ASCL comment on NFER evaluation of tutoring programme

Julie McCulloch, Director of Policy at the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on the publication of the National Foundation for Educational Research’s (NFER) implementation and process evaluation of the National Tutoring Programme’s third year.
“It is a crying shame that, having established tutoring support for pupils, schools now face the prospect of the government pulling the plug on the programme.
“As this report states, there is high satisfaction with the tutoring programme in its current form, and schools want it to continue, but they will need financial support to do so.
“However, the government has said that the academic year 2023 to 2024 is the final year of the programme and NTP funding will not be awarded beyond this academic year. It adds that schools will be encouraged to continue to prioritise tuition for those students who need it the most through existing budgets.
“However, as the budgets of schools are stretched beyond breaking point, it is highly unlikely that many schools will be able to do so.
“Tutoring was introduced as a specific response to lost learning in the Covid pandemic, but it can also be a great way of improving outcomes for learners who need extra support in general and narrowing the disadvantage gap.
“The fact that is has now been established should be seen as a golden opportunity by the government to capitalise on the work that has already been done and provide the funding to embed it in the school system.”