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Our Senior Research & Policy Manager, Rebecca Montacute, uses the findings from our research on tutoring to assess the impact of the National Tutoring Programme and what the future of the programme is.

Paying for private tuition on top of a child’s standard schooling is growing increasingly popular. But its use is creating a two-tier system, with wealthier families able to secure their children advantages that poorer families simply cannot afford.

These disparities are particularly jarring given the extensive evidence that tuition could be a powerful tool to help close the attainment gap between poorer children and their better off peers. Before the pandemic, schools, charities and tutoring organisations had made efforts to expand provision to disadvantaged young people, but these are limited in scope, with no national plan to increase access.

The tutoring landscape completely changed with the pandemic and the subsequent creation of the National Tutoring Programme (NTP). The government initiative was the first national programme to widen accessibility to tutoring, designed to help students to catch up on lost learning – particularly the poorest young people, who had been the most heavily impacted by pandemic related school closures.

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