Female tutor with female student in library Female tutor with female student in library

Learning from feedback: what schools think about the NTP

Amy Ellis-Thompson shares the key findings from a survey of schools participating in NTP Tuition Partners.

Schools are adjusting to having all pupils back in the classroom, with many thinking about extra support to account for learning loss or starting their first tuition sessions. Here at the NTP, we’re always looking to hear from schools about their experience, gather their feedback, and identify what we can do to improve the programme so that it works for all.

Four months on from launch, we surveyed participating schools across England on their experience of using the NTP. 114 NTP schools at primary and secondary level – the majority for whom tuition delivery has already started – provided valuable feedback as to how the NTP Tuition Partners is working in practice.

We know schools faced significant challenges overcoming disruption throughout the school year and uncertainty caused by extended periods of remote learning. However, the overall response to the NTP was resoundingly positive:

  • 80% of respondents said they would continue with the NTP next year
  • 79% were somewhat satisfied or very satisfied with their Tuition Partner
  • Schools expect to increase the total number of pupils registered to the NTP by roughly 45% next year.

This feedback helps confirm what we know is supported by the evidence, that high-quality tutoring is a powerful tool to support classroom teaching and help teachers and schools mitigate the effects of the pandemic on pupils’ learning.

The overall response to the NTP was resoundingly positive: 80% of respondents said they would continue with the NTP next year.

Furthermore, flexibility for schools is a key tenet of the NTP, from choosing from the range of tutoring models available from our Tuition Partners to deciding which pupils would benefit the most from tuition. When identifying which Tuition Partner to work with, schools commonly made this decision based on their model (online/in-person or 1:1. 1:2, 1:3), showing that this range of delivery models is helpful to support the demands of different schools.

When it came to selecting pupils for tutoring, nearly three-quarters of schools that participated said more than 40% of their pupils receiving tuition are in receipt of the Pupil Premium, and for 35% of schools surveyed the vast majority of their pupils are in receipt of Pupil Premium; showing the programme is reaching disadvantaged pupils across the country.

Alongside this, the most common factor for how pupils were selected for tuition was professional judgment related to their individual circumstances. This emphasises the careful consideration that schools are giving into how individuals have been affected differently by the pandemic. Whilst pupil premium eligibility is a key measure, we know that some pupils may be disadvantaged as a result of recent circumstances, experiencing difficulty with remote learning during school closures and learning from home, for example. Schools know their pupils best and are best positioned to decide who would benefit from the extra support.

Some of the key challenges faced by schools to date included transitioning to online at-home during remote learning and scheduling tuition amidst school closure uncertainties. The rapid move to provision of online at-home tuition from the majority of NTP Tuition Partners provided a valuable model to ensure continuity of tuition: 82% of schools for whom delivery had started took up this option for their pupils. We hope these challenges will be less prevalent now schools have reopened, but we will continue to support schools with the option of online at-home delivery in certain circumstances.

Looking forwards, there was interest from approximately 70% of schools in supporting pupils with another block of tuition in a different subject, showing a continued demand in tutoring for pupils who may need more support across the board in their learning. Overall, an overwhelmingly positive majority (80%) of schools were keen to continue with the NTP next year, a testament to the hard work of schools, tutors and Tuition Partners.

Nearly 5000 schools have enrolled on the NTP so far, meaning more feedback will be forthcoming. Nonetheless, there are valuable insights to be gained from this survey since the launch in November. The NTP is designed to provide additional capacity and support to the already stellar work of teachers. By working together with the sector, we can ensure we lay the foundations for a long-term sustainable programme that widens access to tutoring so that pupils who need it the most, benefit the most.

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