allocated to the National Tutoring Programme; in fact, about £350 million has been allocated for the scheme. The government is looking to the tutoring industry to use this resource to step up and deliver for the children who really need support at this time.

We at Mentor Education are in a fantastic position to contribute to the National Tutoring Programme, having offered professional one-to-one tuition for over three decades, assisting over 90,000 children with their school work (many of whom have been disadvantaged). Our teachers are experts in helping all types of learners: including children with special educational needs and those who really need a lot of extra support and mentoring to catch up with their peers.

Why has the government chosen tutoring specifically?

There is strong evidence – demonstrated by the latest research – that one-to-one and small group tuition is the best way for a child to catch up with their education. Indeed, it’s thought that just 12 half hour sessions with a qualified tutor is likely to boost a child’s progress by more than five months.

Lee Elliot Major, former director of The Sutton Trust and now Professor of Social Mobility at the University of Exeter, recently wrote about the value of one-to-one tutoring for the Tes: ‘One-to-one tutoring is one of the few education approaches we know works consistently, helping children to catch-up. Of course, the biggest impacts come when it is delivered by trained teachers, but it also can work when delivered through effective charity programmes using undergraduate students.The beauty of one-to-one is that it is a relatively simple intervention, so it can be scaled up to work in many schools.’

The charities involved in the creation of the scheme maintain that it will create robust change in the system, leading to long-term improvements, and – eventually – helping to close the disadvantage gap in education.

How will quality be guaranteed?

National Tutoring Programme partners will be approved according to criteria around quality, scalability and efficacy of delivery, tutor training, impact monitoring, and safeguarding (amongst others).

Mentor Education are committed to providing tutors of the highest quality.

Within our pool of over 300 tutors, over 80% are qualified teachers: meaning that they have an in-depth knowledge of their subject, the syllabus, and the most effective teaching methods. Many of our teacher have been heads of department, head teachers or examiners. All have a wealth of experience and a fantastic track record in their field.  All our teachers are reference checked and have up-to-date Enhanced DBS certificates.

Aside from their impressive backgrounds and skillsets, our tutors pride themselves on one thing: a dedication to giving students one-to-one, undivided attention. We firmly believe that it’s not only academic talent that leads to exam success, but also confidence and a love of learning, which our tutors take time to nurture and hone. This unique ethos has a direct link with our excellent results in school entrance exams, GCSEs and A-Levels, and will make a huge difference in helping pupils catch up after experiencing lockdown: a time period which has presented many emotional challenges as well as the obvious academic setbacks.

Importantly, we use human beings, rather than algorithms, to find the right tutor for each pupil. This means that both parents and schools can feel safe and confident in the knowledge that we are sending them a trusted, carefully-chosen professional.

I’m a parent, how do I enrol my child in NTP?

The government is allocating funding directly to schools, who will then allocate the resource to pupils on a needs basis: this is to ensure that the tutoring is aligned with what pupils are learning at school and can best fill any gaps caused by the school shutdown.

However, Mentor Education offers a variety of tutoring options that can be accessed directly by parents, if this would suit your family best (from online tutoring to SEN consultancy services). Please contact us to learn more – we’d love to discuss your needs and design a bespoke plan.

Mentor Education have been leaders in the tutoring industry for over thirty years, and are really excited about the opportunity to work with the National Tutoring Programme to ensure that our expert tutors can reach the widest number of students as possible, helping them to get back on track after the pandemic and making sure they reach their full potential.

Mentor Education’s ‘catch-up’ tuition: our approach

  • Baseline testing available for all pupils using CEM testing backed by the University of Cambridge.
  • Tutors and strategies are chosen according to the individual pupil – there’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach here! The tutoring plan will be personalised to the student, ensuring they feel supported and confident, and that lessons are delivered in a pace and manner that will best help them catch up.
  • Proven track record of success with the most disadvantaged children – please ask for case studies.
  • Individual face-to-face, small group and online lessons available.
  • Safeguarding standards are gold plated and in line with The Tutor’s Association best practice.
  • We offer online lessons, which are very flexible, and can take place at either school or at home (in the event of further lockdowns).
  • All online lessons are recorded for safeguarding purposes and to allow children and their parents to go over lessons at a later date.
  • Frequent reports to understand your pupils’ journeys: where they are making progress, and where they might need more help to catch up.

What’s next?

It’s a challenging and fraught time for many of us in the education sphere: from tutors to teachers to parents to the students themselves. The idea of having to play catch up might be daunting – in a sense, it’s one item in a long list of things to worry about (from social distancing procedures to battling the emotional challenges of life after lockdown).

Mentor Education are here to help. Our team are not only friendly, professional and highly experienced in all areas of education, but also have a breadth of knowledge that can be drawn on by all stakeholders to devise a bespoke programme to suit your needs: whether you represent a school hoping to get involved with the NTP or a parent looking for additional support. Get in touch today to find out how we can help you.

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