Our circumstances are unusual in that we are the only school in a small ‘pocket’ of higher deprivation in Bridport and West Dorset. The proportion of pupils eligible for free school meals (FSM) and with special educational needs or disabilites (SEND), in particular with education health and care plans (EHCPs), is well above the national average.
During the school closures, 20 per cent of our pupils attended school. A small number of these were children of key workers but the majority attended due to meeting the ‘vulnerable criteria’ set by the Department for Education (DfE).
Since full reopening in September, diagnostic assessments have enabled us to identify gaps in pupils’ understanding. It is clear that those pupils with restricted access to technology and those eligible for FSM have been particularly affected by the closures.
Why Kate decided to access NTP Tuition Partners
We’ve previously used the EEF Teaching and Learning Toolkit within school to support our decision making across many aspects of teaching and learning.
Due to the extended period of school closures and the extent of gaps in learning for some children, we wanted to provide support from a qualified teacher and were aware that the evidence for one-to-one tuition as an effective means of support was extensive.
When we heard about the National Tutoring Programme through the DfE updates, we were keen to access this support for our pupils. We found the website easy to navigate and the information provided made it easy to identify suitable partners to meet our identified needs.
The process has been very smooth for us. One of the tutoring partners started within two weeks of half term and the children accessing this support are all really enjoying their sessions. One year 6 child commented just this week that the hour had flown by and that she was enjoying the activities so much she didn’t want to leave!
Tutors have been organised and liaised very effectively with staff in a time efficient way – which our busy staff have appreciated.
For any school wishing to access tutoring through the NTP I would advise them to identify which pupils need support and what type of support they are looking for (i.e. small group, specialised SEND support, which subjects, etc). Once you have made these decisions the rest of the process works very smoothly!