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Peer Tutor: Closing the learning gap and tackling education inequality through the power of peer-to-peer learning

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As we find ourselves in the midst of a second national lockdown, Dr Wayne Harrison (Founder and MD of Peer Tutor) reflects on the impact of COVID-19 on education inequality and how the learning gap it created can be shortened through the power of peer-to-peer learning.

Prior to lockdown and the global pandemic, 2019 research by The Education Policy Institute highlighted up to an 18-month academic divide between students from lower income backgrounds and their classmates. Research from the UCL Institute of Education and the National Foundation for Educational Research shows that during the first lockdown there was an increasing divide between state and private students’ access to online learning.

The Government has responded through a £1 billion catch-up programme and by delaying GCSE exams for three weeks. However, as we now find ourselves in a second wave and lockdown, schools face a monumental challenge to support learners. Even though schools are allowed to remain open, catch-up in the current academic year will not be straight forward. The hidden impact of year group bubbles going into isolation and teachers planning for home learning and classroom delivery simultaneously is creating an uphill battle.

We strongly believe that teachers and classroom assistants are best placed within schools to deliver interventions. However, as students struggle to catch up against the backdrop of partial school closure and more demand than ever being placed on teachers, Peer Tutor’s catch-up programme supports students and helps to build back their confidence through the power of peer-to-peer learning.

 

What is Peer Tutor?

Owned by national educational charity and awarding organisation NCFE, Peer Tutor is a unique mobile app which can support students reach their goals, without increasing teachers’ workload. It provides students with personalised support for homework and revision, accessible 24/7 from verified, high achieving peers.

Safe and secure

Peer Tutor’s secure digital platform is the first of its kind, offering personalised tuition tailored to each individual’s needs. The live lessons don’t use cameras and are recorded for safeguarding. All live lessons are delivered by tutors of the highest quality, having all achieved Grade 6 and above in their own exams as well as being DBS checked and verified. We utilise the latest AI screening technologies to moderate questions and feedback to ensure that young people stay safe while using the app.

Peer Tutor catch-up programme

Designed to provide a low cost, high quality alternative to traditional tutoring, Peer Tutor has been created with accessibility in mind, to help provide equal opportunities for remote and out-of-hours learning for everyone.

The catch-up programme is designed for students in years 9 – 11 studying for their GCSEs in Maths, English Language, English Literature, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, History, and Geography. Operated on a credit-based, pay as you learn system, students and schools can purchase ‘gems’ to access Peer Tutor’s real time Q&A platform, interactive live lessons with Collins’ resources and personalised feedback service.  Students simply upload a photo of the question that they’re struggling with, or work they require feedback on and a dedicated peer tutor will answer.

 

What next?

At Peer Tutor, we understand the logistical barriers for delivering in school programmes, even when we are not in the middle of a global pandemic! Therefore, our catch-up programme can be quickly implemented in schools within just one week with a simple virtual launch process and monthly reporting to schools to track usage.

To find out more about our catch-up programme visit www.ncfe.org.uk/peer-tutor-catch-up-programme or contact us directly by emailing info@peertutor.com or calling us on 0330 057 3186.



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