An Ofsted evaluation of the progress and effectiveness of the government’s flagship National Tutoring Programme (NTP) has been delayed until the autumn because of “issues with capacity”.
It is the second independent review of the scheme to have been held up, after the publication of a National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) study was also postponed.
Both evaluations, which were due to be published this summer, are now likely to be published around two years after the NTP’s launch in November 2020.
A spokesperson for the watchdog said the delay in its report was down to “issues with capacity”. It is understood the review findings could be published in October.
Further findings from its review of the practice are supposed to be published in summer 2023.
Ofsted’s review of tutoring will cover both schools and 16 to 19 provision, and will consider the “overall quality” of tutoring, whether it is provided directly by schools or through tuition partners.
Review will consider impact of tutoring on catch-up
During the last academic year, inspectors examined how schools’ use of tutors supported the aims of their curriculum following the return of routine in-person inspections.
The inspectorate also collected evidence on tutoring in its briefing series on education recovery in schools.
In its summer education recovery report, Ofsted noted tutoring was “working most effectively where schools had used assessment to identify specific gaps in pupils’ knowledge, and were using the tutoring to target these gaps”.
As well as considering how well schools and 16 to 19 providers are “integrating tutoring into their curriculum planning and delivery”, the watchdog will evaluate its effect on the overall quality of education and “the likelihood that it will help children catch up”.
However, review findings will not take a view on whether tutoring should be used to deliver the curriculum or if particular pupils or students should receive it.
Data published by the Department for Education last month revealed the continuing slow take up of the scheme.
While ministers had repeatedly promised two million tutoring courses would be started by pupils in the last academic year, only 1,781,946 starts had been achieved.
Findings from a separate Ofsted review of teachers’ professional development are set to be published in early 2023 and early 2024.