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Rethinking the National Tutoring Programme with Purple Ruler

Updated: Jul 14, 2023

Watch Episode 1 of our podcast, SchoolWise Research with James Kitch


The National Tutoring Programme (NTP), launched in October 2020, is a key part of the Government’s COVID catch-up response for schools and forms part of the wider Education Recovery portfolio. On 31 March 2022, the Department for Education (DfE) announced plans to simplify the programme for the 2022 to 2023 academic year. These plans involve 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.


All schools that received SLT funding are required to submit an 'End of Year Statement form' which is to be published by ESFA in June 2023, once they have completed their SLT provision for the academic year 2022 to 23. This includes schools that chose not to use the grant. Where the grant has not been fully used or not used at all, the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) will recover this amount as an overpayment.

An article published on 25 November, in Schools Week featured school heads who say they’ve used all their tutoring cash have demanded answers, after being told they could end up having money clawed back. We decided to put together the NTP spend tracker spreadsheet to support schools in our capacity as a partner on the National Tutoring Programme. Schools can also use tools available from the DfE website.

The DfE offered schools additional time to submit their Year-End Statements, from the original submission date of 16 September 2022 and a number of schools took this up. This is a change from the 850 schools estimated to have not responded to the Year End Statement by 21 October 2022 to 723 who did not submit. We estimate this to be just under £6 million NTP subsidy that may be clawed back as an overpayment.

School-led tutoring year-end statement guidance June 2022. Purple Ruler, is one of 63 accredited NTP Tuition Partners who are happy to support schools within their capacity to not see any subsidy clawbacks in 2022/2023 academic year. As partners to schools, we all support the NTP Programme objectives (below).


  • To address the impact of COVID-19 on the outcomes of disadvantaged pupils, particularly in narrowing the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers.

  • To create a sustainable, well-functioning tutoring market, both at the national and local level, through increasing the supply of tutors of different types, to meet the growing and diverse demands of schools.

  • Embed a culture of tutoring in schools as a longer-term solution to narrowing attainment gaps, through encouraging greater use of Pupil Premium to fund future tutoring interventions.

Please do reach out to your tuition partner or contact us for further information and guidance. We will do our very best to accommodate or reach out to relevant government agencies and service providers to answer your questions.

NTP SPEND TRACKER TOOLKIT The tracker tool is featured on episode 1 to support the completion of the Year-End Statement for schools, academies and independent special schools who have received school-led grants. The tool is a key that can be used to help complete the Year End Statement . It will provide the answers to the questions in the Year-End Statement, on the number of pupils who received NTP tutoring, total cost of tuition and the total number of hours of School Led Tutoring delivered.

All schools complete the School Census termly. There are three questions that relate to the NTP on the census to help support the delivery of the programme. The purpose of the Year-End Statement is to determine the final expenditure of the SLT grant by schools and a final declaration of the amount of tutoring provided in the academic year 2022 to 23. Both forms should reflect the amount of School-Led Tutoring carried out by the school, who has received it and how many hours have been delivered. The difference between the Census and Year End Statement will be that the Census captures data up until May, whereas the year End Statement will reflect all the tutoring carried out over the course of the year What happens after the Year-End Statement is submitted?

Once the Year-End Statement has been submitted, the ESFA will calculate whether there is an overpayment. This is done by finding an average hourly cost using the total amount spent divided by the number of hours delivered. The ESFA will then offset any underspend against future payments. We hope that this process will take place in the December payment.

Purple Ruler High School example:

In our example, we see Purple Ruler High School has a total spend profile of £77,760 to provide support to 288 pupils and deliver 4320 hours. The school NTP lead and Finance manager looked at their current strategy and realised that they would not meet the expected spending and tutoring hours on the tutoring scheduled for academic year 2022/2023. They noticed an underspend value of £18,943.20 because the project will only reach 171 pupils and deliver 2,566 pupil hours.

The tool helps schools to identify any risks to the NTP delivery for the academic year and put in mitigation measures for a successful project and to ensure all pupils who need the support are provided with the catch up tuition.

SchoolWise Research with James Kitch welcomes any feedback from schools and academies on what topic or themes they would like to see addressed in future episodes.

Please contact with your suggestions and feedback.

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