National Tutoring Programme review delayed until autumn

Independent evaluation to be published two years after launch

Independent evaluation to be published two years after launch


A deep-dive into whether the government’s flagship National Tutoring Programme has helped children to catch up will not be published until the autumn.

The delay means the independent evaluation is likely to be published two years after the scheme’s launch in November 2020.

It is also likely to be on its third contractor, with a raft of changes to encourage school take-up.

The study, run by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER), is looking into the scheme’s effectiveness, take-up and impact on pupil progress in its first year, when it was run by five founding charities.

The Education Endowment Foundation led the tuition partners, which allowed schools to hire tutors from approved organisations. The academic mentors’ route, which placed tutors in poor areas, was run by Teach First.

The evaluation was due to be published in the summer, but it was confirmed this week it would now be the autumn.

‘More complex than planned’

A EEF spokesperson said researchers had planned to use key stage 2 and GCSE assessment data to investigate the impact on attainment.

But because exams were cancelled, with GCSEs awarded through teacher grades, the evaluation “had to be replanned” and analysis “was more complex than originally anticipated”.

Interim findings have been shared with government so “ongoing evaluation can be fed into policy-making”, the Department for Education said.

The NFER is also evaluating the programme under HR-firm Randstad’s stewardship this year, including the new school-led tutoring arm. This is expected to be published in 2023 “at the latest”.

As Schools Week revealed, the government is axing Randstad, with the cash going straight to schools from September.

The DfE is currently selecting new suppliers on smaller contracts for the next academic year. They will manage quality assurance, recruitment, the deployment of mentors and training. It is understood Randstad has rebid for one of the contracts.

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