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Building on the successes of 2020/21 – NTP Tuition Partner Q&A

James Grant, Co Founder of MyTutor shares learnings from working with the NTP for Academic Year 2020/21, and what schools can look forward to in the second phase of the programme.

How did you find working with the NTP during its inaugural year? Are there any notable achievements you would like to highlight?

The NTP has been a positive experience for us and we are incredibly proud to have been the joint largest Tuition Partner. We believe that the NTP opened many doors to pupils whose education had been most impacted by the pandemic, enabling schools to access and experience the benefits of tuition for the first time.

There’s a lot for us to feel proud of, but one of our biggest achievements was the scale up of our 1:3 tuition for the NTP, which allowed us to make tuition more accessible nationwide and reach over 30,000 students, since November. We were also able to deliver flexible online tuition throughout last year’s disruptions, playing a role in lessening teachers’ stress and pressure during a challenging time.

What were the main objectives you wanted to achieve as a Tuition Partner?

From the very start, our mission has always been to work alongside schools to deliver life changing tuition to disadvantaged students, so much so that we measure our success by tracking the number of lives impacted (disadvantaged students who have received one term’s worth of tuition). Being a Tuition Partner for the NTP, a scheme intended to help those who have been most affected by the pandemic, has provided us with the opportunity to expand our mission even further.

What are your key learnings from the first year?

Year 1 of the NTP coincided with the scale up of our 1:3 tuition. It might sound intuitive, but the dynamic of a small group lesson is very different from that of a 1:1 session, so we found that it's incredibly important to think about what this looks like in advance, and how students can work together to make the most of the experience.

From our own experience, we found that the ideal time to schedule tuition is at the end of the school day due to increased pupil engagement, but last year’s disruptions have highlighted the importance of having a flexible approach that allows us to deliver tutoring sessions at different times for pupils who otherwise might not have the chance to log in at the end of the school day.

What are you most excited about as we enter the second year of the NTP?

It’s really exciting to know that in this second year we’ll be able to make an even bigger difference. Delivering small group high-quality tuition sessions to 30,000 NTP pupils during an incredibly disruptive year allowed us to learn how we can fine-tune the delivery of our programmes to support teachers and pupils even more effectively.

We know that the schools we’ve been working with have also learned from the inaugural year of the NTP and are more aware of their needs and requirements. This means that new schools joining the programme will benefit from our first year of NTP experience, and we’ll be able to hit the ground running from the very start.

Can you share some of the key things pupils who engage with tuition through the NTP will benefit from?

So many of the pupils we’ve worked with over the years are looking for a path forward. These pupils are truly benefitting from a term on the NTP, which according to our research enables them to make a whole grade of progress with one term of tutoring, unlocking options they wouldn’t otherwise have.

But while academic success is important and it’s usually the reason why schools come to us, it’s equally valuable to understand the impact that confidence can have in making a difference in a student’s life.

The NTP allows pupils to receive more personalised support. The resulting boost in confidence is very visible, and translates to a higher level of engagement in class, and in students being more willing to raise their hand to ask questions or participate in conversations. By way of example, we received some amazing feedback about how the NTP has contributed to an improvement in pupil confidence from one of the schools we’ve been working with in Carlisle:

“We had a student who was very nervous to start tutoring, to the point that she developed a stammer as a result of built-up anxiety during the pandemic. Her journey has been a bit of a rollercoaster: after starting the 1:3 programme from home, she attended all of her lessons and was gradually growing in confidence."
Gareth Barratt, Director of KS4 - Richard Rose Central Academy (Carlisle, Cumbria, 956 students)

Finally, I would like to encourage any schools that aren’t familiar with the benefits of the NTP to speak to the team who are happy to provide guidance on the preferred route of extra tuition for your pupils.

We’re proud to be working on such a meaningful programme and are looking forward to seeing more pupils progress academically and confidently in the new academic year.

To find out more about how the NTP can benefit your pupils, register your school today.

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