The team working to set up the National Tutoring Programme know that their work has the potential to make a huge difference and are inspiring to work with. But were any additional motivation needed, it is provided by a new Sutton Trust report.
The report, Lost Learning, Lost Earnings, highlights the long-lasting impact schools closures will have on social mobility and a stark warning about the economic impact of lost learning. The research adds to a growing body of evidence documenting the impact of school closures on young people, with those from lower-income backgrounds almost certain to suffer most.
While by no means the whole solution, the NTP has a vital role to play in mitigating the short and long term effects of Covid-19 school closures. Working within the sector, we want to play our role in helping disadvantaged pupils who have missed out on learning the most.
Through NTP Tuition Partners, schools will be able to access subsidised high-quality tuition from an approved list of providers. The Education Endowment Foundation will be leading the delivery of this pillar of the programme and has been provided with £76 million from the Department for Education to fund activity in 2020 – 2021.
Through NTP Academic Mentors, trained graduates will be employed by schools in the most disadvantaged areas to provide intensive support to their pupils. Teach First will be supporting the recruitment, training and placement of the first cohort of Academic Mentors, with the salaries of Academic Mentors funded by the Government.
While by no means the whole solution, the NTP has a vital role to play in mitigating the short and long term effects of Covid-19 school closures.
There is a wealth of evidence that shows us that tutoring is one of the most effective ways to support learning. But tutoring is a resource that for too long has only been accessible to those who can afford it, and the NTP is designed to change that.
Importantly, tutoring will be most powerful when it is a tool for teachers. High-quality teaching is the single most powerful lever schools have to support learning, and tutoring funded through the NTP is designed to supplement what happens in the classroom, supporting teachers by providing extra help to disadvantaged pupils who need it.
We know the academic year ahead will be hugely challenging. And as the Sutton Trust’s report shows, the importance of supporting schools and teachers through it could not be clearer. The NTP isn’t an answer to all of the challenges schools will face this year, but we hope it can become a valuable part of the solution.