By Luthien Evans | News Editor
A National Tutoring Programme is being rolled out for disadvantaged students across England. This is said to have been introduced as government evidence shows that the poorest pupils have suffered the most from school closures and missed time.
This catch-up tuition programme is funded by a sum of the government’s coronavirus catch up pack but was initially conceived by five separate charities.
Bookings are available for pupils aged between five and 16, with thousands expected to sign up. Schools have to apply on behalf of the pupils, with instructions to prioritise disadvantaged children. However, reports state that the scope of the programme is smaller than anticipated, as it shows a cap of 250,000 pupils.
The programme is being made available for schools at a subsidised price, meaning schools may only have to pay £50 for a block session for 15 students. The programme is set to have face-to-face and online learning options, making it easier for schools to adopt.
It is being said that the 15000 tutors available will vary from post-graduate students to volunteers to trained teachers. This has caused controversy however, as members of the education unions state that the catch-up tuition should be provided by qualified teachers only. Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders has explained that the funding could have been ‘used to support schools in delivering this through their teaching staff who already know their pupils’ opposing the idea of external agencies.