FAQs: National Tutoring Programme

If your question isn't answered below, email press@impetus.org.uk


Q: What is the National Tutoring Programme?

A: The National Tutoring Programme (NTP) is a government-funded, sector-led initiative to support schools to address the impact of Covid-19 school closures on pupils’ learning. Throughout the next school year, the NTP will make high-quality tuition available to schools, providing additional support to help pupils who have missed out the most as a result of school closures.

Q: How will the NTP work?

A: The NTP consists of two pillars: NTP Partners and NTP Coaches.

Through NTP Partners, schools will be able to access heavily subsided tutoring from an approved list of tuition partners. These organisations – who will all be subject to quality, safeguarding and evaluation standards - will be given support and funding to reach as many disadvantaged pupils as possible.

Through NTP Coaches, trained graduates will by employed by schools in the most disadvantaged areas to provide intensive catch-up support to their pupils, allowing teachers in these schools to focus on their classrooms.

Guided by quality standards and clear criteria to target support to the most disadvantaged pupils, teachers and school leaders will decide which approach best fits their needs, which tuition partners to work with, and which pupils will benefit most from additional tuition.

Q: Who is the NTP for?

A: The NTP is for pupils in England. State-maintained primary and secondary schools in England will be able to access it and use as best fits the needs of their pupils.

Q: How many pupils will the NTP reach?

A: The focus of the NTP will be on disadvantaged pupils. We aim to offer tutoring to as many pupils as possible.

Q: What is the difference between NTP-funded tutors and NTP-funded coaches?

A: The NTP Partners will provide high-quality subsidised tutoring in schools. This tutoring will be delivered by tutoring organisations, such as charities and agencies already working with schools, with pupils being provided with – for example - one hour of tutoring per week for a course of 12-15 weeks. The tutoring will be provided by trained tutors who are external to the school.

The NTP Coaches will also fund subsidised coaches based in, and employed by, schools. These coaches will be in schools full-time and can therefore provide more intensive and frequent support for the pupils who need this the most.

Q: How will you oversee the quality of the tuition?

A: The NTP will be running open funding calls to select tutoring organisations. More details on the funding criteria will be released when the round opens.

Tutoring organisations will be selected based on how closely their delivery currently fits with, or could be developed to fit with, the existing evidence base, as well as other criteria around quality and scalability. The evidence tells us that high dosage one to one or small group tutoring delivered by trained tutors in partnership with schools is effective.

As well as monitoring of reach and quality overall, evaluations will be carried out for organisations who do not currently have robust evidence of their impact (ie, a randomised controlled trial (RCT) or quasi-experimental design (QED)) to determine their eligibility to access additional NTP funding.

Indicative indicators of quality include tutor training, safeguarding, and impact monitoring.

Q: Why is the NTP needed?

A: There is a substantial attainment gap between pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds and their classmates – and this is likely to have grown significantly since school closures. There is extensive evidence showing the impact of tutoring to support pupils who have fallen behind. However, access to tutoring is often limited to the schools and parents that can most afford it. It’s estimated that around 80% of disadvantaged pupils don’t have access to quality tuition. The NTP aims to support schools in addressing this.

Q: How long will the NTP run for?

A: It will start in autumn 2020 and aims to have a legacy that will continue in the system, helping to close the disadvantage gap in the years to come.

Q: Who’s involved in the NTP?

A: The design of the NTP has been created through a collaboration between four charities, the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), Sutton Trust, Impetus and Nesta. They will be involved in the initial delivery.

Q: How is the NTP funded?

A: The majority of funds come from government, but resources are also being provided by the founding organisations and philanthropic and corporate partners.

Q: I’m a parent, can I access the NTP for my child?

A: The NTP can only be accessed by schools for their pupils. The evidence shows this is the best way to make sure tutoring is effective and linked to what pupils are learning in school.

Q: How did you choose the tutoring organisations you work with?

A: The NTP will run an open call to select tutoring organisations. More details on the criteria will be released in due course. Tutoring organisations will be selected based on their delivery model and existing evidence base.

Q: Why are you focusing on tutoring?

A: There is extensive high-quality evidence demonstrating the potential of one-to-one and small-group tuition as a cost-effective way to support pupils who are falling behind in their learning. The Sutton Trust-EEF Teaching and Learning Toolkit suggests it can boost progress by up to +5 months. Randomised controlled trials funded by the EEF have also found positive effects for a range of tuition models.

However, access to tutoring is often limited to the schools and parents that can most afford it. Almost all the pupils that need intensive support the most are not able to access it, with estimates indicating that 80% of disadvantaged pupils don’t have access to quality tuition.

NTP will help schools address this disparity. By harnessing and growing high-quality tutoring within the system, it aims to ease the burden on schools and support them to help those pupils who have missed out the most.

The evidence confirms the role of quality classroom teaching, which has the greatest positive impact for disadvantaged pupils. With schools facing unprecedented challenges, NTP is designed to be a powerful tool for teachers and school leaders

Q: Will the tutors be paid?

A: We expect to work with a range of existing organisations, some of whom pay their tutors and others who have a volunteering model. We’re interested in assessing the efficacy of different models.

Q: Who will the coaches be?

A: The coaches are likely to be mostly graduates with some experience in education or working with pupils. They will not all be qualified teachers, but may be working towards an initial teacher training qualification. They will receive some initial training, and then be managed by their school.

Q: Will the coaches be school staff?

A: Yes. The aim is that schools will treat coaches as part of their staff team, supporting and managing them to deliver additional academic coaching that is appropriate, timely, and linked to their curriculum.

Q: Will coaches be leading classes?

A: No. Coaches are not expected to deliver whole-class teaching. They will mostly be providing one-to-one or small group support, but can also provide in-class support to help them to understand the school’s approach to teaching and its curriculum.


Q: How can my school get involved?

A: Opportunities for subsidised tutoring will be advertised by eligible tutoring organisations in your local area and through the NTP website, which is due to be launched soon.

Q: Do I have to pay for tutoring through the NTP?

A: Yes, but it will be subsidised by up to 75%. This means that in the first year a school can buy a session that would normally cost £50, for £12.

Q: I’m a private school, can I access the NTP for my pupils?

A: No. The NFP is designed to enable state-maintained schools to buy tutoring at a reduced cost.

Q: Is the NTP just for disadvantaged pupils?

A: The NTP will be targeted to reach disadvantaged pupils eligible for the pupil premium. However, teachers and school leaders will be able to exercise their professional judgement to determine if tutoring is the right support for each pupil.

Q: What type of tuition will the NTP provide?

A: We expect the NTP to fund small group tuition. In an open funding round, tuition organisations will be funded based on how well their delivery model fits the existing evidence base and other indicators of quality and scalability. We know that tuition is most successful when teachers have input on the content of sessions. Given this, the NTP will aim to select organisations who have a good record of working with teachers.

Q: Will tutoring be delivered during class time?

A: Schools will be able to decide whether to use tuition sessions in addition to their pupils’ normal school day, or during their timetabled day.


Q: I’m a tutor / tutoring agency - How do I get involved?

A: The NTP will be running an open call to select organisations, more details on the criteria will be released in due course.

Q: We’re a small / local organisation. Can we still get involved?

A: Due to the scale of the NTP, we anticipate involving a large number of tutoring organisations. We’re expecting different funding levels to be available depending on the size of organisation.

Q: How will the cost of our tutoring be covered?

A: Tuition will be funded by a mix of subsidy (which will be provided directly to tuition organisations), with the rest of the cost covered by schools (for example, by using pupil premium funding).

The NTP aims to harness capacity within the tuition sector and focus it on disadvantaged pupils. All organisations will be paid the same amount for each tutoring session provided, to enable them to provide their services to schools at a much reduced price.