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15th November 2018

University students successfully tutoring disadvantaged pupils

Students from the University of Manchester are among those involved in a scheme to help pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds progress.
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University students successfully tutoring disadvantaged pupils
Photo: The Tutor Trust

A report has found that a scheme which sees university students provide extra tuition to disadvantaged school pupils has been successful in its aim of improving pupils’ academic progress.

The scheme is run by The Tutor Trust, a charity that trains university students and recent graduates to act as academic tutors for small groups of pupils. 80% of tutors teaching in Manchester are students from the University of Manchester.

The report was based on a randomised control trial conducted by the Education Endowment Foundation. The trial involved 1,290 pupils from 105 primary schools across Greater Manchester and Leeds and examined the impact of maths tuition on those in Year 6.

The study found that the pupils who were selected to receive 12 hours of extra tuition as part of The Tutor Trust’s scheme ended up making the equivalent of three months’ more progress than their classmates.

Stephanie Lee, Head of Widening Participation at the University of Manchester, said that The Tutor Trust aims to “reduce the gaps in outcomes for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds by providing the type of academic support that is often unobtainable for families from low-income backgrounds.”

Throughout the 2017/18 academic year, 300 tutors provided 17,000 sessions to 3,000 disadvantaged young people from schools in Greater Manchester, Leeds, and Liverpool. At the start of the academic year, only 23% of these pupils were working at a level expected for their age. By the end of their time with The Tutor Trust, this figure had risen to 77%.

The report also showed that the work of The Tutor Trust has also had a positive impact on the progress of GCSE-level pupils. 74% of pupils provided with additional maths tuition with the scheme achieved a GCSE grade of at least 4 – equal to the old grading system’s C grade.

Stephanie Lee, Head of Widening Participation at the University of Manchester, has said that The Tutor Trust aims to “reduce the gaps in outcomes for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds by providing the type of academic support that is often unobtainable for families from low-income backgrounds.”

Co-founders of Tutor Trust, Nick Bent and Abigail Shapiro have added: “We are transforming tuition so that the attainment and aspirations of the young people we serve can be transformed.

“As a charity, we are unique in Britain in offering a tuition service to schools that is high quality, high impact, and yet low cost.”

Additional tuition to go alongside school studies is usually only an affordance of pupils from more affluent backgrounds, with the average hour-long session costing £27.

To find out more about The Tutor Trust and how you can become a tutor, visit www.thetutortrust.org.


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