We’re six weeks into the delivery of the National Tutoring Programme (NTP) and we’re starting to hear great feedback from schools on the progress made by their pupils receiving tuition. Whilst stories from the ground remind us of why the NTP was set up, evidence and best practice remains at the core of the programme. Our model has been designed based on the best available evidence on tutoring in schools, and we’ve commissioned the NFER to evaluate the Tuition Partners pillar so we can learn lessons on what works and further improve the programme. In the meantime, we continue to take note of new research and evidence, both in the UK and globally, around tutoring as a learning intervention tool.
A recently released meta-analysis of close to 100 studies of tutoring in literacy and mathematics has found that tutoring programmes consistently produced large improvements for students, with tutoring programmes conducted during school hours tending to have larger impacts than those conducted after.
Combining the results from multiple US studies published since 1980, J‑PAL North America – a research centre focused on reducing poverty – add to the growing evidence base of tutoring as an effective catch-up strategy to mitigate learning loss. J‑Pal summarise the findings from a forthcoming academic paper: ‘PreK-12 Tutoring Programs and Student Learning Outcomes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Experimental Evidence’ (Nickow et al); also referenced in the NTP’s Best Tutoring Practice for Schools evidence briefing.
Findings from the range of studies included:
- tutoring programmes led by teachers or school staff members, undergraduates in education and other education professionals were generally more effective than those using non-professional volunteer or parent tutors.
- effects of tutoring programmes tend to be strongest among students in earlier year groups, although certain secondary level programmes were also found to be effective.
- tutoring programmes conducted during school tend to have larger impacts than those conducted after school. Many programs shown to have weaker effects used parents as tutors or took place in an after-school programme.