Female tutor with female student Female tutor with female student

Passing the baton: NTP Year 1 roundup

Emily Yeomans, Director of NTP Tuition Partners, reflects on the NTP’s inaugural year as it draws to a close.

There are only a couple of weeks of the summer holidays left. School staff are preparing for the return of pupils. Lesson plans have been drawn up, displays have been created and teachers are getting ready to welcome pupils for a new beginning.

Conversely, at the National Tutoring Programme (NTP), we’re wrapping up the first year of delivery. The programme next year will be delivered by Randstad and the team at the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) have been working closely with Randstad and the Department for Education to ensure an effective transition. As such, it seems the right time to reflect on the NTP in its inaugural year.

The programme started as one of many ideas in the early months of lockdown, when the lasting impact of school closures was being highlighted by many in the education sector, and evidence was suggesting particularly negative impacts for our disadvantaged pupils. Our concern was that any initiative needed to be evidence-based and sustainable. Tutoring is armed with a strong evidence base, a cost-effective way to boost attainment and supporting disadvantaged pupils.

This is how the NTP came into being, designed by the EEF alongside the Sutton Trust, Impetus, Nesta and Teach First. Set up at pace, the aim was to widen access to high-quality tutoring for those children most affected by the pandemic, by setting quality standards for tutoring that were in line with the evidence-base and offering this tutoring at a subsidised rate to schools.

We’re delighted to say we have exceeded our top projection of enrolling 250,000 pupils. 250,500 pupils were enrolled to access tutoring via NTP Tuition Partners. This is in addition to the 95,000 pupils who received intensive support through the Academic Mentor pillar

Nine months on, and we’re delighted to say we have exceeded our top projection of enrolling 250,000 pupils on the programme. 250,500 pupils were enrolled to access tutoring via NTP Tuition Partners. This is in addition to the 95,000 pupils who received intensive support through the Academic Mentor pillar, delivered by Teach First. In an academic year that was stocked with challenges, it was never going to be an easy feat to reach this many pupils, but we’re proud of what we’ve achieved. This has also involved incredible work from schools who, despite a very challenging year, have gone the extra mile to provide additional support to their pupils.
Best of all however is hearing from schools across the country, from Bodmin to Bridport, Newcastle to Norwich, on how they’re utilising tuition accessed via the NTP. From running weekend sessionsdressing up as Willy Wonka and providing specialist support to pupils with SEND, schools used the flexibility built into the programme to meet their pupils’ needs. Schools proudly shared their NTP certificates online, reflecting the buy-in into tuition as an effective intervention. This was reflected in a small survey we ran in March to gauge the reception to date, with 80% of schools telling us they would continue to use the NTP next year.
Of course, the NTP was never intended to be the only solution to mitigating the effects of the pandemic. This was always one part of a range of measures needed to address any gaps in learning that have arisen, and it is encouraging that the Department for Education will continue the NTP for another year, alongside a new school-led tutoring element.
Our team at the EEF would like to reiterate our thanks to everyone at the founding charities who shaped the programme and the support that has been generously provided by KPMG Foundation, Bain & Company, Deloitte, and Freshfields. Lastly, none of this could have been achieved without the extraordinary work of our 33 Tuition Partners and 1,117 Academic Mentors, who went above and beyond in delivering a new yet massive programme. It has been a true pleasure to work with you all and we are proud of what we have achieved together.
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