Please note this applies to 2020/2021 provision. For information about the 2021/22 programme, click here.
Applications for the Tuition Partners funding round for 2020/21 closed on Friday 18 September 2020.
Through the National Tutoring Programme (NTP) Tuition Partners pillar, schools will be able to access high-quality tutoring from an approved list of tutoring providers, who have passed a set of eligibility and quality criteria.
Tuition Partners might be existing tutoring providers that have experience of working with schools or other organisations, such as charities, local authorities or universities who are able to design a new programme to meet the NTP standards.
We expect Tuition Partners to be organisations who can deliver a tutoring programme (consisting of training for tutors, central monitoring of quality and systems to communicate with schools) rather than tutoring agencies who only match tutors with pupils. However, organisations who typically function as an organisations, but wish to adapt their model for NTP Tuition Partners delivery are able to apply.
NTP Tuition Partners aims to improve the reach of the most evidence-based and high-quality providers, whilst also raising the quality of the tuition sector as a whole. This means we will award funding at different levels depending on both how well organisations meet the NTP Tuition Partners Quality Criteria and the level of existing evidence that organisations have related to pupil outcomes.
We would expect organisations with the strongest evidence to have positive impacts from randomised controlled trials or quasi-experimental evaluations, while others will have tracking data showing the positive progress that pupils make.
Who can apply?
We accept applications from legally constituted organisations, and not from individuals. We expect Tuition Partners to be organisations who can deliver a tutoring programme (consisting of training for tutors, central monitoring of quality and systems to communicate with schools) rather than organisations who only work to match tutors with pupils.
Tuition Partners might be existing tutoring providers that have experience of working with schools or other organisations, such as charities, local authorities or universities who are able to design a new programme to meet the NTP Tuition Partner standards. This funding is intended for organisations to deliver additional external support to schools. For schools interested in providing tutoring in house we suggest looking at the Academic Mentors pillar of the NTP.
We welcome applications from partnerships, made up of organisations with differing, but relevant experience. However, we would expect a ‘lead’ organisation to be put forward for the purpose of contracts. If an organisation wishes to collaborate with another organisation, this arrangement will need to be explained in the application. The NTP will hold one agreement with a single provider for accountability and monitoring purposes. We may also conduct due diligence assessments on any partner organisations. Please be aware that this may slightly delay your approval as an NTP Tuition Partner while we conduct these additional checks, but this should not discourage the formation of partnerships.
In order to be eligible for NTP Tuition Partner funding, organisations will need to meet the eligibility criteria outlined below:
- Proposals should be for tuition for 5 – 16 year olds – post 16 tuition is not eligible for NTP funding. Further information about catch-up funding, including for early years settings and post-16 providers, is provided on the Department for Education website.
- All tutors will be DBS checked (enhanced DBS plus Barred List Check), or in the case of international tutors best available equivalents, and receive safeguarding training from your organisation.
- All tutors will receive training on how to deliver tutoring from your organisation.
- The organisation has experience of working with schools. NTP tuition will be delivered through schools, and organisations that have not previously worked with schools will not be eligible to receive NTP Tuition Partner funding.
- The proposal must commit to reaching at least 500 pupils over the year of delivery.
- The organisation is willing to participate in the NTP Tuition Partners evaluation and will work with the independent evaluator and the EEF to provide high-quality and timely data using pre-specified templates and processes.
Organisations will then be assessed on the extent to which they meet the following Tuition Partner Quality Criteria:
- Experience of working with schools. Organisations will have relevant experience of working with schools and students. This criteria will consider both the relevance of the experience and the number and type of schools that the organisations has worked with. A track record of working with a larger number of schools in a way that aligns with the delivery that will be undertaken as part of NTP Tuition Partners would score most highly in this category.
- Tutor recruitment and qualifications. Organisations will have clear eligibility criteria for participating tutors and a recruitment strategy which results in the recruitment of tutors with the necessary skills.
- Tutor training. Tutors go through a well-defined and manualised training programme.
- The systems and processes for school and pupil communication. There will be clear systems and staff in place for communicating with schools to ensure that: the needs of the pupils are appropriately assessed and the content of sessions align with pupil needs and classroom teaching; information is fed back to teachers as required; pupils are provided with clear information on how they are progressing and areas for improvement.
- Experience of working with disadvantaged pupils. Organisations will have experience of working with the most disadvantaged pupils. They will understand how to engage disadvantaged pupils and overcome common barriers to accessing tutoring and attendance.
- Monitoring delivery. Central monitoring systems are in place, which allow organisations to monitor session delivery by tutors and session attendance by pupils, including managing any tutor and pupil absences and managing any issues that arise over the course of delivery.
- Quality assurance and tracking progress. Strong quality assurances systems are in place to monitor the quality of tutoring sessions, with clear processes for identifying any issues and making adjustments where necessary. Pupil progress is tracked and used to inform delivery to ensure pupils are getting the most from sessions.
- Evidence of impact. We are interested in evidence that your tuition has had an impact on pupil academic attainment. Organisations with the strongest evidence may have positive impacts from randomised controlled trials or quasi-experimental evaluations, while others will have tracking data showing the positive progress that pupils make. If you don’t have specific evidence about your programme we are also interested in how your tutoring model aligns with the wider evidence on tutoring and with other similar programmes that have been rigorously evaluated.
We will also judge proposals on reach and value for money. NTP Tuition Partners aims to reach a large number of pupils in all regions of England, so we will take into consideration: the areas you are proposing to work in, and the number of pupils you are able to reach, whilst maintaining quality. We will also consider the overall value for money of the proposal, including the cost per 15 hour block of tutoring, cost per pupil and proposed set up costs.
Following the initial assessment process, we will select organisations as preferred providers. We will then undertake a detailed assessment of their safeguarding practices, their financial management and controls, data protection practices and conduct other checks prior to confirming an organisation as an approved Tuition Partner.
If you are interested in becoming a Tuition Partner, please register here.
Tuition Partners will be able to apply for funding to:
- Deliver subsidised tutoring to schools during the 20/21 academic year. Organisations will bid to provide sustained blocks of tutoring (15 hours) to pupils, rather than individual sessions. This funding will cover 75% of the per session cost, with schools paying for the remaining 25%, e.g. for a block of fifteen tutoring sessions that would cost £200, the cost to schools would be £50. We would expect central ongoing costs to be included in the session rate. We expect the majority of this tutoring to be delivered in small groups (with one tutor and three pupils) to ensure that as many pupils as possible can benefit from Tuition Partners. However, we are keen to allow flexibility for schools to choose one-to-one and one-to-two tutoring for specific pupils, particularly including pupils with SEND and pupils attending Alternative Provision, as well as other pupils who may have more specific needs. This tutoring would be for pupils aged 5 – 16 , with a focus on particular subjects (more details below).
- Cover costs associated with the NTP Tuition Partners set up and participation. Costs covered under this would include:
- funding to increase reach, which could include funding to recruit and train new tutors and set up the necessary central systems to manage an increased workforce. A proposal made to increase reach would need to clearly justify how quality would be maintained.
- NTP Tuition Partners specific costs such as costs associated with providing monitoring information and data to the EEF and evaluators.
- Additional costs associated with recruiting schools to participate in NTP Tuition Partners, over-and-above normal recruitment costs.
- Funding for the refinement of the tutoring model to meet the Tuition Partners Quality Criteria, or to deliver a small group tutoring model.
There is no limit on the number of pupils an organisation can bid to support, but we will consider the ability to maintain quality at scale, taking into account what is realistic based on the applicant’s scale of delivery to date. We would recommend that organisations do not bid for higher numbers at the expense of quality.
NTP Tuition Partners funding will cover a range of different tuition models, including online and face-to-face, as well as 1:1, 1:2 and 1:3 ratios. However, in order to reach as many disadvantaged pupils as possible with the available funding, we are interested in funding a high proportion of tutoring in small groups (1:3). Small group models are likely to represent better value for money, whilst the evidence suggests that groups of this size still maintain high impact. We are open to funding some 1:1 and 1:2 models, most likely for pupils with SEND and pupils attending Alternative Provision, as well as other pupils who may have specific needs. We will however consider 1:1 proposals where 1:3 is not possible for the organisation to deliver due to their existing model of delivery. Such proposals would need to demonstrate strong value for money.
Sessions should be offered in blocks of around 15 hours, but the breakdown of this can vary, for example one 1 hour session a week for 15 weeks, two 1 hour sessions a week for 7 – 8 weeks, or two 30 minute sessions for 15 weeks.
School liaison will be a critical part of any tutoring model, with Tuition Partners needing to foster positive relationships with pupils and teachers. Pupil relationships are critical to ensure motivation to attend sessions, and organisations will need to work with teachers to ensure attendance at sessions is high. Organisations will also need to liaise with schools about: the timing of tutoring, which could be before or after-school or within the school day, to ensure it has minimal disruption to the learning of pupils; the selection of pupils, to ensure a focus on the most disadvantaged pupils and those who will benefit the most from tutoring; and to coordinate the grouping of pupils into groupings that will support the learning process.
Organisations can apply with a blended approach (using both online and face-to-face tuition) or can focus solely on online or face-face tutoring. Given the ongoing potential for school closures and local lockdowns, approved Tuition Partners will be expected to have contingency plans in place if face-to-face tutoring is disrupted. This could include moving tuition online (where organisations already have online systems up and running) or pausing tuition until delivery becomes feasible again and changing the onward pattern of delivery. Any contingency planning will need to be done in close consultation with schools and EEF.
We are open to applications across a number of academic subjects, and are aiming to align the funding of tutoring with the demand from schools. Most funding is likely to be allocated to maths, English and science tuition. We will provide tuition funding under six main areas:
- Modern foreign languages
- Primary (reading, writing, maths and science)
For answers to commons questions about the Tuition Partners funding round, take a look at the FAQs.
If you are interested in the NTP for 2021/22, then please complete the contact form on this link.