Tutoring in a Post COVID World


In summary, the disruption caused by COVID-19 has lead to wide-level disruption across all industries, including education. It has further exacerbated the attainment gap between children from disadvantaged and affluent backgrounds.

As such, the Government has allocated £350million to 'provide additional support to schools to help disadvantaged pupils whose education has been most affected by school closures' in an initiative called the National Tutoring Programme (NTP) 

Their NTP 'Tuition Partners' means recruiting tutors as part of a public service to improve access to subsided high-quality tutoring for disadvantaged pupils, including those eligible for Pupil Premium funding, in State-maintained primary and secondary schools in England.

This blog covers: 

  • NTP criteria: Requirements for Tuition Partners 
  • 121 tuition vs small groups: A comparison of differences
  • Online vs face to face tuition: The pros and cons  



Providers hoping to be selected as a Tuition Partner for the National Tutoring Programme are required to adhere to a set of quality, safeguarding and evaluation standards. 

QUALITY CRITERIA: Tutor training: All tutors will receive training on how to deliver tutoring from their organisation. Tutors will go through a well-defined and manualised training programme.

>Evidence indicates that tuition is most effective when tutors are provided with training. Myelin Academia's Level 3 Award in Applied Tutor Training 'PRESET' is a certified, endorsed and quality assured by awarding organisation Training Qualifications UK, who are OFQUAL regulated.

 SAFEGUARDING: DBS Checks: All tutors will be DBS checked and receive safeguarding training

> You can make arrangements for a DBS check via your agency. The Level 3 Award in Applied Tutor Training 'PRESET' includes an Introduction to Safeguarding. We also offer full Safeguarding bundles if your tutors require further training. If you want to hear more about these, get in touch

TUITION MODELS: Small groups: NTP Tuition Partners funding will cover a range of different tuition models, including online and face-to-face, as well as 1:1, 1:2 and 1:3 ratios.

> This blog will talk you through working in small groups, the potential challenges faced a pros and cons of hosting these sessions online. Members can consult our 'How to: Tutor Online' guide for advice on remote learning.


Although it is recognised that one-to-one is most effective, it's a costly performance enhancer. The Educational Endowment Fund 'Teacher Toolkit' found that the smaller the group size the better for tuition as an intervention method. In order to maintain this effectiveness, as well as being cost effective, they suggest small groups ratios of 1:3 as part of the National Tutoring Programme intervention.


+ Flexibility: Adapt curricular materials to build upon a students’ interest
+ Pace: Likely to get through greater volume of material than in a class scenario. Plan ahead fro this with additional resources or challenge material.
+ Pitch: Work at their level, rather than having to adapt to suit other group members. Spend more time on areas they need to develop confidence with.
+ Enquiry: The student has all the teacher’s attention, so they have the freedom to enquire deeper about aspects of learning and the curriculum, which might usually interferer with other's leaning in a group environment.
+ Individualised: Student difficulties can easily be understood and solved by the teacher, rather than risk going undetected in a larger group.
+ Skills: Opportunities to build confidence in reluctant learners. Develop independence to problem solve independently.

 - Personality differences: One-to-one can be very full on for introverts and those who don't often feel comfortable contributing in class. However, on the flip side, this can provide the space they need to present their own answers before someone else shouts it out or takes the class limelight.
- Intensity: One-to-one can be quite intense as students don’t have their peers to interact with, with the 100% of attention on the student. This can be offset by shorter sessions and variety in class activities.
- Feedback: Can take longer as it is more tailored and rich in detail for the on individual.
- Collaborative learning: Peer work and team collaboration is limited.



+ Student-centred / Peers: Learning in a group centres on the social aspects of learning and facilitates a more student-led environment and allow for discovery activities, problem-solving, sharing, reciprocal teaching, comparison of ideas, up-skilling peer work.
+ Interactive & Collaborative: The group natures make it easier for the session to be more dynamic as students can work in pairs and practice with age matched peers.
+ Skills: Listening to and respecting others' ideas and see a problem interpreted in a variety of ways. Become more aware of where they sit in a cohort in terms of their strengths and weaknesses - encourages metacognition of their own ability.
+ Can work on 'behaviour for learning': Learning in a social environment more readily reflects learning in real life. Students become more mindful of how their behaviour can impact others learning including: response inhibition, emotional regulation, discussion, compromise, sharing etc.

- Group dynamics: Can have an impact on the overall performance of the class. For example, disobedient students can negatively affect the whole lesson. In contrast, it allows introverts to work in their own style and contribute more subtly, whilst extroverts are often the voice of the lesson.
- Distraction: Greater opportunity to become distracted or engage with 'off-task' activities in a group or with other disobedient peers.
- Pitch & Pace: Aim for the ‘average’ group ability and speed, and offer differentiated activities either side to stretch and challenge higher ability learners or provide extra scaffolding for lower attaining students.
- Differentiation: Greater need for differentiation within the group. Consider this when planning for lessons and group activities and how you are going to pair your learners. 1:3 is an odd number so ensure no one is being left out of an activity and there is a fair split between the task responsibilities, or that it is matched to their ability.
- Flexibility: Less ability to adapt curricular materials to build upon an individual students’ interest, instead this will be geared towards a collective group interest.


1-2-1: Online vs F2F

(+) Independence: In F2F it is easier to do more than we need to assist our learner, so when we transfer to online we are physically able to do less for them. Students need to get themselves online, locate resources which encourages a greater independence and forwards planning from the student.
(-) Intensity: 1-2-1 online is often even more intense than 1-2-1 in person, so shorter but more frequent sessions should be considered.
Less is more: Window tabs and Screen time. Consider practical activities and tactile work to help break up screen time. Avoid using too many online resources at once where students have to jump between multiple tabs.

Group: Online vs F2F

(+) Cursor contribution: You can monitor group even more easily that in F2F, as you can monitor the cursor activity when working from a live document such as Google Drive. The cursor indicates where each student is writing so you can be sure everyone has contributed.
(+) Real time feedback: You can write live feedback and comments on these documents in real time as students are working on them, so students are able to action this more readily. You can also provide tailored feedback in the chat functionality.

(-) Connectivity: Some people’s connection might not be as strong, which can affect interactivity during group tasks and act as a barrier to their online learning.
(-) Tech savvy students: You need to make sure students are competent with the online tools you are using, so this doesn’t negatively impact their learning, as well as making sure you're up to scratch so they don't play you at your own game!



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