This week there has been no shortage of health, DfE and general updates, as schools continue to provide essential continuity in education for our young people during a second national lockdown.

Your inboxes are full at the best of times, but you may well have had additional new communications arriving from successful providers; one of the 32 providers of the National Tutoring Programme (NTP), which will provide additional support to schools to help disadvantaged pupils whose education has been most affected by school closures. You will remember that the NTP was developed to support schools in responding to the immediate challenge of school closure, due to the coronavirus pandemic and to provide a longer-term contribution to closing the attainment gap.

The National Tutoring Programme is a government-funded, sector-led initiative to support schools to address the impact of Covid-19 school closures on pupils’ learning. From the start of the 2020-21 academic year, the National Tutoring Programme will make high-quality tuition available to state-maintained primary and secondary schools, providing additional support to help pupils who have missed out the most as a result of school closures. It is recognised that there is a substantial attainment gap between pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds and their classmates – and the EEF’s analysis suggests this is likely to have grown significantly whilst schools were closed to most pupils. There is extensive evidence showing the impact of tutoring to support pupils who have fallen behind. However, as we have heard directly from young people themselves, 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 currently don’t have access to quality tuition. The National Tutoring Programme aims to support schools in addressing this and has been designed and developed by a collaboration of five charities – the Education Endowment Foundation, Sutton Trust, Impetus, Nesta and Teach First – working in partnership with the Department for Education. Additional support has been generously provided by KPMG Foundation, Bain & Company, and Freshfields.

The National Tutoring Programme (NTP) consists of two pillars;

  • Tuition Partners: schools will be able to access heavily subsidised tuition from an approved list of tuition partners. These organisations – which will all be subject to quality, safeguarding and evaluation standards – will be given support and funding to reach as many disadvantaged pupils as possible
  • Academic Mentors: schools in the most disadvantaged areas will be supported to employ in-house academic mentors to provide intensive catch-up support to their pupils. Teach First will be supporting the recruitment, training and placement of the first cohort of academic mentors – click here to visit the Teach First website for further information and to register your interest.

There are obvious concerns about process and access, however, you may have noted that CoachBright is one of the chosen providers, they worked with us on the Summer University programme and more recently are involved in our Richard Reeves project, targeting disadvantaged students in Year 11 at risk of not gaining a standard pass in GCSE Math’s. One key issue will be quality and the supply of tutors, we will endeavor to work with local providers and update you on detail and access arrangements as they become clearer.

The Area based Education Partnerships Association (AEPA), of which Camden Learning is a representative on the steering group, are pleased to invite primary heads/ leaders to a roundtable exploring the Herts for Learning “Back on Track” approach to the primary curriculum.

About this free event:

Six months of disrupted education means many pupils have missed out on crucial areas of learning. To help schools tackle this challenge and to support teachers so pupils meet at least age-related standards by the end of the 2020-21 academic year, the curriculum needs to be restructured and delivered in a comprehensive way, with DfE guidance stating “Up to and including key stage 3, prioritisation within subjects of the most important components for progression is likely to be more effective than removing subjects”. This session will have an open discussion on these key areas, using Herts for Learning’s “Back on Track” series of targeted packages across assessment, Early Years, English, mathematics, languages, science and wellbeing as the starting point for what can be done. The discussion will be led by Tracy Warner, Education Services Director for Primary at Herts for Learning. This virtual round table is open to all and particularly recommended to primary school leaders. The event is free, but please register your interest using the Eventbrite link, a Zoom link will be shared with attendees in advance.

Jon Abbey

Managing Director of Camden Learning


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