The Education Secretary has announced a major overhaul of the funding structure for its flagship catch up tuition scheme, the National Tutoring Programme. With HR firm Randstad’s contract with the scheme expiring at the end of this academic year, Nadhim Zahawi has pledged to ‘simplify’ the NTP by routing money directly to schools.
What are the changes?
From September, £349 million will be made accessible to schools to administer their own catch-up tutoring activities. This represents a major shift away from the three options schools currently have for using their tutoring subsidy. At present, schools can either rely on an approved Tuition Partner to find them private tutors, have Randstad connect them with salaried academic mentors, or use the ringfenced School-Led Tutoring Grant to arrange tutoring resources independently.
The School-Led Tutoring route will become the default way of accessing NTP funding from the start of the next academic year. Schools will be free to select their own tutors, from specialist tutors to supply teachers to current (and former) staff. School leaders will now be able to take on the services of Tuition Partners and employ academic mentors without going through a central supplier.
How will funding be allocated?
While full details of the funding structure for the 2022/23 academic year are still unconfirmed, the current arrangements for the School-Led Tutoring route should be a guide to what we should expect.
During the 2021/22 school year, all schools with Pupil Premium recipients have automatically been given the funding for 75% of their NTP tutoring costs in three instalments over the academic year. Schools are required to make up the remaining 25% from other budgets.
With a separate subsidy also available through the NTP’s mentoring or Tuition Partner routes, schools have access to two pots of money to spend on catch up tutoring. Any unused funding will simply be recouped by the DfE at the end of the academic year. This is a use-it-or-lose-it arrangement that will probably be replicated next year too.
Protocol Education will update you when the details are announced of how much funding will be available under the new model.
How the new changes could benefit schools
As official Tuition Partners since the scheme’s inception, Protocol Education welcomes these changes. Direct, automatic access to NTP funding will give schools the freedom to shape their catch-up efforts around their pupils’ real needs.
The NTP’s success is vital for the countless children suffering from the effects of learning loss. Its effect on those children’s performance can be truly transformational. Yet many schools are still reluctant to engage with the scheme due to perceptions of overcomplexity.
Centering the School-Led Tutoring route will align the project with how schools actually use it; of the million NTP courses started to date, 532,000 have used the School-Led route. Schools appreciate its flexibility, and we expect that its new place as the default option will encourage more schools to participate in the NTP.
How Protocol Education can put the NTP to work in your school
We’ve been at the forefront of delivering the National Tutoring Programme through all its funding routes ever since its launch in September 2020. We’ve already helped schools across the country use their School-Led Tutoring Grant to hire experienced, highly trained and rigorously vetted tutors who know how to boost pupil achievement.
This new update to the NTP will give schools the freedom to lift the prospects of their most disadvantaged pupils. However you want to run your scheme, Protocol Education will be on hand to help you make it a success. Let’s get started together.