That’s why we are a founding partner of the National Tutoring Programme (NTP), having supported our sister charity the Education Endowment Foundation to launch the initiative. Extensive evidence shows the impact of tutoring to support pupils who have fallen behind, not least from our charity partners the Tutor Trust and Action Tutoring. The NTP aims to support schools in using the powerful tool of tutoring to help pupils who have fallen behind catch up and, with substantial financial support from government, will reach millions of young people in the coming years. With a few adjustments, the NTP could transform the lives of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
One major problem, a multi-pronged solution
But tutoring is not a silver bullet – we know many factors affect young people’s attainment. That’s why we supported Magic Breakfast to scale their proven intervention.
We’re also supporting three new charity partners who work with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to develop social and emotional learning (SEL) skills. Our new research shows there is strong evidence that improving SEL skills positively impacts academic attainment, but further research is necessary to understand why. We’re committed to developing this evidence base and building consensus in the education sector about how government can best ensure all pupils get the SEL skills they need.
The challenges are particularly acute for young people who have been excluded from school, or who are at risk of exclusion. The focus of our Engage Fund, this neglected group have high needs and the worst outcomes, with Maths and English GCSE pass rates of less than 5% for pupils who take these exams outside of mainstream school, in alternative provision. We’ve commissioned the Education Policy Institute to conduct research into the relationship between suspensions and exclusions and medium and long-term pupil outcomes, in order to shed new light on this issue and the stakes for the young people involved
And education doesn’t stop at 16
Our Life After School: Confronting the crisis research revealed that young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who failed their English and maths GCSEs the first time round were unlikely to achieve these grades by age 19. Our education system runs until the age of 18, and yet funding drops at age 16, including the necessary Pupil Premium funding that supports young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to succeed. We support a single, consistent funding system, and the extension of Pupil Premium funding to the age of 18, so young people get the support they need to succeed in their education, for all of their education.