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Full guide to National Tutoring Programme for schools in 2022-23 academic year

The Department for Education has revealed details of how the NTP will work through the school year for 2022/23

Schools are now back up and running across England and as we enter a new academic year, the government has released details about how the National Tutoring Programme (NTP) will work.

Earlier this year, the Department for Education announced plans to simplify the programme for the 2022/2023 academic year.

The DfE said it recognises that each school has pupils with varying needs, so have "developed a tutoring proposition that provides a high degree of flexibility and choice".

Take a look at our useful guide below for teachers and school leaders, which includes everything you need to know about the NTP and how to choose a provider.


Jump straight to any of the key points here:


What is the National Tutoring Programme?

The National Tutoring Programme (NTP) provides primary and secondary schools with funding to spend on targeted academic support, delivered by trained and experienced tutors and mentors. Pupils in key stages 1 to 4 (years 1 to 11) are eligible for the NTP.

Why was the National Tutoring Programme introduced?

As we return to pre-pandemic ways of living, the focus is on helping pupils catch up on lost learning and turning towards the long-established challenge of tackling the attainment gap.

It is a priority for the NTP to embed tutoring as a permanent fixture in the school system because it is a universally recognised method of addressing low attainment and educational inequality.

The government says it is committed to narrowing the attainment gap and improving outcomes for the most disadvantaged in society. The DfE says: "Strong evidence suggests that the model of targeted, academic support, through highly trained tutors working with small groups and individuals, can make a difference to academic progress that can be expressed in months."

Who can deliver National Tutoring Programme lessons?

  • Tuition partners – tutors recruited by external tutoring organisations quality-assured by DfE. Tuition partners must be NTP accredited.

  • School-led tutoring – members of a school’s own personnel, either currently employed or specifically engaged for this purpose, including retired, returning or supply teachers, support staff, and others.

  • Academic mentors – full-time, in-house staff members employed to provide intensive support to pupils who need it.

Which route should schools take?

This will be entirely the choice of key decision makers at schools, but there are a number of key factors to consider. Contracting an accredited tuition partner, for example, eases the level of work and hassle for school leaders as the programme will be managed and delivered in full by a trusted provider, such as Purple Ruler.

Tutors for Purple Ruler are devoted to the delivery of the programme and ensuring the student experience is at the highest level it can be. The DfE says: "The tuition partner route allows schools to build partnerships with expert tutoring organisations that have been quality-assured by DfE. They provide schools with tutors who offer specialisms, including SEND, online tuition, English as an additional language (EAL) and subject-specific support."

School-led tutoring requires a school to task tutors specifically with the job of delivering the programme - it is entirely possible that school-led tutoring could work effectively in conjunction with a tuition partner.

Academic mentors are additional paid members of staff who would need to be hired to work alongside teachers to provide one-to-one and small group subject-specific tuition. They are therefore more suited to schools with high levels of disadvantage or high numbers of pupils in receipt of PP.

How to choose a National Tutoring Programme provider?

From the start of the 2022 to 2023 academic year, schools will be able to use the find a tuition partner service to select a tuition partner to meet their needs.

There are important factors for schools to consider when selecting a provider, such as quality of tutors, pupil engagement, flexibility, tailored packages, cost effectiveness and the level of prompt customer service and support they will receive.


How does National Tutoring Programme funding work?

The DfE is providing £349 million of core tutoring funding directly to schools and giving them the freedom to decide how best to provide tutoring for their pupils.

State-funded schools will receive NTP funding over the course of the 2022 to 2023 academic year to deliver tuition to their pupils. This funding is paid in termly instalments via local authorities and academy trusts.

It is intended to cover 60% of the unit cost of tuition, with schools targeting the tutoring offer towards their pupil premium (PP) cohort and making up the remainder of the cost using PP or from other core school budgets.

Schools can spend NTP funding only on quality-assured tuition partners.

Which subjects are taught via the NTP?

  • Primary schools: Mathematics, English and Science.

  • Secondary schools: Mathematics, English, Science, Humanities and Modern Foreign Languages

  • Alternative tutoring interventions are available for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Why have schools chosen Purple Ruler as their favourite tuition partner?

Headteachers of schools that have worked with Purple Ruler have cited the quality of tutoring, pupil engagement and the positive feedback from students as reasons why they chose us.

"Purple Ruler has transformed my opinion from last year, of NTP online tuition being a waste of time and money, to being one of definite benefit to our students," said Carolyn Daniels, Pupil Premium Lead for Enrich Learning Trust.

"The format of face-to-face tutoring using cameras and headsets is the most effective method when doing online tutoring - we have tried different formats before, and this ensures a rapport with the tutor and the students remain engaged in the lesson.

"By the second week of the sessions, and everyone had settled into it, our students were giving me very positive feedback on the quality and enjoyment of their lessons and their tutors, and that has continued."

Rachael Ainsworth, headteacher at Freckleton Primary School said: "The pupil to teacher ratio has been perfect and the tuition was finely tuned to the starting points and abilities of each group and is clearly focused on narrowing the gap.

"The Purple Ruler teachers have engaged the pupils magnificently and from the very first session built up a rapport with the pupils. The groups eagerly await each session and their enthusiasm for writing spills over when they return to class leaving other pupils wondering when they will access this resource!”

Headteacher at Enstone Primary School Sarah Mann said: "Our experience of getting started with Purple Ruler has been very positive. Communication has been excellent and any queries have been answered promptly. James has been very helpful in tailoring a package to meet the needs of our children."

What to do next

Purple Ruler represents a group of more than 20 tuition partners and we would be delighted to help you easily manage your National Tutoring Programme requirements. Get in touch to discuss your needs and we can explain how it works and match you with the best tuition provider.


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